They say mankind stands most united in the face of misery. Same goes for a family too. Parents can be angry with their children and vice-versa but never so when they need each other's shoulder to cry upon. Siblings can be jealous of success and/or happiness of each other but never in the face of a tragedy. When tragedy strikes a household, everybody sticks together irrespective of their differences. I remember watching a show about how fire-ants survive in floods. You know how ? They hold tight to each other and form an 'ant-raft' that keeps them afloat on the surface of water much like a patch of an algae.
So do we. My maternal uncle(mama) and my grandfather both passed within a couple of days of each other. February 2011 was a tough month for our family. Between two people who have been admitted in two different cities 500 km apart, my family was divided into two,but only physically. While me,my dad and my sis were busy taking care of grandpa,my mum and brother had left off to take care of my uncle. I dont know where i resided more ! Here or with them ! Grandpa had been admitted with a multiorgan failure,on the other hand my uncle suffered a massive MI that led to complications like Cerebral haemorrhage. Going about my days like a zombie,forcing myself into the routine,was all i could do to keep myself sane and from thinking about his family and two young daughters(all of age 14 and 12). All the family,extended family and dear friends could do was to pray,to pray fervently and hope that atleast one of them would be heard and granted.
As it had to be God's will both of them passed off,peacefully i presume. It is hard to deal with loss of a family. The shock is massive, and cruelly dreamlike, the realization of losing someone whom you had always thought of as a permanent part of your life. You find yourself recalling what was like the last time when you talked to them ! Just like i kept on rewinding the tape in my mind to when i had seen the ones who were part of my family ! Consider seeing someone today...a friend or a family member and imagine what if it were to be the last time you are seeing them ! What would you say to them ? How will you say your good byes ? Would you hug them ? Or would you hug them and would never want to leave them ? Would you tell them how much you loved them and how much they mean to you !
I wanted to say all that to mama. I wanted to say all that and much more ! I feel guilty of not spending enough time with him. I feel guilty of not hugging him tight enough. I feel guilty of not seeing into his powerful and yet lively eyes and telling him that i will see him soon. And then the time comes when the family has to come together to perform the last rites. You look around,see at all the familiar faces of your family and find a face missing ! And it's a horrible sickening feeling in the gut. You are sad,grief-struck,angry and guilty all at the same time. And suddenly from somewhere a pair of arms lock you in a embrace. some hand wipes away your stream of tears,an elder lovingly and reassuringly places their hand over your head or a young member of a family burrow themselves into your embrace seeking comfort and in that moment you truly understand the reason why we all had been placed together in this world as a family !
This post has been written as a part of contest by Blogadda. The contest was to write about the most special family memory. Though sad this memory is an integral part of who i am now. If being 'special' means a memory where you begin to understand the importance of being placed as a family into this world,i couldnt think of any memory more special than this.