Dear Decade-gone-by.

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decade sunset beach gratitude

(I’m a storyteller and I cannot resist the pull of weaving a good tale. I love to regale my audience, make them gasp at all the right moments; the words ebbing and flowing with a life of their own. Soon I disappear,  but no one notices, because they’re immersed, lost in that make-believe world. And when the story ends -stunned silence! Disoriented, the audience looks at each other with a smile, the echoes of the final words still ringing in their ears. And I wait back, behind the curtains, pleased to have been in their heads for a few, long moments. This might be a long read, but I promise you. It’s worth your time.)

My decade journey begins with facts and ends with a little fiction. And like most things I write, my journey is a series of letters.

Dear Decade-gone-by (2009-10),

I often want to stab punch you in the face. You watch me battle with a difficult pregnancy, bedridden with hyperemesis, losing weight and gaining blood sugar issues. You look the other way when I cannot forge a bond with my beautiful, perfect infant. Days turn into weeks, the doctor mentions Postpartum Depression, but you march on, dismissive and unfeeling, while I cry myself to sleep. Decade, I hate you with every fiber of my being.

Dear Decade-gone-by (2010-11),

You can be nice, if you put your mind to it, huh? That infant I struggled to bond with? You let me flounder a while before falling so much in love with him, that I often weep with joy. I’m besotted, smitten and all the adjectives in the world. And thank you for reminding me to take my mental health seriously.

You aren’t all bad now, are you, Decade? I forgive you and hope we can be friends again?

Hey Decade-Gone-by (2012-13),

YOU ARE THE WORST! THE ABSOLUTE WORST!

My son is 18 months old, and you stop playing nice. This darling, curly haired little boy, who loves bubbles and chocolate milk, is now newly diagnosed with Autism. The world screeches to a halt, and I drown in thunderous waves of anger and grief. Why my child/why us/I’ve-done-everything-right-so-why-did-this-happen? I mourn and rage, sobbing into my pillow, while my baby sleeps a mere foot away.

Shame on you, Decade, for wronging us like this. I hope you rot in hell.

Dear Decade (2013-14),

All right, so this is embarrassing. I’m sorry I yelled at you. You let me fumble, grope and make a million mistakes. Until one day, I wake up with my new mantra- Acceptance and inclusion. He will always be Autistic and that is ok. More than ok. And I have evolved into the parent I was always meant to be. Life lessons, dear Decade, and I am stronger for them. Thank you.

But, hang on now. Why do I feel nauseous? So nauseous.

Goddamnit, Decade, what have you done?

Dear Decade (2014),

So yeah, I’m pregnant again. Wow, thanks, just what I needed. Now answer me this. How am I going to handle two, when I’m struggling to raise one? And what if this baby has autism too? What if the baby is severely impacted/needs more support? What if he’s having a tantrum, and the baby calls out for me at the same time? What if we’re both sick and the childr-

Oh God.

Big breath in and out. 

In and out. 

I got this. We got this, Decade. Right?

Right.

Dear Decade (2014-19),

She arrived, all pink-toed and breathy cries. Impossibly loud and feisty, she’s perfect. She’s so perfect! 

Look, she rolled over! Spoke her first word! Took her first step! I worry, like any good helicopter parent, but she seems to have it all figured out. And the best part? She worships her older brother.

Dear Decade (2019),

We add a puppy and another baby (nephew) to our crazy brood. My children are 9 and 5. He struggles with emotions and finding his place in the world. She worries about Mario and picking the perfect outfit for kindergarten.Two chaotic, intense little beings and I’m blessed to parent them. They motivate me to dream big, and that’s why I’m writing so much more now.

In a happy coincidence, the words come easier, and fill up my screen with a thousand, shiny stories. I write about demons and darkness, heartbreak and murder. Of women, of warriors, new beginnings and hope. A hundred short tales and personal essays, in a variety of genres, flow. From the dustiest corners of my mind onto many screens across the world. I get my first acceptance letter. A dozen rejections. But I don’t give up and welcome more good news.

This past year, I’ve been published in the USA, India and Australia. This is my calling and I’ve never been more fulfilled.

So Dear Decade-gone-by,

Thank you,  for everything. You’ve humbled me and kicked me around, before dusting off the dirt and holding me to a higher standard. I’m older now, wiser; beyond grateful for this life.  And I’d like to say goodbye with a short piece of fiction. Words of hope and dreams for your successor. Pass the message along to the next ten years, won’t you, Decade?

