Is it a cause for concern if you do not remember the experience of living? Is it maybe a little disconcerting if you cannot particularly accept the amount of time that has elapsed between two events? Allow me to explain. Amidst the rumblings of the summer storms, I suddenly realize that it was August and three quarters of the year had elapsed. Three quarters. That’s quite a long time. When I look back at everything that has happened over the past year, I am struck by how much was accomplished and yet felt like nothing was accomplished.
It is a holy month, which basically means little except that there are a lot more social interactions around here. I’ve been to these gatherings and was at one a few days ago. People meet, talk and break their fast with a lot of fried food. It is here that I realize the huge chasm that has engulfed everyone that I know. This is where I realize what the past year has done to us all. You see, it’s been about a year since my grandmother passed away. An entire year since me and my extended family waged a losing battle in trying to save her from pneumonia. Mostly it was my mom and her siblings. They fought against the hospital, against the establishment and even with each other. But the battles often fought hardest are the ones that we end up losing. My grandmother passed away and left behind a lot of people who were just not ready to let her go.
I think of her a lot these days. During the maddening cycle of work and travel, I sometimes forget where I am in the timeline of life. Sometimes, I forget that she is no more and make a mental note that I should probably call her. Then I realize. The realization hits me like a brick wall. The world comes crashing down and it’s like the pain from last year all over again. She was a gentle soul, Kind to the point of a fault and generous to the extreme. But the thing that made her special was the inherent beauty of her soul. When I look around at the empty crowd at one of these social gatherings I am struck by how different things are without her. I cannot speak for others, but for me, it’s a very different experience. Sure, we talk and laugh and carry on like nothing happened, but inwards we all know that something is missing. It’s like being in a musical with no music. When I think about my grandmother, I think of her as a beautiful flower. A flower is ripe in its lifetime, full of beauty and fragrance. But have you ever seen wilted flowers, or dead ones? I did. Wilted Roses, and they had a fragrance as well. The fragrance reminded me that even though it will never be like before, its fragrance still envelops us and reminds us of everything that we are missing.