There were probably many authors have written, describing the virtues of a good wife, but before being a housewife, she is a WOMAN, a daughter, a sister and later after marriage, she is a wife and a mother. Most of the women have these virtues and display them time and again, making the lives of men easy and meaningful.
Today, I am writing about one such woman, the one who made my hectic work schedule even more tumultuous, on whom my first impression was “she is killing my free time, and too dependent” but she changed it to “glad I met her and helped in however way I could.” She defied many obstacles, she might have felt helpless throughout that entire journey but never hopeless, she never gave up, and in doing so she displayed some virtues, I’ve mentioned, so seamlessly.
I was working as a junior resident in one of the busiest and prestigious medical institutes and posted for a limited stint in Surgical oncology department. There came an old age couple, the husband with extensive Liver metastasis of Neuroendocrine tumor, surgical resection was not ideal, so was referred to Medical oncology.
She, being the only attendee of the patient (wife) was uneducated, quite devastated, didn’t knew the language of that land (Tamil), bankrupt (surgery to the primary tumor and subsequent chemotherapy in a corporate set up ate up all their savings) with no relatives or contacts in that town, came all the way for her husband’s treatment. Unfortunately, her husband’s tumor was a rare one and the medicine prescribed was not on free supply and would cost a good 30,000 rupees per month or more. She didn’t have that money, but what she possessed was unmatched dedication, and resolve to get the treatment done somehow.
She was not an acquaintance; she was just from my hometown but made me her beacon of hope. She kept visiting me in my working hours, disturbing my work, seeking help, and she wouldn’t budge when I said: “I can’t come every time to translate what the medical oncologist is trying to convey.” (my work would get delayed, patients I am attending to, had to wait) She would plead, demand, wait and somehow win me every time to accompany her and her husband to the medical oncologist and made me the unofficial attendee.
She worked on finding Telugu speaking people in that area, managed to find a place to stay free of cost, and through me she could get the scan dates, reports etc at the earliest, managed to find some donors to help her financially, met the political leaders of that area to see if they could help her by any means. Facing each difficulty with patience, resolve, finding ways to get help, going past the humiliations and in doing, so she displayed all the virtues of being a good wife.
Here are a few of her virtues that we all need to learn… Let me explain.
WORKS like a servant
They stayed for more than five months and later would travel once every month for the treatment. Total treatment spanned over 16 months and every time she was the only attendee. (her sons couldn’t come to help). She never complained, she always said “they work hard, send me money and take care of their families, they can’t afford to leave the job. I am perfectly capable of taking care of my husband, and I can manage.”
Having patience like Earth
In spite of many odds like not knowing the language, not being educated, not having much financial support, being old herself, not knowing anybody in that area, a terminal condition of her husband, nothing deterred her resolve to fight for her husband and to give him as many days as possible. She faced every odds and humiliations with patience.
Beautiful and resourceful
She was bankrupt but somehow could arrange enough money for the patient’s treatment. Probably it was her resolve that melted God Himself and help came through various sources.
Advice like a minister
Time and again she adviced her husband and sons that “we can’t give up trying.” Her husband wanted to be at the comfort of home and accept fate and sons would say “we don’t know anybody there who would help us.” She proved them wrong; she managed to get help, did everything she can and her husband lived for 16 months.
Feeds like a mother
Out of gratitude and probably Love, she would bring me home cooked sweets. I don’t enjoy desserts, I always resisted, but she would either force feed me or convince me to at least taste it. She was always thankful to me for helping her and her husband.
Today, when I sit back and think about her, her struggles and her patience and how she fought, I feel proud of her. She is nobody but a stranger to me, but I am glad, I met her, helped her and earned her gratitude and love. You might think, any wife would do the same when her husband is on death bed, true, I won’t deny. But what made her special was, never once she blamed the system nor god nor fate. She took everything in her stride and only focussed on what she can do to save her husband.
She was an example, one among many living, look around, in your own lives, you would have come across thousands of such women or heard of, respect them, love them, treat them fair, support them and let’s learn from them — happy woman’s day in advance.
Note – I didn’t mention her name because I don’t know her name. I always addressed her as Aunty or Amma.