I haven’t had a chance to blog since last week as I was busy with a wedding in the family. A typical Indian wedding that lasted over many days! As I was attending to the guests there(being closely related to the bride), I couldn’t help notice that there were at least 4 grandmothers with toddlers or infants in tow, feeding and cajoling them and changing diapers in between trying to get a glimpse of the wedding. Some of them had left their homes and husbands (not in the marital sense, but in the geographic sense!) to become caretakers of their grandchildren! A distant cry from my own grandmothers who never involved themselves directly in raising their grandchildren!
My maternal grandmother was the matriarch of the family. She ruled the roost and spoke her mind, much to the dismay of her daughters-in-law! She rarely smiled (perhaps due to the onus of raising 10 children!) but she had a heart of gold- especially when it came to her grandchildren! She was extremely proud of our mom who was career oriented and always egged us to follow in her footsteps.
My favourite memory of her was the delicious stack of sweets and savouries she would prepare and keep under lock and key! She would ration it out to us when we visited, making sure it lasted long, occasionally beyond its own shelf life! She spent the last days of her life in terrible pain battling advanced stages of cancer. Her body shook with spasms of pain, but she never uttered a word in complain and for the first time, I prayed for someone to be released from this life.
Her influence on us was marked by the fact that the entire family got together to celebrate her 100th birthday a few months back. Her great-grandchildren, who had never seen her, put on a talent show and I hoped that at least that would have made her smile!
My paternal grandmother on the other hand seemed to be at the other end of the spectrum, though she wasn’t. She spent her life in the shadow of her husband and later in the shadow of her sons. She came to live with us in her twilight years and we realised her strength only after the death of my father. She stayed on with my mother and supported her from the sidelines managing the trivial but important aspects of domestic life.
Even though she’s outlived 3 of her children, almost been on her own death bed, she is a pillar of strength and never once bemoans her fate. She will be celebrating her 95th birthday next month, and though she is extremely weak and frail, her mind is sharp as a razor and continues to keep herself occupied by reading every newspaper and magazine she can lay her hands on!
‘Grandmothers are the voices of the past and role models of the present’ – Author unknown
This post is in response to FrizzText’s A-Z Challenge