Well, my semester has finally ended, culminating the end of my first year at Lincoln.
While I should write about how the 2009-10 academic year went, I figured I’d write about something else that happened on the same day my grades were due: my mother’s passing.
Part of the reason why I came to Lincoln was to be close to my parents and help to take care of my mother, who had been battling breast cancer. As the cancer slowly and painfully spread, my mom never stopped smiling and we never gave up hope.
The last few weeks, which coincided with crunch time during the semester, were especially difficult. My dad would take my mom for extensive radiation, leaving her body weak. By last week, she could barely move.
My mom lived for others, always sacrificing her own interests for the sake of others’. I used to complain about work or some other things and she would just tell me to be positive. I never realized how much pain she was enduring between months of chemotherapy and the numerous anti-cancer drugs she was forced to take.
On Wednesday, as I was preparing to submit my final grades, my sister called to tell me that my mom had transitioned to a spiritual plane. We were so relieved that her physical journey had ended peacefully. She was with my dad, my sister, my uncle and aunt in the living room of the house my parents had lived in for 20 years.
My mom’s positive energy has filled me and gives me new hope for the upcoming academic year. Even with her physical presence gone, her spiritual presence is there, as strong as ever.
Ultimately, the most important lesson I learned about my first year at Lincoln was that it allowed me to spend time with my mother in her final year on earth. That opportunity alone has superseded all other lessons I could have possibly gained as a first-year professor.
Dr. Murali Balaji is an assistant professor in the Department of English and Mass Communications at Lincoln University.