“At the beach, our happiest place on earth. The sea rushing to fling errant sprays of joy on our faces. We’re middle-aged, slow and a little tired. Long limbed and brave, the boy comes in for a hug. His sister, dancing sun-kissed circles with the dog. It’s getting dark, so we do what’s important. Chase waves, giggle and breathe in the last sunset of 2029.

Sandy, we drive back, the children asleep in the back. I look at my husband, steering us home.His face glows in the twilight, lined with all the love in the world. And I smile.

This has been the best decade of our lives.”

With much gratitude,

Pavi

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“This post is a part of ‘DECADE Blog Hop’ #DecadeHop organized by #RRxMM Rashi Roy and Manas Mukul. The Event is sponsored by Glo and co-sponsored by Beyond The Box, Wedding Clap, The Colaba Store and Sanity Daily in association with authors Piyusha Vir and Richa S Mukherjee”

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About Post Author

Pavi

I'm a proud ​wife/mom awaiting my certificate in "Advanced helicopter parenting". An avid coffee enthusiast. A physician in another life. My hobbies are reading and writing, then nitpicking what I write. I also love running, daydreaming about the zombie apocalypse and getting more sleep. Mostly,I can be found laughing at my kids’ wacky sense of humor. I have this amazing husband and together we've spawned 2 kids. We live in California.
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121 Comments

  1. Speechless. I want to hug you right away. Huge respect for the determination you have shown and still continuing. I know it must have been harder than it seems to us. You have penned your journey in the most beautiful way. Count me as a fan of your writing 🙂 Am so happy you joined this blog hop and shared your journey with us 🙂

  2. All I can say is reading this, that if I am there at the end of this decade, I will definitely meet you on the first sunrise of 2030 to celebrate this decade. Big Hug. Kudos to what all you have endured and still not giving it away. May be the decade (Univerrse) has its own plans which us mere mortals are unable to predict and see.

    Heartfelt, gut-wrenching and an amazing post.
    More power to you cheete.
    Glad that we got you on board and we 80 odd souls are fortunate enough to read this.

    #DecadeHop #RRxMM #ContemplationOfaJoker

  3. Loved the positivity and the humour in your post. It’s easy enough to make light of things now, but at that time you may have struggled. That you persevered and now write about it with such honesty is commendable. It is life itself that happens even as we overcome the challenges and cherish the blessings. It’s really inspiring to read your story and know you as a person, albeit virtually.
    Read Shivani’s comment too. The song that played in my mind was ‘Der Lagi Lekin…
    Maine Ab Hai Jeena Seekh Liya’ Kudos, Pavi.
    Mujhe bhi der lagi to discover you but ab joh dhoond liya, definitely following you on social media too.

  4. I discovered you a few weeks earlier Pavi, where you were finalist and winner. I was blown by your writing that kept me glued. The strength of a parent solidifies more as they accept life. Your letter to decade made me see the journey you made as a parent and as a writer. You earned a fan, Pavi. Subscribed.

  5. It strange that when we have accepted the challenges of our life and made peace with it we are able to sound witty about it or even make a joke or two around it. I may not feel exactly how you must have felt, but I know this feeling of distress and then pulling oneself out of it. more power to you for being so awesome.

  6. What a brilliant post. This is undoubtedly one of the best in the hop. Such a heartfelt and honest post and you have beautifully penned your journey of ups and downs. Congratulations for being published. Wishing you a great decade ahead with lots and lots of happiness and more success. I wish your vision of 2029 comes true. Loved your writing and i subscribed to the blog immediately. 🙂

  7. Noor Anand Chawla

    Take a bow, Pavi! What a truly wonderful post. Beautifully written, heartwarmingly honest, and creative to a fault! Definitely in the top 3 in this blog hop. I applauded and subscribed to your blog, as promptly as I could!

  8. Read your post last night and reread it today. Loved it then and loved it now. How beautifully you have presented your journey and how bravely you have fought with all the challenges thta came your way and how to embraced your life is commendable, Pavi. You have got a fan here. Loved everything about this post. More power to you and much love to your beautiful family.

