I once read an article about Christopher Reeve where he said that a tragedy brings out the best or the worst in a family and he was glad that it had brought out the best in his. I will say the same except that along with the word 'family', I will include the word 'framily'.
Anyone who reads this blog will know that Jaya has been like a rock. The task of a caregiver is unenviable. Sujit quickly accepted the idea that a person can be physically decrepit and mentally normal. Family members and relatives have been uniformly supportive. I have often been surprised by how much time they have for me. I sometimes feel like Julius Caesar: "When Caesar says Do this, it is performed."
My friends have always been ready to help me. When I was about to be discharged from the hospital, I heard about some obscene amount in the bill and I wondered how it will be settled. I learned later that a lot of friends had contributed to settling the bill. I keep hearing horror stories of people getting bankrupted because of some medical emergency. I have never had to contemplate such a nightmare. I came across a Greek proverb which said - "It is better in times of need to have a friend rather than money." I got lucky. Money is a double edged sword. Unlike Oliver Twist, I don't get looks of horror at my temerity when I ask for more.
The doctors, physiotherapists and nurses have also been very understanding. They have no problems answering my queries to my satisfaction. In the initial months after my stroke, when I was more cantankerous than I am now, when the nurses used to be bemused by my dumb charades, I used to think darkly, "Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain."But of course, I was being uncharitable. It is not easy to understand the actions of a guy who couldn't speak and whose facial muscles were not very mobile. It took quite a while for me to realise this. Though wisdom oft has sought me,/I scorned the lore she brought me.
And what do I have to do in return? Sometimes I may have to listen to conversations that I may not be interested in. Sometimes my request may have to take a backseat because something important has cropped up. Sometimes my communication may be misinterpreted and I will have no option but to bear it with a patient shrug. Sometimes I will laugh at jokes that I may not have understood properly - I may be feeling too lazy to ask for clarifications. I will laugh because I see others laughing.
Too little payment for so great a debt.