Voices

My Parents; Their Sacrifice

A photo of Virali Modi with her mother. They are both smiling into the camera.

We all know that it’s in a parent’s nature to sacrifice their happiness for their child, but to what extent does that go? How much can a parent sacrifice for their child?

We all know that it’s in a parent’s nature to sacrifice their happiness for their child, but to what extent does that go? How much can a parent sacrifice for their child? Is money, love, sex, and the emotional connection that makes them a couple possible to sacrifice? Short answer: Yes, for my parents, it was possible. I think to better understand their sacrifice, it’s important to know their love story and how strong their emotional connection was.

My mom was born and brought up in Mumbai, India; my dad, on the other hand was born in Gujarat, India and lived in Mumbai during his teenage years. In 1984 my parents met each other (well their eyes met) on the auspicious occassion of Navratri. My dad was seen playing the tabla, an Indian drum, and they fell in love. Kind of cliche, right? Love marriages, or falling in love, was really looked down on in India, and in some communities it still is. They had an affair for about two years before my dad left India to go to The United States, and my mom thought their relationship was a lost cause. After no communication, my dad came back to Mumbai and called my mom. He told her to look in the local newspaper for a matrimonial ad, which was the norm during the 80’s. My mom looked for his advertisement in the local newspaper and after much disagreement, they got married. No one knew that this was a love marriage made to look like an arranged marriage. Their love story is truly something out of a movie, so dramatic yet so romantic.

After a couple of years my mom gave birth to me. Gradually my parents started establishing their business in the hotel/motel world, and everything was great. Our bonding was perfect, their love was extraordinary, and they had an amazing emotional connection. After a while I became paralyzed and we had to sell all of our financial assets to cover my medical costs. My parents’ relationship faltered because they would only dedicate their time to me.

Eventually, we decided to move to Mumbai for further treatment. My parents started living their marriage via Skype and FaceTime. My parents were in a long distance marriage, which is incredibly frustrating, especially since it was because of me. They may not like to admit it, but the reason for their long distance is me and it feels horrible. I mean imagine not being able to hang out with your best friend, your partner in crime, and the love of your life. Imagine not being that emotionally close as you were before, not having a physical relationship (which necessarily
doesn’t mean sex, just holding hands or hugging is enough), and not being able to share the happy moments in your life as you’re having them. It’s frustrating, especially for a child who is helpless.

Yet, they inspire me. Their sacrifice for me is not going unknown, their love and the care they have for each other strengthens my will to break barriers. When I’m having a bad day, I look towards my parents and immediately I get the inspiration and motivation I need to continue what I’m doing. I know that if they can sacrifice their love life for their child, I can conquer every and any battle that’s presented. Their love is my inspiration, their love is my strength, and their love is my passion to move forward in life.

About the author

Virali Modi

Virali Modi is a Quora writer, blogger, motivational speaker, aspiring actress, 1st Runner Up of Ms. Wheel Chair India 2014 and a disability rights advocate. Oh, and she forgot to mention that she is disabled, as if that really matters.

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