Family Values.

“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”
~ Albert Schweitzer

I travelled 300 Kms to and fro on Saturday to visit some cousins.

Two and their respective families from my maternal side and one from my paternal side. The latter was to meet him because I was going to meet the former any way.

This post is about three cousins from the maternal side and their wives.

There is a brother who is the eldest of the three, who has alienated himself from the family and has had nothing to do with the mother except to very gladly accept his share of the proceeds of the sale of a property that the three sons inherited.

My cousins’ mother, my aunt,  has been bed ridden with Cerebellar Ataxia. One, the younger of the two and his wife, apart from bringing up two young children have been looking after her for the past twenty years.

The elder, a doctor and his wife, also a doctor, are settled in the USA and have an autistic son, but have been regularly visiting India to be of whatever support they can to the younger family.

After many years of trying, the doctor brother has been able to get a permanent resident visa to take his mother with him to the USA which under the circumstances is remarkable. Had he simply not done anything, the mother would have stayed on in India and would have been looked after by the younger brother and his remarkable wife.

It is a measure of his character and that of his wife’s that they both have done everything possible to take the invalid mother with them to the USA where she is most likely to die. All the more remarkable considering their involvement in bringing up a grown up autistic son at home.

I am overwhelmed  by these people.  They are living examples of family values.  I am grateful to have them in my life.

Care Giving.

Last Saturday, I had gone to visit two of my cousins who live in Navi Mumbai. In English, that is New Bombay. It is a series of townships on the mainland across the Arabian sea, to Mumbai. From my home, the farther point where one cousin lives is 160 Kms.

One of my cousins, 78 years old has been down with cerebellar ataxia. This matter came to my knowledge because I wrote about euthanasia in my blog in December 2009. You will get an idea about the matter if you read all the comments on that post, particularly from two nephews and my responses to them.

Since then, whenever I can find an excuse, I visit her at her son’s residence and this visit was one such.

I was completely overwhelmed with two conflicting emotions during my visit. The first one was that she was better, but still so dependent on others for the slightest of movements. For someone who played an important role in my childhood as my Hindi teacher and elder sister, to be in such a helpless condition was very disturbing. She was however quite cheerful and glad to see me and even scolded me for not staying for longer. I could not bear to see her in that condition.

The second emotion was one of such high respect and admiration for her 44 year old son and 42 year old daughter in law, who despite the demands of bringing up two young children and having to manage a career and home, give such excellent care to her. I was amazed at the gentle way that my cousin was lifted from her bed and made to sit on a wheel chair to be given her lunch by her daughter in law. The love, affection and patience was simply awesome.

I can do little to help them in anyway other than give moral support and any other support that they ask.

This post is my tribute to those two intrepid souls who sacrifice so much to look after my cousin. I bless them for what they are doing.

Vignesh and Kamini, the two of you are amazing young people. Know that and also that you are admired and appreciated by me and other members of the family who know what you are doing. Do not hesitate to shout for help of any kind that I can give. Know also that there is a lot of love coming your way.