I have been wanting to write for such a long time , but just haven’t been able to sit down for 5 minutes to get my thoughts in order. Life has changed once again. Our family ( parents and in-laws) left for India after supporting us for nearly 8 months through my pregnancy and the time thereafter. Yes we are extremely blessed to have that kind of love and support from our aging parents. So all of a sudden I find myself fumbling through the day trying to establish a new routine for these kids. You can say, I’m a busy mom of two little but extremely naughty boys…. One is almost 2 years and the other is almost 6 months. And let me tell you it’s quite a contrast to being a mom to my sweet Zoey. My well-behaved , ever pleasing , ready to pick a book and sit down, Zoey. Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. My boys are my life. This house is filled with laughter and joy because of them and I am eternally grateful that they chose me as their mom. But oh boy, I do miss the calmer, less chaotic times when my Zoey was here. And yes I miss her. Plain and simple, I miss her every second of the day.
So Fall is finally here. I see the trees change color in hues of red, bright orange and yellow. I see leaves falling. I see pumpkins everywhere. Halloween is around the corner. Several of our Indian festivals like Diwali and Navratri are also celebrated in the months of October and November. So with the advent of all these festivities, my thoughts go back to her. How she just LOVED it all. The pumpkin painting, the hay rides, the apple picking, the Halloween costumes, candy corn, decorating the house with lights for Diwali, the dressing up in traditional Indian clothes for festivals etc. You name it. She loved it. As I start planning Halloween with my almost 2-year-old son, my thoughts go back to her last Halloween and Fall with us.
We had visited Barcelona, Spain, a few months back and she had picked a beautiful red colored flamenco dancer dress from there. She had been saving it for Halloween of 2012. But that summer she got diagnosed with the worst pediatric brain cancer there is ( DIPG ). After her diagnosis she spent all her time with me. As I look back in introspection, I am grateful for the time she gave me. Those 12 weeks in fall were filled with farm trips, pumpkin patches and doing things she absolutely loved to do.
Due to hurricane Sandy the town postponed Halloween celebrations to the first week of November. By then her tumor had sneakily started to progress. She must have felt its effects , though she never complained to us. She wasn’t going to let some stinking tumor ruin Halloween for her. She insisted on going trick-or-treating as a flamenco dancer with her father. She held her dad’s hand and went to a few houses, and said trick-or-treat with a huge smile on her face. This was about 15 days before she passed away.
Also the last Diwali with her is something that Karthik and I will always cherish….. It was around the 13th of November ( 12 days before she passed away). It had been confirmed by an MRI that my baby would die soon. It could be days, weeks or months …but the tumor was growing aggressively. We had just returned home, disgusted feeling completely hopeless, from that MRI. We were supposed to celebrate Diwali that evening, but given the circumstances, no one seemed to be in a mood. My girl was surprised. She insisting on lighting diyas all over the house. It was Diwali and how could we just sit around and not do anything. It was her first and last Diwali with her baby brother.
Here are a few pictures from the last Fall with my Zozo.
My girl who lived life to the fullest, made every moment count and didn’t let that monster dictate terms to her. My girl, who showed me what true strength, courage and patience was. Yes my super hero, my inspiration and my one and only one Zozo.
Love you always and forever,