While growing up I never ever realized how blessed I was having both my parents around me. I was born and brought up in a simple middle-class family of North India. We were three sisters and mom-dad in our happy little family. In conservative Indian society, generally having no male child is considered a shame for the parents. So, my parents were constantly shamed and ridiculed by almost everyone around them including close relatives and friends. They were often asked silly questions like how will you marry off your three daughters? Implying you will require lots of money for the same which you won’t be able to arrange! Don’t focus on their education, rather save money for their marriage. Who will look after you when you grow old? Who will cremate you after your death and so many more disheartening taunts my father and mother were made to hear. But my parents never made us feel like they were not happy with our birth because we were all girls who are considered a burden by the society around! Such were my mom dad absolute rebels in a ruthless and highly conservative society. We obviously adored them.
Though we were not rich, still our mom’s dad made sure we were looked after well. They fulfilled all our wishes. Brought new dresses, toys, and chocolates for us often. We were also always encouraged to study hard and score good marks in the exams. My dad believed if girls are given the opportunity to study they can notch top posts and get the same respect in the society as a well-earning boy gets. So, he always asked us to give our best in our academics and not to worry about finances, books, or coaching. He had the wish to see his girls on top government posts. Unfortunately, none of us could fulfill his dream. But we all got higher education and that has always helped us in our lives. My mom was also a very strong woman. She herself broke the stereotypes every day in her life. She was a rough and tough lady taking care of all her daughters, managing the household, and going to a job and doing all other works like paying bills, collecting rent from tenants of our other home, buying groceries and many more in absence of our dad who used to be posted in different parts of India due to his job in the Food Corporation of India. She was a role model to us always encouraging us to be confident and headstrong like herself.
Time passed and we all grew up while our parents started growing old. We all sisters were married in good families and our parents became lonely in our absence. Though we were connected through phone calls and gave occasional visits to them the pain of separation from their beloved daughters was too much for them. My mom developed a heart disease while my father got an infection in his kidneys due to severe UTI. They carried on living with these diseases for some years. But three years back, my mom was hospitalized for severe pain in her heart and after spending a few days in ICU she lost her life to a cardiac arrest. This made our father heartbroken. Still, with his positive attitude towards life, he kept on managing his life without his life partner. But a few days ago, we lost him too to a sudden high fever. His demise left all of us to feel like orphans.
After mom, dad was only support. Losing him, we felt like nothing is left in our lives. We don’t have any parental house now, ’cause home doesn’t mean a brick structure, it means your mom and dad! Inn their absence, we are devastated after losing both our parents. The grief often overpowers us. But we are three sisters and find strength and consolation from one another. We all have been raised lovingly by our parents and our only aim in life now is to make them feel proud of us wherever they are.
I only wish you all remain well connected to your parents. Even if they are away from you, give them a call or video call every day. Visit them as often as you can. Do the things which make them happy. Buy small gifts for them often. Never hurt them, they are the ones who gave you a happy life! They made you whoever you are today. Feel blessed if you still have them by your side ’cause the biggest truth of life is death! Enjoy all the moments you are getting to live with them. No one can ever love you like them, trust me!
I got emotional while reading your article. God bless you and your sisters always.
It is heart breaking to see that in India, having only daughter is still a shame for many people. More power to you and your family. 🙂