PLEASE GIVE ME A REALITY CHECK!

June 10, 2011
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I woke up yawning loudly, as I started to get up I heard a loud cry of agony from downstairs. I froze and images of last night slowly came forward. The flashes of crying, disbelief, pain came to mind. Suddenly I got up fast with my heart pounding in my ears as I kept whispering to myself, “this can’t be happening, this can’t be happening” as I sprinted down the stairs. I stopped short on the last stair taking in the scene in front of me, which was like a fresh slap of reality. My aunt looked up with a tear streaked face, and sobbed, “Where is your favorite uncle now?” I looked away at my dad who was sobbing silently in the corner for the loss of his favorite brother. I slowly stepped off the last stair while locking my eyes on my cousins as they mourning for their father, while trying to keep in control for their mother.

My heart raced as the truth hit home, my uncle is really gone, no more jokes about my wedding, no more joking on how he was going to adapt me as his own daughter, he was gone, officially gone. I slowly fell on the carpet in the family room in front of my aunt’s eyes, as I let these thoughts sink in. My eyes felt heavy with tears. I felt as if all the air has been sucked out of me, and left me weightless and useless. The only sound that was visible was the loud pounding of my heart, thump thump. I looked up at my cousin and caught the slow motion of his head as he mouthed the word, “no” as if I had any control over my aching heart and tearful eyes. I gave a quick nod back knowing he didn’t want me to breakdown in front of his mom and cause her more pain, than she already is in.

I wanted to leave, I wanted to run from this reality, but where could I go? I was defenseless to this pain, this agony, which was just waiting to trigger a waterfall from my eyes. I shivered as I took a deep breath and reminded myself that I have to stay strong for my aunt. I stole a quick glance to my left at my father who wordlessly sobbed, while watching my reactions. As my father caught my eyes, he reached for his pocket and pulled out a folded piece of paper. I looked up questioningly as he handed it to me, and was surprised to find my hands trembling as I took it. I unfolded the paper and stared at the familiar hand writing and taking in all the goofy stars and hearts around the short message which read:
GET BETTER!
MISS YOU!
Love, Pravleen

The familiar note brought back memories of the constant visits to the hospital for that last two months. The frustration of not being able to understand the depth of pain he was in. Day after day receiving small updates from my aunt as she helplessly went down to the hospital every day, while hoping for improvement, which never seemed to come. Always ignoring the doubt that would nag everyone about my uncle’s survival. Till the day the doctors gave us two options; let him die slowly, or take him into surgery for one last operation that could save him or kill him. We wordlessly agreed to the surgery hoping our prayers will be answered this time….

I was suddenly jolted from my trip down memory lane, as my tears soaked the note. I looked up to see everyone crying, even my cousin who now as the oldest was left responsible for his family. I let out loud sobs, knowing it was all true, that this was reality. Till then I didn’t even realize I was in denial of my uncle’s death. I closed my eyes and let memories flood back, as I cried, not caring who was watching me.

MY UNCLE DIED IN OCTOBER 2010, OF KIDNEY FAILURE, PANCREAS FAILURE, and Jaundice. My uncle is in a better place now.





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