I am not talking about a woman who gave birth to me (my mommy is the best, I love her & she is my everything) but there are few other beautiful relationships that we don’t choose for ourselves & are chosen for us, relationships that we are not born with but develop them along the way & those relationships are equally important in how it shapes our life or influence us as a person.

I am talking about ‘Samantha’, a most wonderful & beautiful soul that happened to me when I was desperately in need of a light. She & I were worlds apart separated by million miles & a completely different cultural backgrounds yet we connected,in ways that is difficult to explain & are certainly not enough to put in words but I will try because she deserves to be known & appreciated in all the ways possible.

We met each other through a online game (and it was totally an unusual platform for both of us). The game was to make different words from the alphabets given where you will be competing worldwide, you are matched with someone & whoever makes more words in a minute wins. I am huge fan of such games. Well we were randomly matched one day, played & that was it.Next time,another night, after like a week, I was on my bed tossing & turning but was not able to sleep, that was the period of my life when I was figuring out a lot of things personally, that was also the time when I was struggling with PCOS, I hated the way I looked & felt, the pressure of studies in medical school & I was started on this new medication which made me feel worst,mostly depressed (it was later that I found out about this side effect) but until then I couldn’t figure out why I felt the way I did, I felt absolutely helpless & hopeless. If you have ever been there, you know what I am talking about. That was the night when I had all these feelings altogether, which is why I couldn’t sleep. I looked at my clock & it was 3 am, I knew I had to wake up early, I was posted in the department of medicine & they were very particular about students being on time. I checked my phone & found a invite, for the game, we were matched again & I said why the hell not? I was anyways frustrated, If I won, I might actually feel a little better so I accepted.

Aaaaand I did win & it was not just the game that I won but her, for lifetime, she immediately texted me saying ‘good game, excellent speed’. I told her I am just a frustrated 23 year old doctor ‘to be’ from India & she said she is surprised to know that English is not my first language because I am playing really well, which I found to be a huge compliment, specially that night, when I literally felt nothing good about myself, I needed that. I smiled & we chatted for a while. She told me she belonged to Arkansas, USA, is married for 18 years & a paramedic with a long time experience in the field of emergency medicine. I was so glad I found her.It was not long before we shared more of our life details with each other, as I mentioned, I instantly connected to her, partly because she uplifted my spirits when I was extremely restless & partly because there was no one around me that I wanted to talk to, people I see everyday or any of my friends for that matter at that particular time. She was a total stranger, to me or things I have been going through & knew nothing about my life, it was comparatively easier to talk to her & I guess she felt the same. We exchanged our mail IDs, got closer over the time & eventually it became my routine to talk to her. Because of the different time zones, I always woke up to her incredibly inspiring mails that used to make my days & I mostly replied to her when she was getting ready for bed most often in the nights. We developed this extremely satisfying relationship with each other. I learnt a lot from her experience, she always helped me before my exams specially during clinicals. There were times when I didn’t feel like studying & wanted to give up, she would send songs to motivate me. She would tell what movies to watch when I desperately needed a break. Point is she was there, all the time,during my most rough years, if not personally, just a text away. Always. Sometimes you can’t explain why things happen & turn out the way they do & how someone you just know becomes one of the most important person in your life. I never thought I would be a part of such beautiful & amazing relationship until it happened.

She was a mother to me, a mentor, a friend with whom I could talk about almost anything & I knew I would be understood. She taught me about her beautiful country, United States Of America, I love that place & people automatically because it is where she belongs. She taught me more about southern culture or how people & relationship we developed with them are far more important than any other materialistic things, that we are all a part of one big family, looking for more or less the same things. I could swear by her stand on politics, world history & choices of books she’d recommend. She helped me pick up a dress online when I went out with my friends to pub for the first time, would always tell me to have fun & not just study. I remember one of her mails where she wrote-

Here’s a little not-so-secret for you. Your parents & friends do not expect you to never make a mistake, they do not believe you will never skip a class or go out with friends & have fun, I promise. You are at university & not married or a parent yet, this is the time for you to make mistakes, enjoy while you can. Time flies by. You will be 40 & I will be 55, with any luck we will still be e-mailing each other, just remember one lesson— everything in moderation.

That is how she was, graceful,kindhearted & loving. She changed me into a beautiful person. Gave me so much love that I couldn’t possibly give her back. We had our time in each other’s life until she passed away this December & left me alone all over again. I have a beautiful supportive family, wonderful friends & people in my life, I have been very lucky but her presence will always be missed in my life,in just a matter of few years she created such a special place in my heart, had such profound impact on the way I think, the kind of conversation that I could have with her, I can’t possibly with anyone else. She was my 3am friend. She was my fixer. Just a random ‘hi doll’ from her used to brighten up my day like nothing else. In spite of the differences we shared, in terms of cultural boundaries & beliefs, we were best of friends, sharing our day today life. She molded words exactly how she needed ’em at my age, she would say, when I wondered how she gets me so well, she used to tell we are so similar in our hearts & mind that it becomes easy to connect. She even named me Grace Kay Paul.We exchanged Christmas gifts as well,this year. Can you believe all this when we didn’t actually meet?

That’s the kind of bond we had. I will always regret that I didn’t get to hug her or got to spend a day together like how we dreamt, shopping, drinking, chilling together, talking about life, love & freedom (our favorite discussions).I can never forget that night, I was restless, not able to sleep,took my phone, checked her last message which was two days ago, she wrote “they are to experience a disturbance in the weather so if she doesn’t reply, I shouldn’t worry, she will find me as soon as she can”.I was wondering because I almost never woke up without a text from her not saying good morning sweetheart/have a good day/ma loves ya, there was always something, but this time,nothing, I logged into my facebook account only to find her wall full of ‘you will be missed’ posts. I couldn’t believe my eyes & tried reaching pa (her absolutely amazing husband whom she loved very much) but couldn’t. I cried myself to sleep those days, suffocated, no one will ever call me doll again.Its difficult to believe that she is gone, I still wake up in the middle of the night & check my phone unknowingly.

There’s a part of me that still aches & longs to have her. You may think it will get easier with time specially because I didn’t meet her but I wish, I could have seen her just once, how she talked ,laughed or lived. I just wish. Because that’s the only thing I can do. I have her in the audios, mails & messages she sent me, that helps & I see her in my dreams often but that is it. She went, in the blink of an eye, just like she had come in my life. I often told her, she is my angel sent by God & she will stay my guiding angel for the rest of my life.

I LOVE YA MA! My southern mama, my angel!

Published by Supriya Tiwari