Availing this opportunity to say….
It’s your birthday, on June 22nd 2022. I had scheduled this post two weeks ago. But somehow, it disappeared. So, now I’m re-posting it. Hope you will forgive this mishap. It has to be posted, because I want to say a special thank you for all that you’ve done for me specially this past year. I cannot let this go. Yes, I did write a piece for your birthday some years ago here. But this last year was special. A time which was pretty scary for us all. I know one thing, I wouldn’t have been able to go through all that without your amazing help at each step.
In spite of an adventurous life together:
With a track record of a life filled with some real hair-raising incidents; This last year kind of takes the cake! I’m telling you; Your being there with me, holding my hand and being so brave made me so proud of you, and made it worthwhile to make the Herculean efforts needed to get well. You and your amazing sisters, and specially my Mum made it worth giving it my best shot.
Oh my God, but it was also very funny.
Remember that first day? You with your mask on, (having been to the beauty parlor hehehe) there was some stuff on you which needed to be protected from the sun. Yet you came. Wearing dark glasses and that white cloth all over your face! You were looking funny, driving and finding parking on the road, in that blistering sunlight. I was so diverted, otherwise, I would have loved to have taken a pic of you! ? This is what I love about life. The complete paradoxes that happen along with the heavy stuff. Here I was being diagnosed with cancer, and there you were with your face mask on.
You got an inkling…
Somehow, you got a feeling that something wasn’t right. You are very smart. Immediately you sensed that something wasn’t quite right, when I had texted you earlier, with some funny remarks. Well, you came and we later found out that our worst fears were confirmed.
Allah has His ways:
How my Allah keeps boosting me up is amazing. I heard the confirmation from a friend of mine discovered at that moment. Dr. Rakshanda. Wow. We were meeting after a time when we were both thirteen years of age. Now, here we were, she telling me I have cancer. But then she happily told me that it is the least dangerous one and I have a life expectancy of around twenty-six years. (Who believes that?) I did, because it suited me. ?
The Dinner we hardly tasted:
So, we went for dinner. (Because that is what we do, and we already had a plan.) The funny thing was that I was making an effort to make you feel better, telling you all sorts of ‘secrets’ and things to divert you. I love you my Jan. Really, what life has taught you within these young years of yours, is not what you get in text books. Somehow, Allah has been by your side, helping you absorb it all, morphing you into the awesome kid that you are today.
That tear of yours….
Sorry jan, I had to stop you from crying. (Couldn’t bear the sight of that tear that tricklinf down your cheek as you spoke to Dr. Farrukh.) You know, I had to be firm with you. For both of us. It is a fact I cannot see tears in your eyes. I can’t. It could have broken me down, and we couldn’t have that at such a time. So, I sternly told you, ‘I don’t want to see a tear in your eyes!’
Thank you janu for listening to me. You have been brave. Yes, I never saw a tear in your eyes throughout that whole year of my illness.
How you helped me…!
So, 28th May 2021 onwards, we set out on our roller coaster ride of cancer treatment for the next eight months. Days of testing tests, which you helped me go through. Thank you for being by my side, keeping me diverted while I passed through that bone scan, CT scan and what not. Slowly, I started gaining my strength through it all. You stood by me, as I’d wake up at night seeing you standing there, holding a teaspoon of some medication. My Jan, you were my rock.
Funding along with sisters:
Could any son or sons have ever been able to do all that you and your sisters did for me? I doubt it. Not only your being there for me, and taking over my treatment issues. You helped in funding the horrific bills of chemo along with your sisters. It was mindboggling the kind of expenses that were there. (Since I was already entitled to free treatments, yet we chose to get treated privately) You and your sisters pooled up to pay for most of my chemo therapies. Thank you so much for it my precious.
The projects you refused:
I’ll never forget the projects you refused from Hum Channel – which is one of the most prestigious channels in Pakistan – some of the most awesome companies, as you wanted to be with me at my hour of need. You never thought twice about refusing these. (Though I certainly did! – I kept thinking how we could somehow manage it all.) I guess, you were right. This battle we were fighting was no joke. It needed all our efforts and strength. No matter what the time or appointment, I found you there, I found your lovely presence all set for the occasion. We did try to make the best of everything.
Took over all hospital issues throughout:
Dr. Farrukh said it all, ‘I’ve seen many children of patients, but none has been like Waliya!’ He was full of praise for you. At first he had no idea that you are famous. Around the fifth chemo, he said to me with surprise, ‘The whole hospital knows her!’ yet he moved on to say, ‘She can be famous, for all I care! What I care is; how is she with my patient: I know that she is the best one I’ve ever seen!’ You managed most paperwork, helped along by Faizan. Even now in Europe you had done the formalities that you do, from wherever you were.
I decided not to share my news:
Waliya, you’d be there every day for me. I had stopped your sisters also from sharing our news with anyone except my core group of friends and relatives. I love the way you respected that. In spite of the fact that our followers were getting a bit suspicious. But we held on to our secret, till I got cancer free. Then we shared it. But till we were going through the treatments and I was not ‘clean from cancer’, keeping the news between us wasn’t easy either. Our shrewd followers sensed something was wrong, yet we stuck to our ‘policy’ of not sharing the news. It was the right thing to do, I’m so glad we faced this horrific thing in our own way. Now, we can help others too.
I love how reliable you are, how you understand the gravity of a situation and how you respond in the most responsible way. In such situations you cannot afford to lose your nerve. You’ve got to have nerve and grit. And my child, you have shown plenty of it. I love you for it, and I’m so proud of you.
As I write, you are in Europe with Faizan. Today you are meeting my friend Natascha. I’m so happy for you. I also had my Skardu trip recently. We needed to relax and celebrate all that we’ve been through.
My prayers and best wishes:
My prayers and wishes for you are doubled especially due to your caring of me so much when I needed you the most. You not only cared in person, but financially too with your sisters. It means the world to me.
Stay blessed my jan. I love you and my prayers will always be with you, for you are the kind of child that every parent prays for!
Happy birthday, wishing for you a beautiful long, healthy life full of lovely surprises, and lots of happy moments to cherish. Love you so much.
Stay blessed, my Child.