“At a young age, I was brought to Thimphu by my sister for school. After studying till grade 7, I dropped out to take a small job. That is when I met my husband who was a young army officer. As part of his job, we were moving constantly. As a homemaker, I was heavily dependent on him financially. Although he did all his duties well, our daughters had grown up and I wanted to contribute to the family more; I opened a shop and we even managed to build a house with our life’s savings. But after 6 months, he passed away in his sleep.
My husband’s lifelong dream was to become a doctor, but due to his poor family background, he had to become an army officer. All her life, our older daughter wanted to pursue her father’s dream. However, her marks couldn’t earn her a scholarship and I had to make my life’s toughest decision to sell our house and send my daughter to Bangladesh for MBBS. We were getting by, and I focused all my energy on running the shop.

During the ULFA Bodo operation in Bhutan, my husband was awarded Druk Thuksey for his bravery. After he passed away, we received the news of his second medal. It was my proudest but also the saddest moment to receive the medal in his place.
As time passed, my second daughter became old enough for college. She wanted to pursue nursing. As a single mother, I had no money and nothing else left to sell. Left in a deep state of misery, a friend told me to approach His Majesty’s office for help. It was the right decision I made. All the fees including the visa and allowance for college were taken care of. I never felt this grateful in my life. His Majesty’s care and grace towards his people still make me emotional and touched.

I kept working hard and supporting my kids through their education. My eldest daughter struggled a lot with her studies and came to the verge of breaking down. I immediately left for Dhaka and stayed with her for several weeks, supporting and encouraging her to not give up. I reminded her of her late dad’s wish for her to become a doctor. She persevered and eventually, both my daughters finished their studies. They started working in Bhutan in the hospitals; to be closer to them, I moved to Thimphu and opened a new shop. During the covid, my daughters were working hard and serving the country with extra dedication. Constantly switching places from duty to quarantine as health workers, I couldn’t see them for months – this made me really proud of who they have become. Looking back, life has been particularly hard for us after my husband’s passing. However, what they have led to, makes me happy and content.”

#HumansofThimphu #HumanStories #Thimphu

 

Author: Dechen Wangdi

About the Author

(He/They) is one of the founding members of Humans of Thimphu and currently serves as the editor and content writer on the platform. Enthusiastic writer and photographer, his works mainly surrounds human interest story and advocacy on LGBTQIA+ and Youth empowerment. He also harbours an interest in photojournalism.

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