Friday, July 13, 2007
She was married during her graduation studies and was expecting her second child at the same time amma was expecting me, amma's first. Soon after her pregnancy and delivery amma's friend noticed a swelling in her legs. The swelling wouldn't reduce and when the doctors were contacted, it turned out to be a sort of fibre illness which caused excess fat and water to fill up in the body. The solution the doctors finally proclaimed, was for her to undergo an operation and remove that excess fat and water. However, scary that might have sounded, the young lady had to go through the operation. Things seemed to be normal for a while, but then again her leg started to swell up. Operations and swellings continued for a few years and then finally, the doctors told her that her leg had to be amputed. The leg however had to amputed in such a way that there was no chance for fixing an artificial leg. After sometime though, even the rest of her leg started to swell up.
Amma still visits her whenever we visit our native place, Mangalore, with my aunt joining her before amma got married and then later used to visit her with my uncle to accompany her. On my last visit to Mangalore, I insisted I wanted to meet this friend of amma. Amma had always been afraid of taking her daughter to visit her friend fearing my reaction to her condition. This time when I visited her, it was not her missing leg that caused me to start. It was her spirit, the smile on her face, her zeal for life. I had expected the lady to be quite depressed with life. Our legs which we take for granted; I can't even imagine what she must have gone through when she had to actually lose half of one of her legs.
This lady who when she first faced this illness, was in her twenties and was just about forty when her leg had to be amputed. This is not just the story of her courage, but also the dedication and love of her daughter, her husband and her son. They have loved and supported her through all these years. When you think about how callous some people can be, these people exemplify how the promise of the 'Saat Phere' is kept.
Hats Off to this family! To the lady who smiles in the face of despair. To the gentleman who supported and has loved his wife even though he too was very young when she started with this illness. To the daughter who has dedicated her life for her mother. To the son who inspite of the storm in his life, has now finished his studies and is working in an MNC today.
We read about courage, we hear about love, I can say I have seen it.