And We’re Back Again

15 Jun

The past month has been a particularly stressful and demanding time on my mother and her sisters because it was discovered that my maternal grandmother was haemorrhaging (I never get this spelling right) in her brain. Needless to say, it required the coming together of my mother and her sisters to work hard and to work very fast. My grandmother lives in a city that isn’t very easy to access in emergencies; where a flight takes much longer than a train journey does. But their presence of mind, agile ability to gather themselves and their resources, and their timely action has helped my grandmother make it through. It hasn’t been an easy time for the family especially since we’re very strongly guided and held together by our mothers and aunts, who at this time were not only entirely consumed by this emergency but who were also living in a parallel reality…close but almost disconnected from us. They’ve taken turns to ensure their mother has been attended to on all fronts and it’s been nothing short of marvellous to see them hold fort in unison even here. My grandmother has now been shifted to live with one of her daughters who also lives in a more easily accessible city. She has come a long way and is slowly picking up the fragments of what was once her life, her capacities and her faculties. It turns out that neurosurgeries are far more trying and exacting than one imagines…not that we imagine stuff like this unless pushed against the wall, do we?

From learning how to feel again to mastering one’s grip to every small movement/action we perform without a millisecond’s thought is extremely challenging. It helps put a lot into perspective and once again, helps showcase just how much we take our senses, faculties and our body for granted. It’s astounding.

Once she had been shifted and was a little more stable, I decided to go pay her a visit and spend some time with her. Therefore I took the first chance to scoot and be with her, which is why I’ve been absent from my blog. The one thing I realized a while back was the illusion of time we are often trapped in, especially when it comes to special relationships. For the longest time I always believed that some relationships, and consequently the people I share those relationships with, were eternal and immortal. A lot of me still lives in that delusion. I believe that some people will always stay and that nothing or no one can touch those relationships or people. But that’s a fool’s paradise to live in, really. No one’s staying forever and no one is immortal. It makes the D word very real, very intimidating yet accepting…because that’s what the eventuality of it all is. What comes, goes.

And so I took the first flight out and left. Not many of us get second and third chances. Not many of us get moments or opportunities like these. And not many of us get to relive the many times we’ve passed by; the many files of unfinished business we leave incomplete; untouched. Have you looked at certain relationships and felt that way?

I now have arrived at that phase of life where the tables are very surely turning…where roles are getting reversed and where it’s time to take on more than one would want to…because don’t we all want to be children and not have a care in this world? Time with our grandparents is now like that last bar of chocolate you were storing and saving to relish…only you never know when it’s too late to have it. It’s harsh, but true.

The past few days were spent in the company of my grandmother, my mother who is there with her to help her, my aunt, my uncle and my cousins. It wasn’t meant to be a holiday and neither was it meant to be a getaway. But when you’re with family, it’s hard to not feel like you’re on vacation. We chatted, talked, laughed, cracked jokes, argued and fought as if on cue, ate and ate, reminisced, watched my wedding photographs, ate some more, took drives together, relished ice creams and mangoes, slept late, gossiped, smirked, prayed, shopped and just vegetated. I’ve no idea how time flew by but it usually does when you love doing what you’re doing. My visit to meet my grandmother was a surprise; she wasn’t told. Her look of disbelief and confusion all at once, is unforgettable. It’s lovely to surprise the ones you love. I couldn’t wait to run into her now very frail arms and bury my nose in her super soft smooshiness.

I watched her undergo physiotherapy and I watched her push herself. From not being able to sit, she slowly began sitting and sitting for longer periods of time. She made the effort to climb a flight of stairs and even get into the car (she loves drives and drives that result in ice cream). It’s extremely heartening for all of us; her children and grandchildren alike, to see her. She is our driving force. It hasn’t been easy, but nothing can combat the power of a family that stands together especially in crises.

Time is invaluable, our close relationships even more so given how they constitute our idea of time. Sometimes all it takes is the dropping of everything else and the refocusing of one’s priorities to really see what needs to be seen. At a time like this, I’m compelled to see all that I take for granted thanks to this delusional blanket I cloak myself in, and I’m startled.

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4 Responses to “And We’re Back Again”

  1. Diya June 15, 2016 at 3:41 PM #

    I’m so sorry to hear about your grandma and it’s heartening to hear she is making a slow and steady recovery. Will keep her in our prayers for good health.

    And you’re absolutely right. We do take a lot of small things for granted. Relationships we encase in a bubble we believe will never burst. Maybe it’s just that the D word is unfathomable when it comes to those we love the most. It’w wonderful that you can walk away from this experience with some fresh perspective. Blessings to you and your family :*

    • Babushka June 15, 2016 at 3:46 PM #

      Thank you! We all need each other’s good thoughts and prayers, especially in trying times. :)

  2. sandhyakml June 16, 2016 at 1:05 AM #

    So glad to read that your grandma is doing better. I especially loved “but nothing can combat the power of a family that stands together especially in crises”. It’s so true. Sending you all lots of love, warm hugs and good wishes for Naani’s full recovery! <3

    • Babushka June 16, 2016 at 9:11 AM #

      Thank you, every wish and prayer counts. :)

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