I’ve stopped thinking about her. She used to be my friend, my playmate – we woke up and she’d drop me to school, then pick me up; I took afternoon naps next to her, and played with her fat pudgy fingers full of rings.
Then we’d go for evening walks and have dinner together. We’d have little pre-bed time arguments and then she’d get me to recite “Dua” (saying prayers) and then recite poems and finally sleep with her hand on my stomach.
I could not sleep without her tightly hugging me – I never realised as she got older, she developped shoulder pains and could no longer hug me tight.
She was Rahila Khatun, my dadi.
Dadi passed away…I lost count of years ago. Before dying, she was bedridden for 3 years, it was my mom and dad who looked after her. She had numerous strokes leading to memory loss and dementia…despite me telling myself she’ll be alright again, she never did. Until one day I accepted that her time has passed and she will never be better again.
Dadi’s demise, taught me how me a few things:
1. Life is short
2. Never to take health issues granted
3. Once they get old and sick, life is never really the same.
So I stopped thinking of her.
Because even today her memories bring tears to my eyes, a loss perhaps I’ve never truly recovered from.
My pregnancy, Zayyan’s birth and his growing up somehow brings back her memories in a new light. I recall her advices to ma, how she took care of my sister as an infant. I miss her voice, her touch, her loving hugs whenever I see my son.
Its odd how a birth, brings back memories of a deceased!