This blog post isn’t about my Zoey. But it definitely is about a change that was triggered by her untimely demise. When you lose your first-born to a disease that has no known cause or no known cure and a 100 percent mortality rate, it gets you thinking about what you really want to do in life. It changes every aspect of your life. You die with your child and what’s left behind is a changed person forever. It’s like rebirth. You have to start from the beginning for your surviving loved ones. And you learn to reinvent yourself for them. So yes this blog post is about something I have thought about constantly for the last 14 years and never ever thought I’d be doing it without my baby girl by my side.
We are in the midst of a relocation. But this time we are relocating continents i.e. relocating back to the country of my birth. I still remember that evening in July 2000, as I walked out of immigration in Chicago arriving in the U.S for the very first time. I vaguely remember thinking, we will stay here for a few years and most likely return. Well those few years added up to be being nearly 15 years ( 14.5 to be precise ). Like every other immigrant from my country, the thought of returning back was always there in my mind. 14 plus years seem like a lifetime in itself. But not to me. It really doesn’t seem that long ago. I guess that’s good thing…..maybe. We have had the privilege to travel, see the world, explore places and truly enjoy what the country had to offer. Also during these years we have relocated within the U.S quite a few times. And I have no regrets about it as every relocation has been for the better, be a better career opportunity or a better school district or a larger home. So yes we are relocating once more, but this time it’s back to India. It’s something we have wanted to do for a very long time, and the only way to figure if we can do it, is to actually try it.
I’ve been told relocating back to India after 14 years will be an eye opener of many sorts. The country has changed immensely in these years and I may find it tough to adjust back to life in India. Well I think to myself if I could survive losing my daughter, does it really matter what my postal address is? Does it matter that it isn’t in the country she was born in and the only country that has her memories. Actually it doesn’t. Because I’ve come to realize that she and her memories are always with me, no matter where I live on this earth. If I can survive her loss, I should be able to survive any change in life. Again I could be wrong, but am hoping I’m not.
Someone whom I met recently at the kid’s park here in India asked me “Oh so you are back for good?”. It got me thinking, what does “for good” mean anymore ? It implies some sort of permanence. Not for a person who has lost her first-born. Aren’t your children supposed to outlast you. Aren’t they “permanent” as long as you live. So no I’m not here for good. Because I don’t know what that means. I politely answered “Yes we are here for now.” So yes for now our postal address has changed. Will not say it’s for good, because the concept of permanence doesn’t exist for me. The only thing that is true and constant in my life, is the permanence of change.
Here’s to hoping this change in our lives is for the better, and hoping we can embrace its challenges with much ease. Here’s to hoping we can continue to bring awareness to pediatric cancers like DIPG, irrespective of our geographic location. Here’s to hoping Zoey’s brothers love and thrive in India, just the way we did in our childhood. Yes I wish my baby girl was still by my side. But that’s not my destiny. Oh I know she would enjoy living in India immensely. She did get to visit it a couple of times during her short stay with us. I am sure my baby girl is all aware of this transition and is helping us in her own special way. I feel her presence and see the signs she sends wherever we go. … She is amazing, now need I say that. Anyhow my baby girl, love you to the moon and back. Your brother calls it “the moony” these days ( just like dada called you his “moony”). We send flying kisses to you and the moon every evening as we return from the park. Now you already know that, don’t you ??