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A Day Like Today.

A Day Like Today.

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Published by Khurram Siddiqi
An interesting time
An interesting time

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Published by: Khurram Siddiqi on Apr 21, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/25/2013

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A Day Like Toda
MORNINGI wake up today and find it not unlike the last few. My mother’s pancreatic cancer has been backnow for about 8 months, and though I returned to Pakistan almost three years go specifically to behere
in cas
it came back
-
there is a huge di
ff 
erence between planning for a tough time, and
 living 
thetough time.It is around 8:30 am, and my wife has already left for work. Just 8 months ago, my mother waspersonally dishing food out at a family barbecue celebrating my sister’s return from England. Today,she’s fighting for her life. And more than her life
-
her breath.We’re all fighting for her life. Perhaps the most di
cult thing to see, after my mother in her pain, ismy father when he wakes every morning, having slept for at most
-
an hour the previous night. Icannot even begin to understand how you cope with watching your life’s partner fight an ever
-
uphillbattle, with pain that keeps you up all night.In our home everyone tries to get up early and start the day as early as possible. We try to havebreakfast at the same time, and as this is Pakistan, we are fortunate enough to have a lovely girl by the name of Neelam who lives with us, and basically runs the kitchen. The need for home assistance grows immensely when the main woman of the house falls ill
-
I’ll give you that much advice.Unfortunately, Neelam is visiting her family this morning, and no one else can make him breakfastright now.My father’s all dressed up, ready for work but I can’t help but notice that his eyes are red from lackof sleep. I know very well that he can help himself, but I figure I’ll take a chance and make himbreakfast
-
and feed him as best as I can before he heads o
ff 
to Mall Road for work. It’s not evenremotely a chore
-
rather it’s a feeble attempt at doing for a parent what he’s done all his life for me
-
 sacrificing, and caring.I look in the fridge and I find some good stu
ff 
. I’m a huge breakfast person, and for me
-
misery is analien concept right until I don’t find the right kind of bread in the fridge in the morning. Bread snob,perhaps.
 
I find a German loaf, and I think of what todo with it. I slice it thinly with a bread knifefour times, and gather the seeds that arefalling o
ff 
it. I also know that my father lovesalmonds and nuts in the morning 
Good for  memory,
” he’ll say 
 )
, so I gather some of thosetoo.I look through the cupboard and find some Earl Gray teabags that my wife’s very fond of, and Ithink they’ll be a good change from the routine Lipton looseleaf 
 doodh pathi 
‘chai’ that is the stapleevery morning.I put the toast into the toaster and right then, the power goes out. This is, as I said
-
Pakistan, and we’re subject to frequent power outages. I don’t have a generator at home
-
we just have battery backed power supplies that run only fans and lights
-
not toasters or AC’s. I quickly turn the stove on,and find a very large
tawa
and ‘toast’ the bread on it. In the process, I burn one of the slices, anddrop one on the floor, which happened to be wet.I’m now frantically trying to multitask, and growing in my respect of the everyday Pakistani woman,in whichever form she comes, because she deals with her own issues, and then this
-
cooking. I pullout some cereal options for my father, because if there’s anything I can say I snob over apart frombread
-
it’s cereal. So I pull out some nice muesli and Weetabix 
-
I suppose giving him options willmake him happier. I’m trying to do all I can
-
to make sure that this man can have some semblance of a breakfast
-
just so that he’ll have the strength to get behind the wheel of his car and drive to work,and lie to himself that today is just like any other day. Somehow, I manage to pull it all o
ff 
.Breakfast is served.
(w
e
 $-
the toast was being done...
 )

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