The Last Fall

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.

Zoey in her favorite Indian attire: Diwali 2011.

Zoey in her favorite Indian attire: Diwali 2011.

Here are a few pictures from the last Fall with my Zozo.

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Zoey in her flamenco dancer costume :))  Last Halloween with Zozo.

Zoey in her flamenco dancer costume :))
Last Halloween with Zozo.

Exactly a week before she passed away at sesame with mamma.

Exactly a week before she passed away at sesame with mamma.

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,
Your mamma

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21 thoughts on “The Last Fall

  1. Dear Suman, She is in a place where a million lighted diyas surround her, happy and joyful and looking down at you. Many many hugs, I can not make myself read anything that you write without shedding tears .May the light of this season be with you all, many blessings to your little ones

  2. Love and light going out to you. I think of Zoey often. Those huge eyes! You write so beautifully. Peace and love to you Suman

  3. Dear Suman,
    I have been reading whatever you write and have shed a thousand tears. However, was never able to write to you. I have nevermet you or Zoey… The loss is always very difficult and for a parent to lose the light of their lives is devastating. I can not even imagine what you and your family has gone through.
    May you find peace and trust me your Zoey is always looking at you guys and smiling at you all… So do all that she loved to do and she will be with you guys in all the celebrations…

    Love to you and your boys…
    Be brave love… This too shall pass…

  4. Love n hugs to you. Each word you write gives me goose bumps and I tremble. Your Zoey was truly your hero and a brave heart. I loved the last picture above, and how beautifully you have put up a smile on your face, hiding all the pain to make Zoey smile.

  5. Dear Suman beti, what a picture you painted in front of my eyes filled with water! I lived the very momemt of what you pened down in your blog. But who says Zeoy is not there with us. She is very much there in every drop of the blood that flows in your vains and also has manifested her self in her little brothers. For me Zoey is in my thoughts and gives me the strenth to live and do the unfinished KARMA in this birth.
    May god be with you tolead.
    Daddy

  6. Suman – this is so beautiful. When I look at Zoey ‘s pictures it’s hard to believe she was that sick , Inspite of that she enjoyed and lived every single minute of her life. We can never u understand life sometimes and why our kids? Sending you lot of love and hugs.
    Anita

    • Anita , hugs. I think of Megha all the time. Yes zoey unbelievably active and almost normal till the end. That made her departure even harder on us. But we have even picked to go through this and we will. Hugs to you as well.
      Suman

  7. Suman- Zoey was such a little trooper. I am happy that you got these wonderful memories of her during her last few days. She will continue to live on through the wonderful memories that you will now make with your two little boys, and not to forget the DIPG awareness efforts you both are undertaking. Lots of hugs to you.

  8. Suman your words here are so precious, make me absolutely speechless. Having spent some of that time with you all, I remember her joy & spirit & the myriad of life lessons she taught us in that short period of time. The grace & dignity & love with which all of you (espy you Suman) handled that period is awe inspiring. Anay & Hari are adorable & I feel Zoey around us everyday. Let us cherish those wonderful memories with her by lighting Diwali diyas around our houses & in our hearts.

  9. I hug my baby tighter every night now…cant imagine the pain you are going through Suman…but the courage you show is inspiring…hugs and love to you all…your kids must be very proud of you…especially Zoey….

  10. I stumbled upon this page because I was looking up about DIPG on the internet. A friend’s 4.5 year old daughter was recently diagnosed with DIPG, and I hadn’t a clue there was such an incurable condition. I came looking for answers, but I am left with more questions. Why would innocent and precious children go through such evil? The least I can do is donate towards the Zoey Ganesh Research Fund…if only that can bring answers and hope. Also, keep writing – I am sure it must me bringing you some solace as you’re thinking about your daughter. Many hugs to you!

  11. What a beautiful writer you are! Zoey darling is so blessed to have a mom like you! I came to know about your blog through one of our common friend and have gotten addicted to reading it over and over and knowing about your Zoey and you! It has definitely put things in perspective for me! Thank you Zoey’s mom! God bless your family of five! I just want to say your Zoey is just beyond adorable!

  12. She’s so full of life. Gosh this is so cruel to the baby girl, mom and family. Nothing can heal this pain, not even time. Zozo will always be with you all. My prayers for your family.

  13. Suman – There is not a day when I don’t think about Zoey or Anya (Pray for Anya Anand). Through your blog I came to know about DIPG and being a mom to two girls , I cannot imagine what your are going through. Everytime your write about Zoey, I can see her in my little girls.
    God Krishna has blessed you with three children (one enjoying her time in Heaven playing with HIM) and the other two playing in your lap. You have done a great thing by raising awareness about this dreadful disease. I really hope one day in our lifetime we can see a cure for DIPG. God bless your family!

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