Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Letter to my ailing Granny

Dearest Granny,  
Remember that time I was changing you out from your soiled diapers, your frail legs up the air so I could wipe your behinds with those lavender fragrant wet wipes, you let a little gas out and my face was about five centimeters away. It was pungent. Adults’ food doesn't produce the kindest smelling gas. I was half laughing and half disgusted as you laid back, clueless of what had just happened and then, you struggled a lot when I tried to put the new diapers on. Granny, you need to put those on and not try to rip them off your body and try to go to the toilet. You and I both know it is close to impossible for you to wobble to the bathroom. 
One day, I rushed from work to meet you at the hospital. I found no taxis around me and I almost cried, when a micro came. I broad it and I don’t think reaching any destinations have ever taken me that long. Dad had called me minutes earlier asking me to come to the hospital to feed you sunn pani. Apparently, according to religious beliefs, you probably had a wish to get fed water from my hands before you made your way to the heavenly abode. As much as I didn't want to let you go, I knew this was the one thing I couldn't avoid. I was beside you a little after five. I fed you your favorite biscuits dipped with warm milk despite the doctor warning me against it, for the fear you might chock on the semi-solid food but you were effortlessly gobbling them down like a toothless child. You were obviously hungry. It was the least I could do for you. Before I left, I tucked you in bed and used a spoon meant for babies because that was the only size that fit the small opening you made with your mouth after gathering whatever energy you have in you and fed you the drop of water I was supposed to. It broke my heart that by night, you would have reunited with granddad even though, I know that is probably what you both want, I wasn't ready to let go of my last grandparent. 
Doctors gave you zero chance of recovery. Dad came home while brother took turn to look after you in the hospital, his eyes all red and puffy. Granny, your son is such a cry baby. He sat down with Mom and me, and started discussing how your funeral procession would take place, if we should take your body back to your birthplace for the final rites and the arrangements for transportation. We had everything planned out. That night, we barely ate. But, Granny, you are unbeatable. You survived. You are still surviving. You are immortal. How else can people with most of their vital organs failed, still survive? 
You and I have had our share of arguments; after all, we share the same blood. I have your same hair type and I am as angry as a person as you are. We regularly fought about how I cut your nails too short and why I don’t wear any bangles or earrings, and I have called you mean things because you gave Mom, your daughter-in-law, a tough time, you still give her a tough time now even though, you can’t do anything. Could you please ask for forgiveness? You are not the friendliest human being in the world, but maybe, on your deathbed, you would cut yourself some slack and just melt everyone’s heart.
It has been years since you have been struggling with your health now. Diabetics, Cholesterol, High Blood Pressure, Uric Acid; you have it all. Yesterday, I got an updated from Mom about your health. Looks like yet another few lakhs in the hospital but, this time Granny, please let go. It is time. You are already 80 years old. If you could still nag the way you could have a couple of months ago, I wouldn't have minded bringing you the best healthcare facilities to your bed but, you have stopped being you. I no longer see you, but just a body and you no longer recognize anyone, including me. Granny, you have fought on for too long now. Just let go now, it will be fine. I know you want it, too. I will miss you even though, for the past few years, you have been quite a nuisance. I am sorry I called you a nuisance. Human beings are not immortal, Granny. You aren't, as well. 
Lots of love,

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