The Cruelty Of Illness

Two evenings ago my mother went with two other ladies, both family friends who my family have known for over 40 years, to visit another family friend. This 3rd lady is unwell and mostly bed ridden and has been unwell for a couple of years. However things have taken a turn for the worse. It is a nervous disorder which basically shuts down all functions, slowly one at a time. She first started losing her eyesight and then it started affecting her speech and her ability to move.  Her husband & son have hired a home nurse and two house keepers to take care of things at home while this lady has spent the last two years of her life in agony. For a long time she refused to let others see her, with ofcourse the exception of her immediate family. Other than her son Sujith aka Joji who is 2 years younger than me, she has a daughter Sapna who is a year older than me.

I grew up with Sapna and Joji till the age of 11. Since then I have seen them exactly 5 times, at parties and stuff. I’m sure they and their parents was there at my sister’s wedding in 1995 but I do not remember seeing them at that time. I think I saw their mother the last time in 2001. If you met this woman you would be struck by how beautiful, classy and what a wonderful person she is to talk to. She is kind, caring and everyone always comments on the fact that she is very energetic. She used to be involved in so many activities, other than with her husband’s business. She hosted parties for her friends and relatives and adored kids. I remember wondering, along with other people, how she always managed to look so young & pretty even as she became a grandmother – if you saw pictures of her & her daughter even 5 years ago, you’d be hard pressed to guess that they were mother & daughter.

And it is to this person that this awful illness had struck. There is no cure and complete paralysis is a certainty. My mother went to see her and had to excuse herself after a few minutes as she couldn’t hold back the tears from falling. She told me that to see her lying in this state is torture to everyone and she doesn’t get as to why this had to happen to a wonderful woman. I have no answers myself. Why does it have to affect someone so nice?

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