“Sorry ladies! I understand that you are worried about your mother but hospital has rules. Ok? I cannot let you enter for another couple of hours. It is the ICU – too many visitor disturb the patients.” Said the Nurse.
“At least let us know how she is doing?” demanded Diana angrily
“Let me just get her reports and notes and I will update you in a minute.” Nurse walked away in a hurry. As she promised, nurse came back with a few papers in her hand.
“So, let me start. Your mother was brought in by the maid named Sathya who found her struggling to breathe in her bedroom. She had her inhaler but that only gave solace for a while and after that too she kept taking long puffs as if she is choking. She has a history of asthma which was diagnosed 15 years back. As per her, she always had it in control with her inhaler but this time it did not work. We have done a thorough checkup. Her vitals are stable now although blood pressure was higher when she arrived here. We wanted her breathing to become normal so we have given her nebulization and constant supply of oxygen. Once she feels better, we need to do chest scan to look for some congestion which could be a probable reason for this episode.” Narrated the nurse as if this was a small everyday incident.
Diana shuddered “What if mom was alone at home? What if Sathya hadn’t noticed her struggling in the bedroom? What if.. ? Oh my God, we could have lost mother forever today.”
Nina was gazing at an empty wall. She did not really feel anything. No fear, no sadness, no remorse – nothing at all. She was blank.
“Ma’am, you need to visit finance department for the payments. We do not have her insurance details as well. Please if you could make the payments urgently – we could proceed with the further diagnosis.” Said nurse interrupting the sisters’ thoughts.
“Who would be taking care of the payments?” asked the nurse looking at both of them turn-wise…
“I will take care of it. Where is the finance department?” Nina said with surety. She looked at Diana who was still very scared at the thought of losing their mother. Diana nodded while Nina turned away to walk with the nurse. Diana returned her attention to her daughters who were both busy playing games on her mobile phone. She stared at them with wet eyes.
Her mind went back to the day when mother had locked Nina away in a room for more than a day. How could mother be so cruel? What was running in her mind? I have my daughters who are the most lovable human beings for me. Can I really ever lock them up without food or water in a room for 28 hours? Can I ever hit them with ladle so hard that they would have to be hospitalized? What was wrong with mom? Why couldn’t she ever love me and Nina?
Nina has been a protector to me. I cannot even count the number of times she has saved me from mom’s rage instead she took all the punishments that were meant for me. That ladle was supposed to hit me but Nina stepped in just in time to get injured. It was me who had spilled that breakfast that Nina had prepared so lovingly. But Nina got the punishment. Nina had always been there for me. I can imagine why she is so negative towards mom. She always got the brunt even for my mistakes. As for Dad, he was not really there for us. He loved us but he was always busy with work which apparently was more important than us.
Diana looked up and Nina was standing right there signing some papers for the man in black coat – probably from the finance department.
Nina then came and sat next to Diana. “We still have an hour before we can visit mother and they need to keep her in observation for longer before they can take her for scan. Do you want to go and get something to eat? Kids must be hungry.” Said Nina holding Diana’s hand.
“Yes massi, I am starving. Can we have some sandwiches?” shouted Kiara
“Ok, let us go. There is cafeteria on the top floor. We will come back in an hour.” Said Diana
I have to tell Nina what happened after she left home to study in the boarding school. I also have to tell her what happened when father died. I don’t know how will she take it but she needs to know.
After they ordered food for kids and coffee for themselves, they sat on a corner table. “Nina, you need to know some things that happened at home in your absence.” Said Diana with a lot determination.
“What? I don’t want to talk about it, Diana. I told you in the past as well. I have got nothing to do with mother.” Snapped Nina
“It is not about mother. It is about your life. Till you forgive mother and move on from what happened in your childhood – you will not be happy. You don’t have to tell me but I know how miserable and lonely you are in your life. Don’t you want to be happy and content?” explained Diana
Nina smirked. “Happy and content! That only happens in fairy tales, Diana.”
“Listen ok? Just listen.” Said Diana
“After father sent you to boarding school in class 9th – I pleaded with him to send me too. I could not imagine living in that house without you. I was always scared of mom. But I just knew one thing that I should never reply back to her or try to reason with her when she was angry. That saved me from being a victim to her anger. Dad refused to send me to boarding then – he said I need to be class 9th to join the boarding.” Said Diana
“I remember that mom and dad were fighting all the time. I never ever saw them smiling at each other or even looking at each other lovingly. Dad was always working late hours – he was mostly not there for either mom or me. But whenever he came – he always took me in his lap and told me that I should not worry about them. These are grown up problems and kids shouldn’t concern themselves with this. And that mom loved both of us but just that she was short tempered.” Diana continued looking into Nina’s eyes now…
“I never understood why she was so short tempered. What was troubling her so much? I could not even figure out what triggered the fits of rage in her. After dad died of heart attack, I saw that mom softened a lot. She has been living with us since then and I don’t see the same mother anymore. Once I saw her crying looking at her wedding pictures and I asked her what made her so angry when they were kids.” Diana’s look softened remembering her father’s death…
“She mentioned that their marriage was not working. She and Dad were not compatible at emotional level at all. She also suspected dad of an illicit relationship with another woman. In fact she said that she is very sure that father was cheating on her. All those frequent tours and work was not really work but was a woman” said Diana…
“I never asked mother any more details about their relationship. But Nina, just for a minute look at mom and dad not as your parents but as a couple who had their own problems. Maybe you will just see …” Diana continued but Nina interrupted in between…
“Wait, do you have any evidence of this allegation on dad?” asked Nina, her eyes wide open
“Errr… yes. But why is that important? Whatever was there, was there. I hacked into his Gmail after he died and I found a few emails that proved that he was involved with somebody else. I just read a couple of them to know for sure – but did not probe any further. I did not want to lose respect for my dad.” Said Diana lowering her eyes
“Nina, whatever wrong Dad did and I did – it all came out on you. Mom could not handle her emotions appropriately. As a 12 year old child – it was obvious for you to hate your mother. But now as a 40 year old woman – do you think you can forgive her? She had to give up her career to take care of us and almost after you were born, Dad started to lose interest in the marriage. Of course, all this took a toll on mother and she couldn’t handle it.”
Tears were rolling down Nina’s cheeks now. She did not know what to believe and what to think. “So, dad was involved with another woman! And mom was angry on him all these years. But why punish me for all that? It wasn’t my fault. How was I supposed to know and understand all this as a child? Now I do understand, at least I think I do.” Said Nina talking loudly to herself
This piece of information was transformative for Nina. All these years, she blamed her mother without understanding or even thinking why her mom was the way she was. Now she had an opportunity to look at the world from her mom’s point of view and that could be an opportunity to forgive her also.