Today is her birthday. My daughter is three. She has celebrated her day, the first half day in the hospital and the other half at home.
Last weekend was all about her, we went to town for her shopping. She has got all the things she wanted and desired: a white satin dress with pink floral spots, a polka dotted hairband, pink princess shoes, and colorful balloons.
She was excited about her big day, often watching YouTube videos of birthday celebrations and clapping her hands, uttering joyously, “Yay!”
We had planned to celebrate her birthday this time in Gelephu with her grandparents. She has not seen them for more than two years now due to the pandemic. Moreover, after the lifting of the mandatory quarantine, we felt it was a good time for us to visit village and meet her grandparents as well.
So to speak, my daughter came late into our lives. When she came, we got so happy and the feeling of being a parent was simply out of this world. We felt blessed. That’s why I named my daughter Prisa, which means 'Gift of God' and 'Beloved' in Sanskrit. She has been a healthy, intelligent, super active child, who loves her dad more than anyone else. She always looks forward to me returning home after office—I have to spend an hour with her playing, and only after that she lets me do other chores at home.
So, everything was arranged for Prisa’s birthday. But unfortunately, she fell sick last Monday evening. We had to rush her to the emergency department of JDWNRH, my wife and I panicking, fretting, and sweating. At 12:30 a.m. she was admitted to the hospital.
Regrets started engulfing me. Relentlessly. Undeniably. Brutally.
Didn’t we as parents do enough for her? Didn’t we give her adequate love and attention? Have we failed in parenting? Why does she have to feel sick so suddenly? Why God was unfair to us? One question after another ran into my head.
When the nurse started performing the intravenous therapy, my daughter cried in great pain. I just looked outside the window, staring at nothing, and I could feel warm tears flowing down my cheeks and my throat burning, choking. It was as if I was going through the pain.
That’s the time I told myself: My Princess, I will protect you from all circumstances, and you will never have to go through such pain ever again. This could be a father’s natural protective instinct.
Thankfully, after five days of treatment at the hospital, Prisa got better. She regained her health, she started playing, she started laughing, and she started eating again. We were so happy. She was discharged from the hospital with advice from the doctor and some medications to undergo at home.
No sooner did we reach home from the hospital this evening than we arranged a birthday celebration in a small way. Just three of us. She appeared excited wearing her new dress and sitting in front of her cake, candles, and colorful balloons. She touched her new dress repeatedly, looked at the cake and candles for a long moment, smiled, and then she blew out the candles clapping as we sang the birthday song for her.
And folding my hands, that moment, I wished her:
Wish you many many happy returns of the day to the loveliest girl in the entire world! Hugs and sweet kisses. May you live a long, blessed life. And keep brightening our every day with your sweet smile. We feel blessed just because of you. Love you so much!
Thank you, God!