Though Hindu Brahmins, we believed in Christianity also, thanks to my Mom’s upbringing. Besides, I did my M.Sc. from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. I would send Christmas cards to the Botany department and the HOD. But we never celebrated Christmas with the fervor we do now. An incident changed our lives completely.
My Mom was admitted with increased calcium levels at Hinduja Hospital, Mumbai some years back. Pre-hospitalization, she had shrunk height-wise and weight-wise. Initially, the doctors called her Mystery woman, because they could not diagnose the reason for the increase in calcium. It could have been terminal stage of cancer or Sarcoidosis.
I was with Mom in the hospital during the time and could see the Mount Mary church from where I was sitting with her through the window. I told Mother Mary at that time that she had to save my Mom or I would throw all the divine idols Mom had collected over the years into the sea nearby.
It took 8 days for the medical experts to diagnose that Mom had Sarcoidosis. Thus began their struggle to bring the calcium to the normal levels. Eventually they won and after 24 days of hospitalization she was discharged.
The steroids brought induced diabetes. But she was fine otherwise.
Though 3 years back Sarcoidosis relapsed, she did not have to be hospitalized. Besides, medical progress helped us to get her treated staying at home.
Because Mother Mary was responsible for making Mom healthy again, we started celebrating Christmas with a lot of zeal.