Thursday, 12 May 2016

To My Son's Grandmother

All I want to do right now is pick up the phone and give you a call. To hear your strangely nasal, halting voice. It is the voice that grated on my nerves while I was married. The voice I avoided and mocked. And yet in the last four years it became the voice I started to associate with comfort and understanding.
It is that need for comfort and understanding that makes me yearn to talk to you now. Not a day has gone by when you haven't entered my thoughts. My brain cannot wrap itself around the idea that you will never call me again. That I will not see your name flickering on my phone screen. I feel like an epic failure as a mother right now. You were the only one who would reassure me that I am not, without giving me any 'gyaan'.
That's what connected me to you - your authenticity. No one could ever doubt your intentions or say you were put on. When you disliked me or were pissed off, it was in my face. When you supported me, it was unconditional.
Every time I think of you, I wish things had been different. I wish so many years hadn't been wasted, shrouded in misunderstandings and unhappiness. I wish I'd had more time with you, that your grandson had more time with you. I know you loved him with all your heart, and I am so so sorry that he wasn't a bigger part of your life.
I see so much of you in me. I know you saw it too. You saw me make the decision you hadn't been able to. And you supported me through it, even though that meant you had to acknowledge your son's shortcomings. As a mother, I can only imagine how hard that must have been for you. But as a woman, I know you respected my choice, and it brought both of us closer.
We are so similar, you and I. Both scared, broken and lonely little children. Willing to give up so much of ourselves just to be loved, to be needed. I saw what it did to you, and I wish I could have helped you more. I'd like to think I did a little, just by listening to you and visiting you. But I wish I could have done more. I was trying so hard to save myself, I didn't think of you till much later.
I miss our long conversations, I miss how you always rooted for me. I wish I'd had more of them. I wish I'd visited more and stayed over a few days like you kept asking me to do. I kept thinking I would do it this summer vacation, but it's too late now.
I wish I'd spoken to you before you left the house. I hope you weren't still angry with me for not calling, when you left. I hope you know I came and met you and brought your grandson too. I hope that gave you some peace and happiness.
I can't bear to be in that house without you. It was your house. You were it's heart, it's life source. Even if you were alone there, it was never empty. But without you, no matter how many people are there, it's vacant. I feel like I'm betraying you, when I go there now. You were the link for me, the connect. Now that you're gone, I don't belong.
You always complained that I never wore the clothes you gave me, I hope you know I was wearing the salwar suit you gave when I came to meet you, the day you left.
I can't explain the connect between you and I. It's hard to explain. You weren't just my ex-mother-in-law (I was rarely able to call you that). You and I, our lives mirrored each other at so many levels. Was that it? Was that what connected us? What made us understand each other so deeply?
I don't know. All I know is that I feel your loss, at a visceral level. Life will go on. And sadly you were not a part of my world, in a daily way. So it's easy to think I've healed. But when I think of you, there is still an aching hole,
Am I glorifying you, our relationship, just because you're gone? No. You were a flawed person, by no means perfect, as am I. And you had in the past made my life hell, time and again. But that paled in comparison to what you gave me in the last few years. I never shared it before, because I didn't know how to. I didn't think anyone would understand. I don't know if they will now. But I had to write this, because I can't say it to you anymore.
Sorry for all the years we lost, the pain, the misunderstandings. And thank you, for being a part of our lives. You will always be with us.
I will always remember you. And I will talk of you often to my son. To let him know that his grandmother loved him immensely, unconditionally.