The Connection

I do not remember much of life from my early childhood, but the little that I do are the most cherished memories in my head. When I have nothing to do or I am feeling bored, I recall those memories and smiles find a way to my lips. Sometimes even tears discovers a way out.

So this memory that I am going to tell you happened when my eleventh birthday was just around the corner. I was excited and so was my family. Mom had already started baking cakes and dad doing the grocery shopping for her. I also suspect that my sister was making a secret gift for me. I was ready to celebrate, ready to blow the balloons.

That year, no balloons were blown.

But. Yes, there is a 'But' and it ruined everything. Exactly two days before my birthday, before I could blow the balloons, this disease called Mumps pricked up my happiness bubble. Mumps swelled up my face and even a single movement there resulted in pain. And if the pain was not enough, fever and headache came bundled with it.

Like every disease, it hurt. It infected and stole away strength.It stole away happiness.

A celebration of the coming birthday was out of question, and this fact hurt me more than the disease. I was a child, birthdays are the best occasion we have.. I also realised that the efforts of my family for the birthday had gone in vain. The cakes weren't going to be iced, nor were ribbons going to be hanged. A mere disease ruined it all.

The swollen face and pain meant I could hardly eat. Moving my jaw was equivalent to touching a open live wire. I ate just twice in three days. Just in 48 hours of pain, I called death prettier than mumps.

When I woke up from a restless sleep on the birthday morning, I saw mom, dad and sister waiting for me. Mom and sister were sitting on my bed edge and dad stood nearby. The three in unison wished me a happy birthday. With all effort I simply nodded my head. I couldn't even say a Thank you or put up a smile. Smiling had started to hurt too.

I spent my birthday on my bed, crying and writhing in pain. It took me a lot of tablets, two vaccines and three more food less nights to recover. And when I completely recovered I discovered love. When I walked into the kitchen, it was in the same condition that it was before I got ill. Meaning, the items, vegetables, fruits all lay in the same place like before, a few rotting and others on the process to rot. I concluded, the kitchen hadn't been used much in the past six days, the duration of time I was in my bed.

Later when I asked mom about it, she confessed that she hadn't eaten anything when I was ill. Also, Dad and sister ate a few fruits only. When I enquired why, she replied 'How can a mother eat when her son isn't?' I didn't say anything in return, instead I hugged her and went back to my room.

 Actually, I felt bad. I still feel bad. I didn't only ruined my birthday, I didn't allow my family to eat for six days. I thought the pain was just mine, it turned out the disease was hurting the whole family. I wish I was healthy, I wish I was strong. An unhealthy child make a home unhealthy.

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