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  • Aami Patel

the moment where my life changed


Hello Rajas and Ranis,


There are so many thoughts and stories I have to share that I’ve experienced throughout my life but I think that the best way to start this blog is talking about one of the biggest pivotal moments of my life. The moment where my life fell apart but from there I was able to find everything I ever wanted. I want these posts to be RAW, UNEDITED, and completely from my heart.


Before I got where I am today, and believe me I’m still nowhere near where I want to be; I still have so much more I want to accomplish but I’m taking it one step at a time.


Trigger Warning: Grief.


It was 2am in the morning. I woke up to a phone call from my mom. I almost didn’t pick up because it was 2am and I had work. I thought to myself, I can call her back at 8am on my way to work. But a thought quickly came to me, “Wait, it’s 2am she would never call me unless something is going on.” I picked up to my mom crying and barely able to speak words.


Your dad, he had a heart attack..He’s headed to the hospital…Come home.” I told her I’m on my way and jumped out of bed waking up my roommates. My roommates walked in asking what’s going on and I told them. They just stared at me with wide eyes while I threw things into my bag.


I sent a text to my office manager updating her and I told my roommates I’ll talk to them later then ran out the door. The next 5 hours all kinds of thoughts and worries ran through my head. I thought about all the things I’d nag him about and tell him once I got there.


I thought back to earlier in the year where I just graduated and both my parents convinced me to go to India with them. A time I look back often and extremely grateful I got to do that. I remember at one point I found hospital documents tucked away in our car. Medical documents for my dad but I couldn’t read Gujarati. I just saw a picture of a heart and I got concerned. I brought it up at breakfast asking what it was. My mom automatically snapped at my dad asking if he was okay. He went on the defensive and told her he’s 100% and the doctor didn’t know what he was talking about.


I remember nagging him for months after to get tests done in America to confirm it was nothing. I’ve worked in healthcare for so long and something felt off. But we’d always end up fighting and not talking to each other. I was exhausted.


The two weeks leading up to this moment- our office had an influx of patients and as a result I stopped calling my parents after work. I wanted nothing more than to turn off and relax for the evening. Little did I know my dad was showing obvious signs of a heart attack. He complained of a radiating pain in his left arm to his back. After two weeks of my mom and my aunt telling him to see a doctor, he finally scheduled one the night of his passing.


I was 10 mins away from the hospital. That’s when the string of phone calls started coming in. First from my older cousin, she started off by saying sorry for my loss and they’ll be at the funeral. I was silent and told her my mom would've told me if he had passed. He’s fine and hung up on her. I parked my car and I got another call from another cousin saying the same thing. I snapped and said he’s fine. I'm about to go see him.


I walked inside and immediately I saw my mom screaming, crying, and clinging onto the doctor yelling at him, "Don't take his body away, my daughter isn't here yet! She has to see him!" Then she spotted me. She started running towards me and violently grabbed me. Through her cries she told me, “Beta, go see him before they take his body.” My younger sister peeked out, her eyes swollen and red. She looked devastated. My brother looked emotionless. I finally realized what happened.


I walked into the room. My body tensed up and my chest tightened. I saw his body. I looked at my mom and the tears could no longer be held back.


Just months before when I was visiting my parents, the morning I was leaving to head back to Atlanta I went to wake up my dad. I walked into his room and tapped him telling him I was leaving. He jolted up and grabbed me. He hugged me SO tight and started crying. I’ve only ever seen my dad cry twice and that was when both his parents passed. I asked him if he was okay. He told me he was just sad I was leaving and that he missed me. It broke my heart. I didn’t realize how much me moving away affected him. I hugged him goodbye and promised I’ll visit often and call more. Later my mom would inform me that he was really crying at the thought of giving me away at my wedding. He was in the middle of a dream when I woke him up and he thought it was real.


I began to ask, why now? Why did you have to leave us this soon? Why didn’t you listen to all of us when we begged you to go get it checked out? Why do I have to experience this? What will happen to us now? You have always been our guardian angel watching over us. Constantly working to take care of your family no matter how broken we were. You’ll never get to see me get married or see my kids. My kids will never get the chance to meet you and see how wonderful you were. I felt robbed.


 

The days after felt like a blur. My mom fell apart. The sheer amount of people that came far and wide for him. All the faithful and unfaithful people in his life came to his funeral. I felt numb. My siblings were stunned. I felt like I had to step up but I didn’t want to. I wanted nothing more than to crawl into a hole and bury myself. My job let me go because 3 days was all they provided for a family passing. I cried on the phone when my manager uttered those words. I felt like no one understood the pain I felt. Why was this happening?


The following month I fell into despair and cut so many people out of my life. My brother and mom left for India. My sister went back to Nursing School. I stayed behind to run the business. I felt like an empty shell waking up each day reliving that day. All the things I could have done differently. All the what ifs.


When I finally returned to Atlanta. I wanted to keep myself distracted. I refused to be alone in my thoughts. I never allowed myself to ever be alone and surrounded myself with people. Toxic people. I just wanted to FEEL something again. String of bad decisions later- I got on a dating app.


Then I matched with him.


Stay tuned for part 2,

Love Aami




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