SUSHILA RAO: A lifetime achievement award to my parents

TO THE EDITOR:

Aug. 15 will never be the same.

On the evening of India’s day of independence, after dinner, my beautiful, effervescent fun-loving mom had to be airlifted from Mecosta County to Devos Medical Center. As we rushed down U.S. 131 with images of a hemorrhagic stroke progressing rapidly, the neurosurgeon called us.

My mom has a malignant brain tumor.

It has been a long few weeks, and yet this has been a time of growth for me as a daughter. Mecosta County Medical Center and Spectrum Health have been amazing. I have thanked God every step of the way that mom is alive and doing well. She has had several near death experiences, but as her neurosurgeon said, “God has kept smiling at you.”

We are all going to die someday and God has given us time to savor. He could have taken her from us that day, and yet, He has given us the opportunity to love and hold and enjoy.

My parents will celebrate 53 years of marriage this Christmas Day. As my father philosophizes, “We have had over 50 wonderful years together. We have loved each other. How many people can say that?”

Mom and dad want to go to India next week. God-willing they will be back this spring. These past two months have shown me how much we love them. Gratitude and love overcome me and a wave of protectiveness washes over me as the physician in me wants to protect them. I thought I would feel helpless if I was put in a situation so terrifying. God and my parents, love has stood by me and it will stand by Arya through her life. Love is immortal.

And so to my dear parents Sharada and Pubby Baliga, this grateful daughter presents a lifetime achievement award for the love, kindness and generosity of spirit they have shown their family and friends.

Thank you for being the best parents and grandparents in the whole wide world. I love you!

SUSHILA RAO, M.D.

Pediatrics Associates

Big Rapids

 

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