One night, late at the hour, I heard voices outside my room. Naturally, I had awakened from a deep sleep and wanted to know what was going on.
Both my parents were awake. And my Dad wasn't feeling well. His chest was full of gas. Although he had taken a tablet for it, it didn't disappear. Gradually it transformed into chest pain, and he was sweating profusely. My Mom was fanning him to dry his sweat and coaxing him if she would ask for help from our neighbor, but he denied it.
My Mom suggested other people from the complex where we lived, but Dad still denied it. It was beginning to dawn, and then Dad finally agreed that Mom take help from a particular gentleman in the complex. Mom immediately rang the phone. It was not the era of cell phones or smartphones. But the land phone didn't connect to the other end because no one picked it up from there.
Finally, when it was morning, Mom, with Dad's permission, called a gentleman from our land phone, who was a family friend. He soon showed up at our home, earnestly eager to help. But it was way too early to go to a doctor in a pharmacy, which my Dad desired rather than going to a hospital. Mom and Dad waited, along with Mr. Hanif, the family friend for the pharmacies to open and get access to a doctor who could do an ECG for him. Eventually, Dad had his ECG, and both Mr. Hanif and Dad returned home. Soon after, Mr. Hanif got the report, and it was bad news. Dad just had his first heart attack.
Mom called paternal relatives for help, and they did come, but they were not very sincere in their help and escaped. Mr. Hanif had his job to attend to, but he suggested to Mom that she take Dad to a heart-treatment hospital. But Dad somehow delayed. As time passed, many in the complex came to know that Dad had a heart attack the night before, and they all suggested that he quickly get admitted to the nearest heart-treatment hospital. An ambulance was called in, and Mom and Dad left for the hospital.
Mom let us know, calling on the land phone, that she would be staying the night at the hospital. It was just the beginning of the heart-ailment journey for Dad. Two days later, Dad was feeling okay, and the hospital discharged him, declaring that he was functioning well, and he could rest at home.
Dad had his second heart attack within a month. This time there was no delay, and he was taken to the best heart-treatment hospital away from home. Again, he got better, and he was released from the hospital.
Mom, Dad, together with my siblings, and I planned that my parents would go to India and seek good treatment for Dad’s heart. The doctors in India examined his heart thoroughly and said that it was too late to do a heart by-pass, and the risks were high. His pumping rate was slowing down. Dad and also the rest of us were concerned about it.
It was a good hospital in India that my family chose for Dad’s treatment, but they couldn’t perform a by-pass on Dad but gave him good medication so that the color of his face returned, and he could walk and move freely. The doctors at the hospital said, “Just rely on Allah”, and there wasn’t much to do on their side.
Dad’s health improved, and he joined work. But his thoughts gravitated around having a by-pass and therefore, getting well fully. He ignored the advice of Indian doctors, which was the greatest mistake of his life.
He went to Singapore with a relative, his older cousin's son because Mom declined to go, and none of us were in for his decision.
Yes, when he went to Singapore, he did have a by-pass, and the very next day, he thought he was back to his old health and shape and went shopping.
Maybe the operation was successful. But why did Dad go shopping the very next day? That was another big mistake. After shopping, he purchased an air ticket to come back home. It was a long journey, and by the time he got home, he felt heart pain again.
Immediately he was taken to the best heart-treatment hospital in the city, but doctors couldn't understand which medication was for what, and Dad couldn’t identify either.
Dad was helpless, we were helpless, and so were Bangladeshi doctors.
My siblings and I had chickenpox. So, we remained at home, and only Mom accompanied Dad to the hospital. Even Dad had chickenpox along the lines he had surgery on his chest.
It was a very pathetic story. Two days later, Dad passed on. There was a funeral service, and he was rested in a good graveyard. And Dad sleeps and rests in peace right there since then.
The day my Dad passed on was the saddest time of my life. Though I didn’t cry noisily nor scream, I did have running quiet tears. That’s how I am.
There were so many battles I fought because Dad wasn’t there for me. There are countless problems for me at present, which wouldn’t have occurred if Dad were still alive.
I was closest to Dad among my sisters, and a piece of his heart was for my brother with whom I am also close until today.
I stopped grieving for Dad, took forward steps in finishing my undergraduate studies, took up a job, got a decent salary, and still went for higher education abroad. I have maintained a steady career for years, and I still hold dear dreams for the future, which I wouldn't have dared without my Dad's inspiration and encouragement while he was still alive. He remains a warm and lively spirit among all of us.
This story highlights some of the indelible enchanting moments with my Dad, who passed on in his fifties after massive heart attacks. It’s been almost 24 years, and yet, memories with him don't seem to fade. Interested? Click on the above link.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Rosina S Khan