Heera Nawaz

Tragedy


3.5  

Heera Nawaz

Tragedy


Don't Cry, Mom

Don't Cry, Mom

4 mins 12.6K 4 mins 12.6K

Tamara, my best friend Anita’s daughter, was a 13-year-old young teenage girl, who was diagnosed with malignant cancer, which, as we all know, is fatal and incurable. Just short of her 14th birthday, she succumbed to the cancerous carcinoma. I have written the following poem, pretending that I am Tamara, who has just died and is in heaven, my purpose being to comfort her overwrought and shattered mother, Mrs. Anita John Ninan and to allay her foreboding fears. Mothers of cancer victims may be able to relate to this poem.


“Mummy, dear darling Mummy, dearest,

Don’t sit all cooped up on the sofa and cry,

I am your lovely and feisty daughter, Tamara,

Who, unfortunately, by a quirk of fate, was destined to die


Yes, the culprit was that cancerous carcinoma,

That ebbed my strength, enfeebled me and made me weak,

It slashed my spirit, and vociferously sapped my energy,

Making me, when alive, dread my future so bleak


I remember the day, I rushed to you with a headache,

Which persisted, and which would never quite go away,

At last, you took me to doctors, specialists and experts,

But, really, Mummy, cancer is too high a price to pay!


The cold, dampening diagnosis obsessed my mind,

As I remember staying at hospitals and leaving school,

Me, who had always been the erudite, studious bookworm,

But now being destined to just be nobody’s fool


Mummy, remember how your tried your optimum best

To ease, alleviate and relieve my excruciating pain,

But, alas, every sickness has its doses of sordid suffering,

While my emotions and feelings began to wax and wane


During these painful sessions where I longed to improve,

I was given injections and antibiotics, but never got better,

the damage was done, the disease cells proliferating,

As the diagnosis weaved its curses, in spirit and in letter


Chemotherapy and radiation were two treatments

That sapped me of my strength while I tried to improve my life,

I tried philosophy when I realised that my life was doomed,

Mummy, I will never be a girlfriend, I will never be a wife


Hospitals are depressing places and the medicines usually bitter,

While I asked God why was there this multiplying of my cells,

Making me always listless, fatigued, tired and despondent,

the worst blow being I will NEVER experience wedding bells


My drab, dull hair fell from my head in woolly clumps,

making me bald at last but itching and burning to fiercely fight,

Until I realised that it was a losing battle for I had no resistance,

I had put on too much of weight and was a dismal sight


My Waterloo with myself was approaching unprecedented,

As I wondered clueless and puzzled, “God, Why Me?”

Doesn’t a young teenage girl need to see and experience life?

And isn’t she supposed to grow into the best lady she can be?”


Mummy, the hours and minutes are flying past irretrievably,

Soon, there will be the syndrome of the `empty nest’,

Which implies that children will flee their parents’ abodes,

Really, Mummy, I tried really hard, but failed the deciding test


Mummy, tell Yohan not be heartbroken and melancholy,

For he is my one and only erstwhile blood brother,

He has to live and savour his full Earthly term,

While we’ll have to pretend that we’ll always have each other


From Heaven, I now see you wish the long, long days away,

Urging me to somehow miraculously return home,

While here I try to send you heart-warming messages,

That you’ve got dad and Yohan, and fortunately are not alone


Mummy, don’t feel overwhelmed and get emotionally overcome

That you have a mortal human body which is now denied to me,

Indeed, parents usually die before their earthly offspring,

But, Mummy, God made you so very special, don’t you see?


Mummy, my headaches were wrenching and unbearable,

Promise me, mummy, that for my sake, you will be strong,

So, when a flood of tears threatens to overwhelm you,

Take a beautiful Jesus Christ hymn and sing along.


Tamara died before her 14th birthday in the year 2003. Fifteen years have passed. My friend, Anita, has never gotten over it. She immerses herself in work and frequent Bible group meetings and bonds with other women who have lost family members. Once, Anita said, “If Tamara was alive today, she would have been 28 years old. She would have probably been married and I might have been a grandmother, but now I’m just a grieving mother.” Cancer takes the lives of people in the most merciless way, leaving heartbreak and pain in its wake. Indeed, Tamara’s life was a short life of suffering with cancer, it being without remission.


It’s been 15 years since lovely, studious Tamara bid us adieu,

Anita, my best friend, has braved a teary life via praying,

She dutifully distributes fruits on Tamara’s birthday,

“God’s ways are not our ways,” goes the erstwhile saying.



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