The word courage almost always gives a picture of some braveheart fighting odds which insurmountable to rescue or save those who are helpless. That is the view which was what I believed till I saw her, the frail old woman.
Her husband died in there bedroom suffering from severe breathlessness. Every possible medical equipment was there, only she did not have the power to stop death. They were married for last 50 years. They had gone through the ups and downs of their life together, faced every adversity by leaning on each others shoulder. Even when their youngest daughter died accidently she and her husband stood by each other’s side like a rock. Now after such a long time the separation from a person who was no blood relative but much more close was so difficult.
Most of their married life they had lived in Shillong a high plateau, which is nearly 1496 metres above sea level, with its beautiful weather and now they shifted to Kolkata with its tropical weather hot summer humid climate it was difficult change after nearly thirty years. They constantly bickered on every small thing which to outsiders seemed difficult marriage. However when any one of them fell ill other one panicked which showed that they cared for each other, which is perhaps true reflection of real love. Love is not just romanticism or lusting for each other, it is being there for each other understanding the need without even asking. Love is taking responsibility.
The death of husband saw her getting quiet. She seemed to have lost her will to live. Her elder daughter was also busy with her life and she little time for her just widowed mother. They say time is the greatest healer of all. She had seen loss of her younger daughter and now at the age of 75 losing her husband of 50 years everybody thought would take her wish to live. She seemed to have become reclusive for the first few days then slowly she started talking to the neighbours returning back to life. A patient of Cardiac valve failure she had had open heart surgery nearly thirty years back and now after husband’s death the breathlessness seemed to have returned with full force.
Staying in a big house without anyone to look after her seemed too ironic for a woman who had been cared for half century and tackling the difficult periods breathlessness needed really courage and we thought the guys out in the field with gun or the disabled conquering the tough tasks are only courageous.