Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Happy Birthday, Janie!!

When Janie Janezokim was born on this day 9 years ago at J.N. Hospital, Imphal, I remembered being asked by a lady patient/attendant why we were in the hospital. My uneasy and simple answer was: "Pokpa!"
Her mother and I missed her 7th and 8th birthday as we were away in Vellore, with my wife undergoing treatment. Last year, as her birthday approached, Janie was so restless she rang us up very frequently from the pay-per-call phone-box which was kept at the ground floor of her auntie's house at Guwahati. We had left them all at the care of my sister Hawiphal and her husband Rev. T. Kampu while we were away.
During the intervening night of 2nd and 3rd February last year I didn't sleep a wink as Janie's pleadings to return before her birthday kept ringing in my ear. She was not aware that her mother's two-year treatment for carcinoma nasopharynx had failed and she was undergoing the second-line of chemotherapy. Like every 8 year-old, she just wanted us to be with her for her birthday. We didn't make it. But her uncle and aunty bought for her a beautiful birthday cake. Oh, she was so happy she rang up again and told us they had a wonderful birthday celebrations.
Like that February 2 evening last year, I couldn't sleep at all last night. The memories were so clear, as if they occurred a few seconds earlier. Her mother's pitiful condition, Robie's longing for her mother, all came back so vividly. Life can be very cruel at times.
Whatever may have had happened, and however painful the memories may be, there is still a place and time called "the present and future". Hopefully, my children will find new strength and determination to move forward into a brighter future.
And today, as Janie Janezokim turns 9, her mother must be smiling in Heaven, blessing her and guiding her, and making a new promise that she will be her guardian angel from now and forever more!
Happy Birthday, Janie!! May God's choicest blessings be yours, always!!

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