Personal Column: My greatest treasure


Manizeh Rahman

A message to my parents in 2018 using my Minecraft world. Since I have such a deep love for them, I wanted to be creative with how I showed that. This is one of these instances.


“Sesame Street” plays on the TV. I’m happily eating the aloo bhaji, roti, and eggs my dad made for me. The sofa is set to where I have my little nook, closed off from the rest of the couch. Our sofa is cool like that — each seat can be rearranged, much like Eli Whitney’s interchangeable parts.

The strange noise is, well, strange. It definitely doesn’t go unnoticed. But I make the decision to stay put, my parents’ past reminders of not leaving a meal half-finished echoing in my mind.

A short time later, I see my dad go up the stairs — he heard the sound too. So I finally abandon my breakfast to see what’s going on. I follow him up the stairs, tiptoeing like I’m in a spy film. I follow him down the corridor, sneaking past the bookshelves on our second floor.


My dad makes a sharp turn right, rushes into a second corridor and into the master bathroom. His cry is for my mother, who I discover on the ground, unmoving.

I’m frozen as my dad lifts her up. 

I’m frozen as he pushes her into a sitting position.

I’m frozen as he hooks his arms under hers.

Writing this puts me in danger of crying. And I did cry then, despite my best efforts not to. One tear turned to two, two to three and so on. I sobbed, absolutely terrified of what was happening. Questions, one after another, rushed through my head: Why her? Why now? Why did this happen at all?

As someone told me several hours later, God was giving me a test. I believed it with my entire heart. I had to — why else would I have to watch my mother being hospitalized like this so suddenly? So I believed. And I prayed.

Revisiting these memories, of course, still brings back the tears. How can they not? The reminder of my trauma throws me back into my cesspool of grief, wrought with anxiety and even a little bit of depression. However, through this experience, I learned something very important: never, ever take your parents for granted.

There was never a rebellious phase. After my mom’s hospitalization, there could never be a rebellious phase. I was too scared of every moment with her possibly being my last. Whenever I went to school, terrifying visions would torment me constantly. Every time I came back home, I’d half-expect to find her gone before my dad or I could save her.

My parents and I in London, 2014. I have many fond memories of London, especially since my mother went to university there. (Manizeh Rahman)

I think that’s when I became more aware of the good things I have. Before my mother’s hospitalization, I took everything she gave me for granted. I took her love, her care, her concern. I took everything. But now, I understand that it’s not worth it to argue over every little thing (though I do argue a lot). I understand that it’s better to make the most of the time I’m given, and that I don’t need to waste it by deliberately being the opposite of my parents.

I love my parents so, so much. I love them more than I love anybody else. I love the way they always make sure I’m doing fine, the way they never pressure me to earn only As, the way they prioritize my wellbeing over my academics. I love them for always putting my health and happiness before everything else. I love them for never doubting my capabilities. I love them for having such a sweet love for each other. I love them for how much they love me.

Every moment with my parents is a treasure. Out of everyone in my life, they get me the most. They understand me like nobody else. And I know, should everyone in my life leave, they’ll be the last ones standing. They’ll be the ones who catch me in their net if anyone else lets me fall. That is why there will never be a rebellious phase. Why there will never be a time I won’t say “I love you” or “Thank you.” Why there will never be a sad ending with my parents.

Time is infinite.

Life is not.