Written by Suraj Shah.
We were helpless. We were hurting. We so desperately wanted to quench mum’s thirst, but we were not allowed to.
In September 2006, when mum was on her deathbed, there was one thing that she craved. You could see the sadness and anguish in her eyes.
The one thing that she asked for, above all else.
The one thing her own children wouldn’t give her at her time of greatest need.
The one thing that the doctors refused her, no matter how much she pleaded.
Her mouth was dry, her throat was sore, she was thirsty, and asked for just one thing to quench that thirst.
She was too weak to talk or to move. The tumours had affected her whole body. Mum would try to mouth some words but we couldn’t really understand her. Now I realise what she was trying to say:
Water… water… water…
We would use an alphabet sheet, where we would point to each of the letters of the alphabet, one by one, and mum would blink her eyes at the relevant letter so that we could construct words and sentences together.
W… A… T… E… R.
But the doctors refused it. They said that due to the state of her medical condition, any water she drank would go straight to her lungs, and that would be disastrous.
So we were helpless. We were hurting. We so desperately wanted to quench mum’s thirst, but we were not allowed to. All we could do was to dip a swab in some water and then apply it gently on her lips and inside her mouth.
That wasn’t enough for her. That didn’t give her any real relief. She knew that we were all helpless. It’s just the way it was. We couldn’t do a thing about it.
We take water for granted
As I write this, sitting here on the sofa, with a tall glass of water placed on the windowsill, I realise just how much we take this simple life-enhancing liquid for granted.
All the coffees and teas and fizzy drinks and sugared ‘juices’ we consume… at the end of the day, the only thing that our bodies need, to stay hydrated, is water, and water-rich fruits and vegetables.
What holds us back from having enough water?
So why do we consume foods that are so dry and dead? Why do we consume drinks that dehydrate us rather than give us life. Why do we fill ourselves with toxins, rather than taking in the foods and drinks that purify our bodies?
It’s our sense of taste. Our need to consume and enjoy things that we think taste delicious. It’s our sense of touch. All the subtle textures we place in our mouth. It’s our sense of smell. The wonderful aromas we breathe in while preparing and devouring our foods.
So much happiness we derive from food and drink. More so, we receive so much happiness by indulging in good foods and delightful drinks.
The truth of our indulgence
But the truth is that these foods and drinks are temporary. They will not stay the same. They will not stay forever. They will change form. Foods and drinks will not keep bringing happiness forever. That happiness is temporary.
These external objects, that we think bring us happiness, are simply keeping us on the rollercoaster of ups and downs, likes and dislikes, greed and hate.
We are so caught up in indulging in tasty toxic foods. We don’t realise the truth behind it. That indulgence in things we consume every day are making us over-eat, over-drink, and over-indulge.
A better choice
In day-to-day life, lets choose:
- Refreshing tap water over cold fizzy sugary drinks.
- Hot water over coffees and teas.
- Water-rich fruits and energy-giving nuts over crisps and fatty snacks.
- Simple foods over complex meal plans.
Great links for getting more water in your diet
- Get Started: From Overweight to Healthy (by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits)
- The Simplest Diet for Lean Fitness (by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits)
Any other links or suggestions you have for getting more goodness into our diet?
(Photo courtesy of artemisphoto)