“Sometimes you don’t feel the weight of something you have been carrying until you feel the weight of its release” Anonymous.
She sat there thinking of him. She has thought of him every day for the past 10 years. His thoughts made her teary, her heart felt heavy and sad. She would stop doing her work, put on a melancholic song and reminiscence the moments with him. this happened at least once a day, if not more. “He was unstable in mind. If he appeared caring today, he would scream at me the next day. He would buy gifts for me when he was happy. But the day he was upset, his rude words would hurt me deeply.
His behaviour left me confused. “Does he love me? Does he not love me?” Everyday of my life for 23 years, I have wondered about this. This is a constant question that resonates in my mind even now. Life with him was like a ride on a roller coaster.
I went on long walks with him and spoke about what marriage meant to society, what it meant to him, what it meant to me. He said that marriage could happen between any two willing persons. That was a new thought to me amid this conservative society that has many conditions to marry someone. His thoughts made me feel free and encouraged me to explore life and understand myself better. I felt that he was my greatest strength back then. There were fun moments where I would pull his long hair and he laughed mirthfully at my playfulness. I felt the lightest then and would run along the shrubs on the way, wave and smile at strangers and make them smile too. I would see amusement in his eyes and happiness of making me feel happy. We would laugh uncontrollably.
The very next day, I would find him sitting quietly on the steps. I would run down to him and try to pull his hair and he would snap. His words hurt me deep, very deep. I would be flying on the happy emotions I felt the previous day, and suddenly it would come undone by his temperament. His face would become scary His tight lips, his angry eyes, quiet demeanour scared me. I would not dare be in front of him or around him. I felt what he felt. His sadness and loneliness would seep into me..
I could not share what I felt then with anybody else. Everyone else was busy and would not listen to me. I felt helpless then. I would cry for hours and wait for him to come back and console me.
My emotions would soar or crash depending on his moods. It confused me, confused me to no end. Did I feel loved? Did I feel rejected? It bothered me. I wanted to know if he loved me or not. I could feel peaceful only when I got an answer. It has affected my relationships and it continues to be so. I did the same to everyone else in my life. I did it to my parents; I did to my boy friends; I did it to my husband; I did it to my children. It has made me unhappy.
“Why does he matter to me after all these years?” I have never found an answer till yesterday. It appears to me that he was around for me when nobody else was and especially when I was in distress. That one moment was enough for me to have an eternal bond with him. I would look up to him in my times of need and expect comfort from him. He did provide me that comfort sometimes and sometimes he did not. I expected it from him all the time and would be upset when he did not. Now I understand. I understand that you needed your space and not have me dancing around you all the time.
Tears rolled down from her eyes again, this time from relief. The realisation lifted off the bother from her mind.
She took a deep breath and let go of the troubled memories and decided to look at life from a different perspective.
“Thank you Grandfather. Even in your absence you teach me about life” she whispered to self.