This morning I woke up to a shocking news. Rekha my neighbour had passed away from a sudden cardiac arrest. She had been busy wrapping up the kitchen work before she called it a night when she felt the pain in her chest. She collapsed and was rushed to the hospital where she was declared dead.
Life is fragile, but what really hit me hard is the probability that she could have been saved had she gone for a check up to the doctor.
I usually met Rekha on my way to work and we had a quick chit chat on weekends when I was not in a mad rush. She was a ]55 something lady who was always in a hurry, not because she had to go to work but because all the household chores were her primary responsibility, From cooking 3 fresh meals a day, a house full of in laws, 2 grown up kids, a husband who always insisted on hot and fresh meals and a constant barrage of visitors which meant she was always scurrying to the kitchen to dish out something. She proudly announced to me “We always eat piping hot rotis and fresh vegetables, I cook twice a day, my hubby refuses to eat unless the food is cooked right before his eyes”. I rolled my eyes in disbelief -seriously whats this with men and hot food, I wondered as I took out the rice from the fridge and placed it in the microwave.
To make this worse, the father in law was bed ridden and the mother in law too weak to care for him, which made it Rekha’s duty to be the caregiver here. She had been complaining of fatigue and some mild chest pain a week ago. I was alarmed and asked her to see the doctor but she waved it off dismissing it as gas trouble. “Who has time Myra I have relatives and need to make aam ras puri, will send some to your house too”.
The family looks shell shocked, its like the lifeline has gone away. I see her husband heat something in the microwave and gobble it up with tearful eyes. Is that regret over not caring enough for his wife or is it the worry that he will now have to eat stale food for the rest of his life?
I go to the kids and hug them “We never cared for Mummy, took her for granted, we should have helped her instead of demanding she cook our favourite pav bhaji all the time , we should have made sure she rested, took care of her health, we had stopped looking at her as our mother. Its too late now”.
There is little I can say, I am not stunned anymore but I am sad, at the loss of a life. I will miss the cherry greeting, the smile and those little treats she used to send. But I know I will be vigilant now about my health, make sure I make time for the regular check ups and spread this message to all my near and dear ones especially my women friends and family who often put their health last, but have to pay a heavy price sometimes.
Linking up with #BlogchatterA2Z
My theme for the challenge is
“A slice of life through Myra’s eyes” – a fictional tale of growing up and learning some vital lessons about self love, feminism, sisterhood, a working woman and the essence of being a woman in urban India.
(Image courtesy: https://www.nextavenue.org)