The next night I am sitting at home, alone, watching TV and hiding under my blankets. I left Mom at the hospital several hours ago, so I presume she is settling into her cot for the night. I cannot imagine the sheer emotional strength it must take her to get through each day. Thank God Dad does not have something like cancer or dementia. But this level of nurturing and caring is amazing, it is almost inhuman. In so many ways I have always admired my mother, but I think she has now raised the bar. And I hope to be 1/3 of the woman she is in 40 years.
I flip through the channels and wish I could find some Law and Order, Frasier or Will and Grace. I turn off the TV and decide to read. It is taking everything I have to finish reading White Tiger. This book, while receiving critical acclaim has a main character who I find abhorrent. It is for a similar reason I cannot read anything else written by Khalid Hosseini (Kite Runner and Thousand Splendid Sun) – an ABSOLUTELY amazing writer, but his stories leave me feeling kicked in the gut for two days. Even now, months and years and later I am rather haunted by Hosseini’s stories and writing. Which makes him an exceptional writer, but the stories are so raw and depressing that I had to decide not to read his next work. Or maybe right now, where I am at in my life, I just can’t deal with fiction, when my non-fiction is tough enough, coming at me with one intense punch after another.
No one talks about what is happening to Dad. Mom and Desi Brother are much better with reigning in their emotions, so their style stops me from panicking. It helps that I know Dad won’t die from this ailment. But it is so hard to watch.
When my mobile phone rings I set my book aside and glance at a number I don’t recognize. “Hello?” I ask, delighted to welcome a distraction from my books and thoughts. “Hello there, is this Desi Girl?” a lively male voice asks. “Yessss,” I reply and try to place the voice. “I got your number from Chicago Auntie. Any chance she told you I would be calling?” he asks. I swear he sounds like he is smiling as he talks. “She mentioned that she had shared my contact details with you,” I reply. He chuckles. “Good, is this an okay time to talk?”
No time like the present. Dating is like riding a bike, when you fall off, you get back on and pedal until you hit a pothole or smooth road. “Sure,” I reply.