The 72 hours

It was my birthday. I was out partying with my friends that evening, when out of the multiple calls for wishes, there came a phone call I can never forget. “Papa is not alright!” my sister sobbed on the phone. It was unlike anything I had felt before, panic, fear? I rushed, with a hundred, or maybe a thousand thoughts racing in my mind, breaking about a dozen traffic rules, I reached the hospital they had brought him to. I reached just as the brain scan reports had come; it was “Brain hemorrhage,” the doctor revealed, a term I had never heard in my life, and he required to be shifted to a higher center where he needed to undergo an emergency surgery. I held on to my mom’s hand, I knew she was shattering inside like I was, but she remained composed, as my unconscious father was shifted in an ambulance. We reach the hospital, and like in the movies, my dad was rushed in through the doors of the operation theatre and prepared for surgery as we are left to stand outside, alone. It was in those three hours of surgery that I came to realize how much I really loved my dad. The doctor finally came out, “the next 72 hours are critical,” he said. We were ready for the worst. Dad was shifted to the ICU, still unconscious, multiple tubes going in and out of him, in the midst of beeping monitors and a strong smell of spirit, and we waited. Arrangements were made, so my sister and I would stay at a relative’s place, while my mom stayed at the hospital, never once leaving my dad’s side. I would go to the hospital multiple times a day, not to meet my father, but to be with her. My dad finally regained consciousness after two days, and with a lot of difficulty he mouths his first word, “Parul,” my mother’s name, and that is when she finally cried. The tears of sadness that she had suppressed all this time were now overflowing in joy. This whole incident showed me the strength of love and prayer, which my mom had shown in those dark hours before the sunshine.

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