Note from Jen Pastiloff, founder of The Manifest-Station. This is part of our Young Voices Series. We are always looking for more writing from YOU! Make sure you follow us on instagram at @GirlPowerYouAreEnough and on Facebook here.
By Reyann Shah
We have always called her “Moti Mummy” and for as long as I can remember I’ve known exactly why. “Moti” is the feminine word in our language for “big” or old”.
Hearing my grandmother referred to as “Moti Mummy” always did well to remind me that she was the eldest woman in our family’s house in India. It garnered a certain amount of respect in that way. But it also had a way of making me giggle when I heard it. It’s the dumb humor that comes with alliteration. It was fun to say and it made me smile.
Hearing it from Mama today didn’t have the same funny effect that it usually did.
At 10:48 AM:
“Moti Mummy is very sick right now. She wants to leave and not go on anymore.”
At 5:20 PM:
“Moti Mummy passed away.”
As terrible as the initial news was, I had what at the time I thought was the benefit of simply reading the former in a text message. I didn’t have to bear the pain of seeing Mama’s crying face as the horrible news sank into both of our hearts. But it’s interesting. Upon getting home from work, I endured the latter in person with no keyboard or smartphone screen to protect me from seeing the pain in Mama’s eyes, and yet I wouldn’t have had it any other way. The reason was simple. With seeing Mama’s crying face, it was the opportunity to hold her in my arms that followed.
It was the opportunity to let her emotions pour out onto me without a shield or a boundary in sight. It was one of the very first truly authentic moments between us.
“I never got to be as close to her as I wanted to be,” I told others-through my tears- about my grandmother for most of today. Continue Reading…