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The Citizen

In loving memory…

For my beloved Shilpi – You shall for ever live in our hearts! (Sep 4th 1973 – May 8th 2013)

 I still remember the Saturday morning of May 9, 1998 when I first met you and realized that we are made for each other. As we would often talk, that day and the following days, weeks and months, it felt that we had known each other forever. When we got married in July that year, we took vows to be with each other for not only this life, but for all lives to come.

It’s only now that I realize that being with each other has a larger meaning. Physically, we could be together only for 15 years, but you will remain in our hearts and minds forever. Till today, neither me, nor Khushi, my daughter and Kartkeya, my son, feel that it’s all a bad dream and you are with us and will be there with us soon, physically also.

I just don’t have words to say of what you meant to us. You were such a pivot in our lives that we can hardly imagine life without you. I admire your grit and strength of having braved this dreaded disease for the last three years and doing everything to make our lives comfortable until the very end. I feel guilty of having failed you, as I had promised that I will not let anything happen to you. I was scared of facing Khushi and Kartikeya on that unfortunate Wednesday evening of  May 8, but was surprised when Khushi told me to be brave and strong and told me that ‘She would cry, if I would’! I knew instantly, that it was not her, but you, speaking … It’s all because of you that I have such lovely children.

I know Gods and Doctors can fail you … but you will be with us forever … I remember how you managed everything in the past year…even with weekly hospital visits and two surgeries.

Without your strength, support and help, I wouldn’t have been able to do my courses at Harvard. You went through so much, yet your determination of not disrupting normal life and letting kids enjoy regular shopping trips and outings was unbelievable. I must admit that we were able to lead such normal lives that many of my classmates and friends did not actually know the seriousness of your ailment until quite late.

Me, Khushi and Kartikeya will forever cherish the times that we had, the jokes that we shared, the problems we faced, the smile that you always wore and the lessons that you gave us. You will forever live … with us … in our minds and hearts.

Keep smiling … I love you my sweetheart and will continue loving you forever.

Yours always,

-Abhishek Singh, MC/MPA’13