Today is a very special day for us – it is your Grandma’s birthday – she would have turned 70 today! You know, I never imagined a time when she wouldn’t be with us. How devastating it was when she passed away suddenly! It all seemed to happen so fast – one day she seemed fine – we were all sitting and watching a movie together – and the next day she had to be rushed to emergency care with a collapsed lung she never recovered from.
One of the amazing things about your “Paati” was her indomitable spirit. Always cheerful. During sad times, she believed we had our memories to sustain us. In spite of all the hardships she faced in life, she always smiled and practiced kindness. That takes a lot of inner strength and compassion.
She had such a “happy” personality and practiced what she preached. She always insisted that it is better to be happy than to be right and it is okay to give in to make someone feel good. It used to freak me out when she said that – because, after all, we’re only human and it is so hard to wish good things for the person who hurt you, especially immediately after. I don’t believe in holding grudges, but I’d certainly need a little time to come to terms with the situation – get over it. Your Paati was not like that – she was so full of love for everyone, and only believed it looking at their good side. Maybe that’s why she was such a good teacher – she never blamed the person, she had a heart big enough to blame their behavior, which she was convinced was temporary.
Today, I understand her a little more on a daily basis. She was truly an angel. Some days, it is the memories of her that keep me going and I am so glad I have so many wonderful ones. She proved that even when times are tough, we can be happy if we want to be.
“Memory is the diary that we all carry about with us.”
~ Oscar Wilde
I always marveled at her ability to be so generous she would literally take the proverbial shirt off her back for someone in need. Do you know how many childrens’ education she has funded by taking on extra tuition so she could do it? She also tutored for free.
She could never bear to see anyone hungry or sad. I am not sure if you remember one lady who used to come home – you were quite young. Your Paati never let her leave without making sure she had a meal, some cash and a bag full of goodies. The lady worked hard and spent hours in the sun to sell her home made stuff.
During festivals, when our neighbors were dazzling in their finery and visiting each other, your Paati cooked and made packets of food to distribute to the street dwellers sitting outside the temples and churches by our place. So much more peace, she said. She didn’t care that the neighbors found her odd, because she believed that service to mankind was what mattered.
She was not afraid to do what felt right in her heart.
I am so very happy you spent 12 years of your life knowing her, being close to her. My heart used to brim with joy when I watched the two of you together. You adored her – looked up to her as she indulged you in what you wanted yet was strict with you. I have fond memories of you both spending hours together – talking, laughing, enjoying jigsaw puzzles together, playing word games, enacting drama, dancing…. When she was sick I felt proud of you for sitting by her side, reading to her and singing to her, assuring her she’ll be better soon. Did you know that she was very proud of you and thought you were the best grandson she could have ever wished for?
“A memory is a photograph taken by the heart to make a special moment last forever.”
Hold those memories close to your heart and take strength from them during those times in life when things look tough. Your Paati’s love and blessings have the power to uplift us.
Did I tell you that exactly at 12 midnight, your Dad changed his desktop photo to one of you with your Paati? The one where you are both leaning on each other, sitting on the swing we had in the living room.
I urge you to make your own memories – keep the wonderful happy ones in your heart and simply learn from the not-so-good ones and let them go.
“We do not remember days; we remember moments.”
May precious memories of your Paati always hug you close, making you feel loved. She’s watching over you.
Always here for you,
Love and hugs,
Blessed to be your Mom, more than ever today!
*Paati = Grandma
My theme is “Letters to my son” M is for Making Memories