Friday, October 26, 2012

That tragic month

This day last year was Diwali. The day we admitted my mother-in-law into Manipal yet again - the third time that year. I still remember the date and every detail vividly. She was not recovering from a persistent fever since four days (her last dialysis) and was refusing to eat anything and was getting more and more weak. That morning we decided to take her over.

Evening was a bleak affair. We had bought a saree for her for Diwali - which she never wore. She had actually vehemently refused to accept it - even saying - I don't know how many more days I might survive. We used the same saree later to cover her in after her death :(

We came back after seeing her in the ICU - we were not allowed to stay with her there. We burnt a couple of crackers more for formality, lit lamps outside, always hoping she would recover.

Five days later was my in-laws' 40th wedding anniversary, she was in ICU, father in law was at home alone, uncertain, not knowing what tomorrow would bring.

She would normally not insist on my brother-in-law coming down - this time she did. Although he had just switched companies (this was the last thing ever that she was joyous about, that she prayed for him - a week long thing she generally did when any one of us needed prayers - and he got into a good role, she was overjoyed like a child almost) - she kept asking for his presence repeatedly. We called in the end and asked him to come down. She came home for a brief spell of ten days, we believe she gathered all the life left in her just so she could spend some time with my brother-in-law at home, away from the ICU and all the tubes and paraphernelia, outside of the visiting hours jail. She loved him the most and a lot of her happiness hinged on his well-being and knowing that he was happy. If he was around it was as if she got some unknown strength just from his presence. As soon as he left for Hyderabad, she fell back into the worse again - survived at home till he got back and then the next time we took her to the hospital, she never came back.

On November 24th, nearly a month after that fateful Diwali - she passed away from us.

This one month from now, I don't think I will ever be able to forget.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The last but one!

Today was the penultimate monthly ceremony we perform for my mother in law during the first year after her passing away.

As if to challenge my pride in having successfully done every single one at home so far, this one threw a surprise. The cook ditched us in the last minute - and we had to manage on our own.

The menu for this occasion is usually fixed - four types of curries, four chutneys, dal, sambar, charu, wadas, appams and the works. My father in law kept saying we should cut down and make it a simple affair.

But I was firm. Somehow in this, I always was, it was the last thing we were doing for my mother in law - symbolically or otherwise and I did not want to have to compromise on it. Thanks to my Mom being around, I was fairly confident of pulling it off and boy! Did we :) It was true team work - father in law and my Dad doing the last minute shopping, my Dad cutting veggies and offering to serve the Brahmins, Subhash and the parents taking turns taking care of the kid, and greatest of all, my mom helping out with the cooking!!

It left me a little tired but limitlessly happy! Just one more to go and it is the annual ceremonies in December. Hope we can pull off both.