She WAS my neighbor growing up.
As of today, she WAS where I always met her when I visited my parents back home in India. Meeting her was a natural extension of my being there, unsaidly expected.
I was a young girl when she came in as a young newlywed. Today I watch my life backward through that lens. I remember her joy when her husband would come back for his monthly visit to her and his family, from his job far away.
She knew my happiness with new dresses and would share her new shopping with me – “Here wear these to college this week, enjoy them. I can wear them all the time later.”
Her son was the baby I came home to play with every day, throughout his growing phases. He calls me Didi and I used to address her as Tai – both refer to a big sister. It is lovely how it didn’t matter what relation we regard each other with – it is the impact we have by being in each other’s life in the most ordinary ways.
I clearly remember our last meeting & conversation 2 years ago and somehow I am very content with it – we had connected through our eyes and shared genuinely, there was Love.
That’s it. That’s all matters. Because we don’t ever know when it is our last meeting, with anyone. I never took pictures with her – I have a snapshot of our life together living in me.
Dear Tai, your courage through life is seen and has made a difference. In unknown ways too. I will miss you. I miss you.
Everything else that could be said, I hold in silence.
Note: I wrote this exactly last year and wished to share it with you all here, as we mark one year of her passing.