Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Waves of regret and waves of joy



I am writing this in response to Kafka's post. I started replying in the form of a comment but it got a little long-winded.

I'm in 1st grade. My sister, who is in 5th grade, is going to her friend Kelly's house after school and my mother makes me tag along with her. Kelly's mom picks us up in a green station wagon and I remember she smelled like flowers. Once at Kelly's house, the girls play Barbie while I stay in the kitchen with Mrs C as she makes cookies. The house has strange smells. Sweet, Americany smells that my immigrant nose wasn't used to. As my sister and I enter our house after Mrs C dropped us off, I remember the chill that came over me My mom is sitting on our bed with a yellow envelope in hands, her eyes swollen like a bee-sting (thanks for the line Bono). It was a telegram from my uncle stating that my grandmother had passed away. My mother seems scared. Be good when dad comes home, she tells us. I distinctly remember taking off my green plaid uniform and folding it neatly and placing it on the dresser. When my dad got home, we were all nervous and he sensed something was wrong. At dinner my mother can't stop the tears and she breaks down and tells my dad about the telegram. To this day, I remember the sound of the wail my father let out. He starts bawling and pounding his chest. The rest of the night is a blur. My mom was so uncertain of my dad's mental state that she called one of his friends to come over and comfort him. It was only years later that I learned that my grandmother told my dad as he was leaving for America that she would never see him again. Despite my father's protest, she knew. My father was only 22 days away from seeing her again when she passed away.

The telegram is still in one of our photo albums. When I hold it it all comes crashing back to me.

6 Comments:

Blogger Rat says...

That was very moving.Its funny how we remember so vividly the things that happen before and after such an incident.You remember every detail of your outing to Kellys when you were in 1st Grade !!

Wed Jun 22, 11:49:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Vignesh says...

Yeah, I remember every little detail of walking back home with my friends, in 5th grade, on a Saturday afternoon, to hear my dad tell me that my grandpa has passed away. I even remember, as I walked up to the house, I could hear people crying. I remember telling my friends, that my younger brother must have woken up, hence the crying.

Thu Jun 23, 04:15:00 AM CDT  
Blogger Kafka on the Shore says...

that's a sad and touching story...

Thu Jun 23, 09:07:00 AM CDT  
Blogger Jay says...

I've lost three grandparents so far. I was never very close to them, so these passings have always left me largely unaffected - but it's absolutely heartbreaking to see the effect on my parents.

Thu Jun 23, 03:07:00 PM CDT  
Blogger silverine says...

This was a sad read. It must have been devastating for your Dad. Awful.

Fri Jun 24, 06:20:00 AM CDT  
Blogger vAgue says...

sigh.........

Fri Jun 24, 11:20:00 AM CDT  

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