Hold my hand darling, please don’t leave it.
Yes dad, I will not leave you and run away, don’t worry.
I taunt him and we laugh. It is difficult these days to say anything. Words have to be chosen carefully, for some hurt him and some bring tears to my eyes.
Both of us try not to notice that I am no longer the baby he’s trying to walk to our favourite park.
We walk, hand in hand; the mosquitoes accompany us, singing in our ears, disrupting the silence we choose to stroll in. There are kids on the street as usual, having their little races and whirling past us like tornadoes. I hope there are no big vehicles on the road today. If a car or a jeep did come across, it would take us a while to move to the side, for we can walk only so fast now.
My dad is someone who walked many miles, to his office, to buy vegetables and even just for fun. Given a chance, he’d pack us off in a rickshaw and tell us that he would come walking. To see such a man struggling to take the next step, just breaks my heart. Fifty days in the hospital is enough to take its toll on anyone.
The accident was not fatal, you should be thankful – they said. Of course I am grateful, because he has no wounds that time, love and rest cannot heal. That said, the daily struggle is too much to watch. He who used to wake up before all of us at home, now needs someone to help him get out of the bed. He who made the morning cup of tea for all of us, now awaits patiently till someone is free to make him a cup of tea. The one who held your hand as you took baby steps, the same person now holds onto your hand, his bony hands too brittle, the veins on his arms pronounced and the pale knuckles pronouncing the absence of enough blood to keep him going. I am a brave girl around him, never having shed a tear in front of him. For I know my courage is his strength.
Seeing him struggle every day, just breaks my heart. My only prayers are the sands of time shift a little sooner, that my dad wakes up completely healed and makes me a cup of tea.
He is scared of the swing, the see-saw too. He thinks they are there in the park to trap his little girl and push her off of it.
We turn back, do not reach the park. The distance is too much for him. We turn back, holding hands.
I tell him it does not matter, that we will go another day… his lips quiver ever so slightly, I know that it matters to him, but like me, he chooses to swallow his words as we walk home in silence.
Not writing is sometimes an epidemic that spreads and takes you down for good. To counter this virus, Leo and I have decided to blog on the same theme every Sunday. Today our posts are inspired by the photograph.
Also linking this to WritingWednesdays on WriteTribe where the prompt is the Wordle.