Zoey would have been 8 years old today, June 11 2015.
8 years ago, her dad and I welcomed this bundle of joy, without an inclination of how she would completely turn our lives around. Today is a day of mixed emotions. While I’d like to reflect on her beautiful memories, it is also a constant reminder of what life has taken away from me. It is said that time heals all wounds. How I wish that was true. I truly want to heal and live without this constant heartache. But, as the days, months and years go by, we only become good at pretending and coping with the grief. However this grief, like love, is for a lifetime. It’s constant, undying and dormant, like a volcano waiting to erupt at the slightest provocation.
These days I reflect on how my life has turned out. 8 years back I was so sure of so many things. I was sure I’d have this beautiful little girl to love, cuddle , hold all my life. I was sure of this little person, that I would wake up next to every morning and be the one to tuck in every night. I was looking forward to her going to school, college and becoming the “ballerina paleontologist” that she always said she wanted to be. I was sure that between the two of us ( Zoey and I) I’d be first to make that leap beyond this physical world. But this girl of mine had other plans for herself and her parents. Life had something else in store for us.
Just like that, Zoey’s dad and I were transformed from daughter doting (obsessing) parents to parents of two adorable little boys. As you may already be aware that we have recently moved to India for a few years. We have been busy with relocation and especially with two toddlers, it definitely isn’t an easy task. It’s been over 2.5 years since she left us, and it’s as if every aspect of my life has changed completely. I feel this is a new life, a life so different from the one I had thought of 8 years back. However amidst all this change my Zoey still manages to touch our lives everyday. Her little things linger on and make their presence felt in our daily routine. Like a little pink pillow that still finds its place right in the center of our king size bed. Her pink felt sandals still find a place in our shoe closet. Neither Karthik nor I would ever want to keep them away. Her baby blanket has become source of comfort for her baby brother. He hugs it , cuddles it and has it with him all day.He calls it his “blankie” and he refuses to sleep without it. Her baby spoons, forks and her “Snow White” themed lunch box are all a staple sight in my kitchen. Her legacy i.e. her favorite books are all kept safely, waiting to be read by her baby brothers. Her little Dora chair and Elmo table have found their places respectively in the boys play area. And how could I forget her pink checked blanket that is lining her little brother’s crib. Oh the list could go on and on. Zoey is everywhere in our household. Her pictures adorn the walls of our home, and her beautiful memories fill our hearts.
Today is the day she should have turned 8. For the last 2 years on her birthday, Zoey’s dad and I have tried to reach out and help other little children suffering from cancer. It’s something we believe our benevolent daughter would want us to do…. Help other kids with this boo-boo called cancer. So we have found a NGO in Bangalore that works solely with children suffering from cancer. This foundation called Samiksha, primarily focuses on recreational and spiritual development of the children affected by this disease. Children miss out a lot ( school, play time, time with friends ) when they are in treatment, especially if they need to be confined to a hospital bed. So this year on Zoey’s 8th birthday, her dad and I are taking drawing books, coloring crayons, sketch pens and other stationary to be gifted to kids via this foundation. After that we will most likely have her favorite ice cream with her baby brothers and grandparents at home. We may even order in some Gobi Manchurian ( her favorite Indo-Chinese appetizer made from cauliflower ) :).
Zoey, my beautiful, forever-5 , “Krishna” obsessing, baby girl. Happy 8th birthday in heaven. You have no idea how much you are missed and loved every second of the day.
And as always, love you to the moon and back.