One brave mom

There was this 18-month-old cherub on Tuesday last at the blood bank. I was there waiting to have mom’s blood cross-matched with a donor’s. At the visitors’ area, with more than an hour to wait, my son and I had this baby for company, perched in the arms of his mother. What was noticeable apart from the smiling face was the left hand fully swathed in ‘banded’ (as baby himself helpfully explained).
The mother satisfied our curiosity: they were monthly visitors to the blood bank for the baby to receive transfusions - Thalassemia was the reason, discovered when he was seven months old. The parents' awareness and understanding of the condition and efforts at coming to terms with it was possible only courtesy the Net. From the mother’s account, it seemed that their social circle is woefully ignorant about the affliction, so emotional support appears scant.
In no reply to the mother’s wondering at why at all this should have happened, I jotted down my contact numbers in her diary, with a mention of the blood group the baby and I shared: B+ (which, I always interpret, is a message for all about seeing silver linings in dark clouds, like for example, the baby’s ready grins that touched his eyes as well). Throughout that brief companionship in the waiting room, there was not a whimper from baby, even with the needle stuck into his wrist. Brave mom and dad, and baby, really.

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