My (maternal) grandmother sat there, eyes down. I was accompanying her to the eye doctor’s for a check-up. As she sat there, I couldn’t help but wonder at how dejected she looked.
It was heart-breaking. I can’t even imagine losing my eye sight completely and being so helplessly dependent on people around me. But more than that, it was the age-factor that distressed me. This woman, who was one of the strongest I ever knew, sat there looking so sad, so…
And while the doctor examined her eyes and everything and talked to my mother (who was there too), I sat back and wondered how much I owe her.
From a complete rural background and uneducated herself, she made sure that her oldest daughter (my aunt) attended college, despite much resistance. And her husband, my maternal grandfather made sure he helped her as much as was possible. Picking, dropping, teaching, etc. Of course, that meant there was no question that my mom wouldn’t be going to college.
With my paternal grandfather, I found out at a much later age that he was not kidding when he said he only studied till Grade Three. With his father passing away, he took to work with his elder brother to support their family. Sure he only knew phrases of English, but hearing him talk, you’d never know he wasn’t well-learned/educated. And I remember how my paternal grandmother told me she had studied up to Grade Five, which was a big, big deal at that time. However, she sadly explained that since she didn’t have much use for it, most of it was forgotten in the daily life routine & work.
Of course, they made sure that their kids – ALL of them – went to school as much as possible, and learned enough to survive in the world. And all this is an era where education was considered an added bonus, not a compulsion like in today’s times.
No, I’m not making a case for education. I’m making a case for my grandparents, for the three of them alive and the one who has joined his Maker.
I’m perpetuating their memory, their deeds and their struggles. I’m looking at then withering away in front of my eyes. Slowing down a little each day. And I know that I only have limited moments left with them.
And that I need to make each moment count.
I just hope that the little things that I might be able to do for them these days, count an itsy bitsy towards “repaying” them for all they’ve done.
Afterall, I owe it all to them, by the grace of God, and so, SO, much more!
Love & prayers!