Under the spell of mommy power
One day, mommy power stopped working. Just like that. In an instant.
The CT scan report in my hand quivered. But that was not why I could not re-read it for the third time. Tear-brimmed eyes don’t read well.
My 24 year-old son’s report screamed CANCER.
In the minutes that ticked by, I realised that it was possible to be dead, and still exist. And it was exactly at this moment that I could feel the slow but sure waning of mommy power.
This very mommy power that was unashamedly deserting me when I needed it the most, had been an elixir during my son’s growing up years.
There was never a time when I could not dive into the abundant repertoire of mommy power and emerge with an antidote to all my darling son’s tribulations.
Mom, my head is aching.
Mom, my tooth’s gone!
Mom, they won’t let me play.
Mom, I can’t sleep.
Mom, hold my hand, the pain will go.
A simple sneeze, or an unusual sounding sniff would have been enough for my antenna to go up and alert the mommy power.
A certain kind of look or even the slightest quiver in his voice over the phone, would send me on an exploratory journey for the cause. And soon enough I would have a remedy.
But now, all of a sudden, I was stripped. Powerless. Helpless.
What could mommy power do in the face of an aggressive spread that challenged the very notion of time?
I held onto the last few strands of the power that were slipping through my fingers, and I turned to my son.
“We will deal with this,” I said.
Days turned into months as he lay on the hospital bed, and a flaming orange solution spread through him. Tufts of hair lay on the pillow long after he had got out of bed. His beautiful fingernails turned blackish, not very different from the colour of the fear that followed me every minute.
Yet, strangely, I was spending the best possible time with him. We were playing chess, words-building. We binged watched movies and shows. We read together. We laughed a lot. We looked up recipes and had the time of our lives in the kitchen.
At other times, we sat together, held hands and talked about our fears. As he spoke, and I listened, or as I spoke and he listened, I felt the slow homecoming of the mommy power.
The power that came back was very different from the earlier version. It turned me towards another power. A power beyond every other. I found solace and courage in prayer. The new mommy power taught me the humility of acceptance. It smoothed off the sharp edges of my fear, and I became calm and collected.
A renewed energy of faith and trust coursed through my veins. My son sensed it, and appreciated it. To my supreme happiness, I saw the same feelings mirrored in him.
Mommy power was back, and how!
At the hospital, a couple of rooms away, a young lady was undergoing chemotherapy for a similar type of cancer. Our situations brought the families together, and we bonded well during the five months. Mother to a four-year old son, she would often be overwhelmed by anxiety and fear.
But on her good days, she would speak with a sense of affirmation. “I am going to be alright for the sake of my son.”
“I want my son to know in his grown-up years that his mom is a fighter.”
“I have promised my son to take him all over the world, and I will.”
Her latest scan is encouraging.
If this is not mommy power, then I don’t know what is.
Back to our lives, my mommy power in its new avatar is doing me good. It is definitely doing well for my son.
“Keep the faith,” the power says to my grateful heart.