Unbeknownst to us, a beautiful surprise awaited the next day..
Much to my delight, magic and ease was less than 24 hours away..
The bell rings and our domestic worker comes to say a visitor is waiting in the lounge. Who could it be we wonder out aloud 💭💭 (I was also in self isolation at the time and unable to see outsiders)
While I continued puking my lungs and guts out, mom goes to receive the visitor and walks in after quite some time with a beaming face: “Your student came and brought a gift for you”
Huhh?? My student? Which student? I exclaim dumbfounded. Who’d pass by without prior notification?
Mom: “S came to visit. She says her respected and elderly father in law who took up painting after the demise of his wife, once asked to see your blog / a picture on your blog without providing reason or elaborating further. After 2 weeks this was the result – a 3 piece joint canvas set”
(The painting was a reinvented version of his own imagination and talent but originally taken from one of the 2 below which a soul sister sent during one of her beach trips. It was the blog header back in 2018)
Stunned for words I stare at the canvas presented in front of me with utter amazement.
WOW! But like how? Why? The words stumble out in a disorderly fashion.
Mom: “S said it’s been laying with them since February and she only managed to bring it today. She didn’t even request him to make it, from the goodness of his own heart he decided he wanted to make something for you”
Subhanallah! I was blown away. Indescribable joy and astonishment. Someone who I had never interacted with in my entire life, thought of creating this unique masterpiece, as if to say – I see you Swimming Through The Waves. I see your battle.
A gift sent from above on the perfect day – at the best time – to reinforce a message my heart desperately needed since the night before.
Overjoyed and beyond grateful for an artwork that adorned the wall surrounding my workspace and enhanced the atmosphere in a room where I spend most of my time, I vowed that in return of his extreme kindness and lifelong impact, as soon as I recover and build up sufficient strength, I will gift him something special. But this didn’t materialize until 6 months later…
(Chronic illness timing lol)
In the meantime, his daughter in law who was an amazing student sent me a bottle of the famous and potent ‘white oil’ – a renowned herbalist mixed back in the days. As kids we recall having to drink it whenever anyone came down with a flu or tonsillitis. Strong and bitter but it provides almost instant relief to the throat while working its way into healing the chest.
The herbalist passed on so we could no longer purchase this medicine. But we were unaware that he taught others who are still producing the oil. Someone gave it to S when she had pneumonia and instead of holding onto it for dear life, she selflessly sent the remainder of her bottle for me.
My body was emaciated and the intensive battle to breathe continued for some time thereafter. But the first signs of improvement showed after taking the white oil. From no sleep during the night, I went to 15 minutes and then increased to approximately 95 minutes per night with a reduction of one hour in the morning.
Bronchitis + pneumonia apart from pleurisy was one of the worst infections I endured in my entire life. During that period nothing mattered, other than being able to breathe a tad bit easier. The seemingly little and otherwise effortless task of getting few morsels or spoonfuls down became the biggest day-to-day achievements. Gratitude took on a new perspective and priorities changed further.
Breathing easily is truly a luxury
At this point I’d like to send a shout out and token of appreciation to each and every person who gifted me things that livened the ambience in my surroundings. When you’re isolated, able to move within a confined space on a daily basis, stuck to a bed or particular area, all these things count in making the love felt, the warmth lit, and the spirit strengthened.
Fairy lights hanging aside the bed, meaningful canvases beautifying walls, quote displays, a cute pillow, and Qur’aan cube, are few of many gifting ideas, if you have the ability to make this type of an impact in the life of a loved one who is chronically ill. Improving the space we spend most of our time being ill, improves ones mental state of well-being and clarity.
Gifting also comes in the form of time and several other ways.
After witnessing the ongoing battle, someone kindly insisted on booking for us a 4 day getaway at a nearby place, stating that perhaps the refreshful mountainous air will speed up my healing process. God alone knows in what state I managed to travel there, but I was eternally grateful for this gifted trip where the most significant amount of healing took place.
Upon my revitalized return, the next 4 months were spent in long and deep thought over an appropriate gift of words to the uncle who lit my world with priceless joy when all I could feel was nothingness…