Sunday, November 22, 2009

Are your children cherished?

Clothes carelessly scattered over the floor of my children’ rooms are usually enough to get my blood pressure shooting up to lethal levels warranting a visit to the ER.

Every pair of smelly socks that I unearth from under a sofa is a cue to open curtains on the most explosive show of fireworks ever displayed. One that would shame even the best July 4th celebrations in the country.

The occasional ‘B’ among several ‘A’s on a child’s report card has been instrumental in me experiencing a few fairytale-like fainting spells giving me a chance to test the strength of the smelling salts that I once bought over eBay.

Feel free to pull up a chair because I can go on forever about all that my kids do or not do to push me to the brink of a cardiac arrest on any normal day.

I am a perfectionist. Not by desire or design. I simply am one. Or I was until yesterday.

A 15 year old child from our community took her last breath two days ago. Yesterday was her funeral.

She was a beautiful girl, so full of promises. She had sung like a dream. She had played tennis with the grace and ease afforded by youth. She had brought home her share of good grades and had laughed wildly with the abandon of a teenager. She would have sulked, rebelled and cried too. She could have been mine or yours. Today she is just a statistic. One more life snapped off before its time by the cruel claws of Leukemia.

What wouldn’t her parents do to see her clothes lying messily in her room today? What wouldn’t they give to see her walk through the front door one more time with a report card? Where would they not go to retrieve her sweat drenched dirty socks?

With a heavy heart, I realize today that I have lost the desire to raise flawless children. I don’t want to see them grow up to be perfect angels. I want to see them grow up. It only took the death of a child to make me understand a simple truth - our children are precious gifts that we quite so often forget to cherish and enjoy.

I am going to have to control myself into not giving big hugs when my children next come home with a few ‘less than perfect’ grades. After all, I don’t want to confuse them.

My heartfelt condolences to the family. May God give them the strength to survive this grief and find meaning in life.

-Meena Sankaran


Jayakanthan - ஜெயகாந்தன் said...

I have listened to her singing on last year RTS performance. Her parents need lots of courage & strength to overcome this loss. Pray her soul rests in peace. When it happens to our dear and near, it hits us heavy. Still could not believe how such an advanced country does not have the cure for this yet.

நாகு (Nagu) said...

Well put, Meena. It was a very expensive wake-up call! :-(

I heard the same sentiments from a few parents.

May her soul rest in peace...

Sriram V Iyer said...

Meena, I am moved by your post. There is no master like death. He teaches more to the person involved and people surrounding only if we have eyes to see and ears to hear.

Life is a celebration. Every moment of it. We simply take it for granted. We forget to enjoy the mild rain, early morning sun, breeze in the face and stars in the sky.

Katha Upanishad deals extensively with Death. In Bhagawat Geeta, Bhagawan Sri Krishna Paramatma says:

na jaayate' mriyate' vaa kadaachin naayam bhuthva bhavithaa na bhooyah: |

ajo nithyah saasvato'yam puraano na hanyate' hanyamaane' sareere' ||

"Never is he (Soul) born, nor does he die at any time, he has never been brought into being, nor shall come hereafter; unborn, eternal, permanent and ancient (primeval). When the body is slain, he is not slain."

The girl will live in your hearts and memories forever. My deepest condolences to the family. May God give them all the strength.

Naaree said...

Life gives us many opportunities to get a perspective of the things that are important in life. But we continue to harp on the things that are not.

This feeling will last, till we see the next report card or the next time their room is really really really really messy.

Sreelatha said...

Thanks for penning your thoughts Meena. Many people's ideas are parallel to yours. PRIYANKA IS A GEM OF A PERSON who is for sure united with GOD. May GOD bless their parents, brother and near and dear ones with strength and courage to face this difficult moment.

கவிநயா said...

Well said Meena.

//PRIYANKA IS A GEM OF A PERSON who is for sure united with GOD. May GOD bless their parents, brother and near and dear ones with strength and courage to face this difficult moment.//

Yes, my prayers are with them as well.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I can relate to it from when my sister died, but it makes you appreciate the kids alot more. My sister was also like a daughter to me (age difference) and everything she went through was a lesson for us in life. She was so happy till the end that when she came home for her final journey she had a smile on her face and that made us know that she was happy and free and an angel up in heaven. It was her way of telling us she was ok, but since then, I cherish every moment in life, good and bad. Love your kids... you sound like a wonderful mother... I wish you all the best.

Meenakshi Sankaran said...

Thank you, everyone, for joining me in mourning this little girl. May her soul rest in peace.