While growing up, my parents got separated and I had this faith that one day things would change. I prayed I would not be the child of a broken family, but years passed and nothing happened, so I accepted my fate. My father was having health issues and I was worried, “How will I manage to care for him all by myself?”
But I believed God knows exactly what we need and at what time. My father’s health condition brought my parents back together. My mother forgot all their fights and her care and concern overcame their differences.
Years later, while I was going through a tough phase—a heartbreak and job loss—I was extremely sceptical and hopeless. I’d lost faith. Every little thing annoyed me. Even the care and love from my parents wasn’t a relief.
I started neglecting my friends and I stopped going out.
One friend sent me a morning text every day and I never replied. For months he never missed texting me. Then, he called me and I didn’t answer. He kept calling me for three days.
Finally annoyed like anything, I just texted him. I will not use the abusive words I texted him but I still feel ashamed what words I used. He didn’t reply a single text on that entire day. I felt like the winner. Yes, I am the super hero for my depression and I won’t let anyone interrupt my gloomy hopeless depressed retreat.
Next morning, I heard a vibrating beep and saw his message. I felt a bit relieved as deep down I was feeling guilty. But my ego wouldn’t let me break down its heroic image easily. So I texted him, “OMG you are impossible.”
I received a smiley and it annoyed me even more.
By evening, my mood calmed a little and I text him, “I am sorry for my behaviour, but would you please leave me alone. I don’t want to talk to anyone. You have no idea what is happening in my life.”
His reply came. “My dear, you don’t know what is going on in my life.”
He said his brother had a severe accident one month ago. He was in coma, and for the past month he was working extra hours to help his mom and dad to bear his brother’s monthly expenses.
He had a breakup two months ago that was hard too, “But who has time to worry about that right now. My brother, whom I love dearly, is in ICU.”
I was stunned to hear this as he seemed happy, always posting positive thoughts and music videos on social media.
He texted, “My dear, your fears and worries never make anything better. I am doing my best for my family and I still believe that only good things happen with good people. I know my brother will get better and I don’t think otherwise.”
For a moment I thought he was lying to me. It sounded like a film character. Smile always, laugh always seemed artificial to me. But he sent me pictures of his brother.
Next week, I visited his family and I was shaken by his courage and positive attitude. He loved his life so much.
“Life.” I realised I heard this word for the first time.
I was crying over a guy who left me, but I was alive. My body and mind were working well. I had a family; I had friends. All these things I was neglecting just for one person who left me.
Next morning I sent him a morning greeting and he replied, “You know you have so much love inside you. Keep some for yourself and people like us too. Don’t just throw it all on one single person.”
More than his words his character influenced me. I wasn’t jumping with joy, nor was it that film scene where the hero finds her clarity finally. But it was a lesson; a reminder that life itself is a gift.
Neena Thakur is a listener from India. She is a kindergarten teacher. She loves dance and spiritual books. She believes she’ll see God in herself and everyone some day, until then, she’s trying to learn what life can teach her. For more, you can find her on FaceBook.