Today I would like to share a story of an acquaintance of mine. She and I do not converse much but her presence, her will power, her serenity and her belief inspire me immensely.
Lets call her I Mataji. I mataji has been diagnosed with a form of lymph cancer. I don’t know the exact name because I never asked her. As such I am a cowardly person, I am afraid to ask anyone of their sickness for the fear that how they would react. If by chance he/she starts crying then I am sure to cry along with him/her.
So I mataji was diagnosed with cancer, so what did she do? She smiled and asked, ‘what is to be done Doctor?’
There are few doctors here who can handle such cases and also the cost of healthcare is exorbitant, so she shifted to Mumbai to the Bhaktivedanta Hospital. Her husband says that though he was nervous, she was calm and in fact detached and consoled him that ‘what has to happen, happens, will your nervousness or me being panicky help in anyway?’
During her stay in the hospital she expressed her desire to be initiated. For those of you who do not know about the initiated devotee, let me tell you, it’s not easy. 16 rounds of chanting, following the 4 regulative principles, eating only Krisna prasadam are just some basics. But because of her eagerness she was obliged.
Her cancer was spreading, treatment was being carried, her stamina was the lowest but what did she do? SHe asked her husband to return as he was wasting his leaves, their son was missing school. And she carried on her fight with resilience with faith.
And there was a positive change. She was asked for some rounds of radiation which she said she will do in Bahrain and returned with her mother and sister. During the Damodar yatra she was hospitalized. Reason being that her food pipe had shrunk because of the radiation, she was not able to take solids and because she had to take medicines, she developed ulcers. During that time only the visa of her mother and sister was expiring and they wanted to witness one Damodar yatra and so a yatra was arranged at their home.
Mataji took permission from the hospital authorities for some hours came home for the yatra and then returned. You may say why all this strain but for me its the strength of her belief.
many a days pass by when I feel sorry for myself but then I look at Mataji, she has become frail now, with a scarf on her head and a 4oo watt smile on her face and all doubts leave me. Some things happen because they have to happen and they have to be met with a smile in the face and faith in the heart.
Whenever we meet, she will come and hold my hands in gratitude. My husband being in the medical field had used his contacts to get her an initial out of turn radiation appointment and got her some discounts. It was nothing much just some phone calls here and there. But the gratitude she shows humbles me.She returned back to her job, she visits classes regularly and her mere presence fills us all with inspiration.
Dear I mataji my humble obeisance.