  9. Your post is long but not at any point I felt like skipping a few lines, I was so much engrossed in reading, loved your writing style and the use of words. Aso liked the idea of writing letters to the decade. You have been through a lot but you came out braver than before. You are an inspiration to mothers all around the world, keep writing. And I hope your wish comes true soon. Lots of luck and love to you!

  10. Honestly Pavi, I am little bit confused is it a fiction or your real story ( sorry, I am reading you very first time, so not ,much aware about your style)..but loved the way, you had narrated it. you have an amazing power of using magical words. highly impressed..with your writing style. I know, motherhood is hard and I could understand your emotions during second pregnancy.. many congrats for publishing all across the globe and wishing you much more success and happiness for upcoming decade. it is really great to get connected with you through this blog hop. BTW, I am also in california.

    • Everything is facts, except the last italicized paragraph which is my hope for the next decade. Thank you for your empathy – means the world to me! And yes, I’m an admirer of your work too, so definitely lets meet since we’re practically neighbors! <3 <3

  11. Like I said earlier, I am your fan.
    What a writer you are and you should publish a book, is my request.
    The choice of words spun all the emotions you felt and I connected with it instantly.
    Parenting isn’t an easy job and at the same time not a difficult one either. It’s the mind that keeps kicking us to a corner and pulling us back too.
    And the challenges you faced and the way you garlanded it words, please take my bows…

    And here’s from a certified fan,

    Also I love this user-friendly layout of your blog.
    Cheers Pavi

    • So true Meera. A lot of our challenges are self imposed and we limit our thinking to worries and woes. I’ve learned to rise above the nonsense and focus on the positives. Much like you, my happy friend. Thank you so so much for dropping by and subscribing! Love and kisses.

  12. You strong girl! I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to realise that you’re pregnant when your elder one is a special child. Acceptance truly is the key. You must be a terrific mother to have your daughter dote so much on her brother. I hope this piece of fiction comes true. That was about a happy decade with your family, isn’t it?

  13. Was this really fiction? If yes it was great, if not then also hats off for strongly accepting what life has given you in this decade gone by. It was an emotional journey in these bite-sized letters and loved your storytelling style. Great to know about your Global publications.

  14. You are a mother with special strengths . The journey must be hard for you but your acceptance and inclusion in life are the factors which are running your family . Great to know about your publications . Love to both of kids . To you too .

  15. I read with intense emotions as you judged the decade as “Worst”. Yes so many times we feel that the time has been unjust to us. I could find a deep connect with that feeling of betrayal. However I liked the redemption that you brought and it was indeed heartening to travel along with you in your journey! Keep it up!

    • Aww Janaki, you are so kind! I’m published in two anthologies by BlackHare Press, one by Fiction Quest India and 2 more that are in the process of final contracts with a US publisher. My first solo authored book is coming out and I’ll definitely send you the link for those! Maybe you could review it?
      But anyway, I am so touched by your words! <3 <3

  16. Oh, Pavi! I don’t know you personally, but I could find myself becoming a part of your life. Your words show your strength and determination. Congratulations on the various publications. Wishing you many more successful publications and loads of happiness.

  17. Pavi u have a very characteristic style of writing.. Your vivid imagination makes your words so much more enjoyable.. the decade has been nothing less than a roller coaster ride for you and yet the hopes for a bright sun-kissed day makes life worthwhile. may the next decade be the best one as u dream of…

  18. I have immense respect for the parents of a special child. Being a parent is tough as is. Being a parent of a special needs child is tougher. Your son is indeed lucky to have such a strong mom. More power to you. Thank you for sharing your journey. Keep inspiring.

    • Thank you and thank you! Special needs parents aren’t special, honestly. We have the same worries and fears as everyone else, it’s just that we learn to mask a lot of those 😀
      But yes, I am blessed to have my boy and I hope he grows up to be a healthy and happy young man! <3 <3

  19. Hello Pavi. Today I read you for the first time and fell in love with your storytelling. I really love this kind of posts like looking back with heart and soul. It was so inspiring to hear your story. Loved every bit of it, the idea of letters, nostalgia, introspection, motivation.. Everything. Lots of love for ur kids and best wishes to you.

  20. Paviiiii. Beautiful! You breathed life into the years gone by through the letters. A myriad of emotions and feelings – shock, anger, despair, acceptance, love and happiness ……. all find a place in your post! You deserve the recognition that you’re getting and more! Absolutely love this post……

  21. Pavi, I have always admired your journey and love reading your posts. This one is another such example. I loved the unique style of writing diary entries for each year and left me wanting for some more! I am sure you will accomplish a lot more in the writing sphere in the coming decade. You inspire all of us as a writer, mother and person! Keep it going.

