She was smiling as I chased her around.Her legs carried her puny frame fast enough, but not fast enough for me to catch up. Yet, I slowed down to let her feel as though she was unreachable. But, when I heard her falling short of breath, all it took was two strides to catch her by her waist and haul her up on my shoulder.
The sounds of our laughter rang in my ears, even after she lay in the bed with the wires running around her failing body.
“You are a fighter, honey”, I told her every single day. So, to make her believe it, we played our little game every evening in the hospital garden. Her eyes came alive like the bloom of the flowers even though her life seemed to wane away into the horizon like the setting sun.
‘Only that the sun rises again’, I had inwardly despaired!
“I am a fighter”, she said when she climbed back into the hospital bed. She believed in me, more than I did.
The sounds of my sobs and the feel of my tears on my cheeks as I saw her each night, seated by the hospital bed, stayed with me, even after all these long years.
Today, I am on a similar bed reminiscing about the years gone by.
“You are a fighter” says a voice. Barely a whisper!
I half open my eyes and I see her in her white frock with red polka dots, a red hairband holding back her black hair and her eight year old teeth sparkling through her bright smile. But, hasn't it been thirty years since then ?
I am brought out of my reverie when I feel a drop of tear on my cheek. Tears that, are not mine.
I open my eyes wide enough to see my daughter standing . Her eyes adorned with tears, but it fills me up with strength.
At the age of eight she taught me to believe in the spirit of fighting and today, as a mother of a eight year old, she reminds me to fight for myself.
“I am a fighter”, I say out loud, with great belief while my granddaughter claps happily.