I had been suspecting something wrong with my mind since a long time. I just didn’t know it was more physical than I had actually thought. The doctor confirmed my suspicion. I had a tumor in my brain and had probably two more years to go. I laughed and told Pavan, “See, I always told you I had a good reason to be out of my mind most of the times!” I felt no fear. I had no regrets. I had led a fulfilling life. What more could I have possibly wished for?
As we drove back home in silence, my mind started chalking out a plan for the coming two years. Considering these were going to be the last two years of my life, I should make sure I close all open chapters and live all incomplete dreams. My first thought was to spend more time with Pavan. I wanted to be with him every minute of every day for the rest of my life. But considering his travel, the only way to make this happen would be to travel with him. But then what would happen to the kids?? No problem, they will travel with us too!! Two years, no school, no projects, no exams – just complete exploration of the world with their parents!! This sounded super fun!
Done! This was a good decision. During our travel these two years, I would share everything with my children; everything that I wanted them to remember in life. Maybe I could even write blogs for them to read in times they missed me or wanted to ask me something. I would write about everything, that I think they would need their mother for, as they grew up.
As the trees whizzed past on the road, my mind started plotting the questions Toyna would ask me as she stepped into her teens –
Toyna: Mama, should I get a Tattoo?
My Response: Yeah, of course, if you are sure about it. Follow your heart my dear. Let it guide you.
Toyna: Mama, I really like this guy! Do you think I should go out with him?
Mama (thinking I hate this guy! He doesn’t even comb his hair): Toyna, think about it! There is no rush to move forward quickly. If he likes you too, he will be willing to wait. Take your time, and be sure of your decision. I will always support you in whatever decision you take.
Toyna: Mama, my best friend cheated on me! I hate her.
Mama: Tell me more dear! I have all the time to listen.
Toyna: Mama, I am not sure whether to join Dad in business or go for higher education.
Mama: Both sound super exciting! I am so proud that you are thinking of your future. Do what you feel is best for you. Mama will always be there to support your decision.
The evening was wearing off. The sun was almost hidden. I was still deep in thought. I preempted many more questions in my mind and the answer was always the same, “Toyna, follow your heart! It will guide you. Mama will always be there to support you.” This conversation in my mind told me that the only thing that I wanted Toyna to remember in her growing years was to learn to follow her heart. I knew she would succeed sometimes and she would fail at other. But as long as she followed her heart, she would find the courage to overcome the failures on her own.
I was forced back into reality with a sharp jerk of the car. Pavan was honking loudly. He was trying to control the car, but something had gone terribly wrong. We were crashing into the side of the big red truck. There was something written on the side of the truck, “D…E….”. I couldn’t finish reading it. The final thought in my mind was, “Oh!! I don’t have two more years with my children!” Then, there was darkness.
I woke up to Pavan pulling at my sleeve lightly. We had reached the meeting place. I woke up to a trance. Oh! This was all a dream. I was fine. I had my entire life ahead of me – not two minutes, not two years, the entire life.
As reality sank in, I had tears in my eyes. In my dream, I was never scared. But now, in reality I was scared to leave my children behind. I knew that my children needed much more than blogs to help them deal with life. The way I had been bringing up my children till now, I was under the implicit assumption that I was going to be around, for them, for the next twenty years. But who knows what was going to happen to me, or for that matter to them, in the next two years. Who knows whether, in reality, I would even deserve a warning that time was running out?
Given this, wouldn’t it make sense to spend every golden moment with them and Pavan, right now? Wouldn’t it make sense to let them follow their heart, right now? Wouldn’t it make sense to live my own dreams, right now?