  22. Anjali M Naik

    Such a witty post indeed. Kudos to your resilience and perseverance. You are a strong mommy. Loved the way you have articulated your thoughts. Wishing you more strength and happiness in the next decade as well Pavi. I have read most of your posts on a common FB group and I have always admired your style of writing. You are a gifted writer. Keep writing and inspiring dear !!

  23. More power to u girl…..may the force be with u…I can relate to the pregnancy and postnatal depression and mine became chronic but the autism must have been tough to take. Kudos for your positivity and how you have faced it . Loved your way of expression as it was an easy read.

  24. Novemberschild (Romila)

    Hey Pavi
    I liked the format you took to write your decade.
    Those small notes/points made it easy read as sometimes lengthy posts take up so much of my mind and energy to read. I know raising autistic child is very tough as I have seen one of my cousin doing it. Huge respects to you. Hard work never goes waste.

  25. Piya Gajbe

    Pavi, your journey is so inspiring and add to it, your never say die spirit. You are a brave soul and you spread the message of love and positivity through your words.
    Best wishes dear!

  26. Well, through this #DecadeHop Challange, I have come across some mothers and their stories that were very inspirational and your story is not only inspirational but unique also. You have a great amount of zest in your personality which is reflected in your writing also. Loved it Pavi.
    — rightpurchasing

  27. Bow Down to you Pavi, your journey of decade from mother to a writer is praiseworthy, Your kids are so blessed to have a strong mother like you, where you mentioned, that you lil daughter worships her brother, this line took my heart away, how positively you raised your children, by equally growing yourself also as a writer, way to go girl!!!!!

  28. Deepika Mishra

    I loved the line, I forgive you and I hope we will be the friends in the near future. What a positivity you threw towards your life dear! I can totally relate to the situations because I faced most of those. Your daughter was praying for younger brother and my daughter was praying for her baby sister. I can understand your efforts with your autism child. Salute to you, dear! I am not a brave personality like you. You are awesome dear! Kudos!

  29. Jyoti Arora

    Pavi you are a strong one. From hard to harder life has shown you many difficult phases. But you accepted every part of it with gratitude and finally Acceptance from everywhere. Congrats on your publications and your beautiful family raising !! Your daughter worships her elder brother( Great bonding) , its all your hardwork and upbringing. Stay positive and keep spreading the Good vibes . God bless!!

  30. Pavi, what a beautiful, emotion-filled and gratitude-filled post this is. I am happy to be able to share this journey with you. Thank you for sharing it with us. I hope your next decade is exactly how you have envisaged it. All the very best from me.

    Meena from balconysunrise.wordpress.com

  31. Pri

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful journey. You have faced your challenges and faced them well.
    The vision you ended the post with is lovely. And full of hope and optimism. And that only reflects the beauty of your spirit and strength of character.

    ((Hugs)) and best wishes!

  32. Shivani

    I had pieced your life from the posts that you share on various platforms (read stalked you). That is one big reason I’ve admired you for a while now. Hence that phone call.
    So I knew how your life panned out in the past decade. But the way you put it here, stole my heart. Again.
    Total admiration for your words and the grit that you have shown.
    Somehow the song – ae Zindagi Gale laga le kept playing in the back of my head while I was reading this.

    • Your post is so different from all the others I’ve read. Loved your small notes format. Kudos to you for telling your story so positively. The vision of 2029 is so wonderful, and I loved the way you described the bond between your son and daughter.
      Lots of love
      Deepika

    • Aww, haha! You’re such a cutie! When a fantastic writer and human being such as yourself, compliments me? Why that’s the perfect reason to pop some bubbly pink I’ve been saving for a while!
      Thanks Shivani. We NEED to meet the next time we’re both in Mumbai <3 <3

    • Jyoti Arora

      Paci you are a strong one. From hard to harder life has shown you many fdiddixult phases. But you accepted every part of it with gratitude and finally Acceptance from everywhere. Congrats on your publications and your beautiful family raising !! Your daughter worships her elder brother( Great bonding) , its all your hardwork and upbringing. Stay positive and keep spreading the Good vibes . God bless!!

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