“No permanence is ours; we are a wave
That flows to fit whatever form it finds”
― Hermann Hesse
‘Ladies and gentlemen. We will be landing soon. Please buckle your seat belts and switch off the phones.’ As soon as I heard that I felt as if throwing off sparks to all directions like the colored arrows of a July forth rocket.I sat up blinking, and rubbing my neck. After eighteen hours finally the plane landed. I quivered in excitement and a wide smile beamed across my face. I adjusted my lilac dress, moved my fingers to smooth my hair and marched forward with my coral blue handbag and then stopped and tuned around.’ Sorry.‘ I said. Both my kids were standing there close to the seat with big surprise looks on their eyes. I completely forgot my luggage and my kids.’ I need to control my fluttering mind.‘ I muttered. I wanted to surprise my grandmother and my whole family so we took a cab and went home. The cab ride seemed pretty long. My mind was thronged with so many delightful thoughts; all about my family, more about my sweet, kind, generous , loving grand mother. I reached up and slowly unlatched the huge metal door to the entrance and walked towards the front stairs. I felt like snorting, a horse-galloping glee. As we stepped into the living room and crossed the long hall to the right into the dining hall, I saw most of my aunts gathered around the dining table.They glanced at us with a big surprise, then moved their chairs and walked up to greet us. ‘Emma! O’ the kids too! What a pleasant surprise. Why did not you call us? We could have gone to the airport to receive you.’ Said my aunts.
I smiled, dropped my luggage and said ‘ I did not want to spoil the surprise.’ We moved forward and touched every one’s feet as a respect. My eyes were searching for my grand-mother. I asked one of my aunt, ‘ Where is grand-ma?’
She pointed her finger to a room closer to the staircase and said,’ She is there. Go meet her. She will be so happy.’ I ran towards my grand mother’s room. I knocked gently and not expecting a response, anyway I twisted the polished brass knob and stepped in. The room was a little darker and so quite that the silence actually hummed. My grandmother was in the bed, napping. I opened all the windows for light, sat closed to her on the bed and whispered, ‘ Grand ma! Grand ma!This is me Emma. How are you?’
‘Emma! Wow! Really is that you and your kids?’ She said as she opened her eyes and turned her head towards us. Her face was washed with as expression of that’s equal part of wonder and excitement. Her eyes sparkled joyfully. She adjusted her eye-glass and said, ‘Come. Come closer. It has been such a long time. You made me so happy. I wanted to see all of you too’. She wiped her tears of happiness and pulled me and the kids closer for a hug.
My grandmother was more than a mother. She was everything for me. Going back to my country means spending wonderful time with her. She tried her best to sit leaning against a stack of pillows. I tried to smooth her white hair, and move the stray hairs from her face. She was a little weak and exhausted after the second heart surgery. A slow smile lifted her weathered cheeks. Settling herself to a right position she pulled me a little closer and asked one of my aunt to cook all the foods that I like. Then she told me a lot of stories from my childhood. We laughed and enjoyed each other’s company. Everyday some new story and more laughter. It was just like the old days. After two weeks she did not feel well so the doctors decided to keep a close watch on her in the private clinic and she had to move there for a few days. All of us took turns spending time with her in the clinic.
I remembered that day clearly. I was getting ready to drive to the clinic to see my grand-mother when a phone call came from the clinic that my grandmother passed away. I was coming down on the stairs when I heard the shrill sound from the other room. My mother was crying. My hand trembled and feet froze. I tried to grab the side of the stairs. I stood there in the silence, staring numbly into the ceiling. I took several attempts to speak to my mother but no words came. Everything was fragmented; my thoughts, my memories, emotions, love. Suddenly all of it floated disconnected. I promised to spend two months with my grandmother before I returned. We both agreed to share our memories, happiness, stories together. I inhaled only a shallow breath and then struggled for another and tried hard to control my tear but could not.
I wiped my tears with the back of my palm and closed my eyes and leaned my head against the side of the stair. I did not expect this from life. I took granted of everything and forgot that life is just a bubble. Life and death are the parts of life. I have to accept the truth and the uncertainty of life. So many promises, so much love, so much expectations, so many dreams all vanish in thin air. Every moment is important and I have to make use of each moments.