I still forget

      24 Comments on I still forget

Someone at work advised me to buy Airborne pills to boost my immunity during my upcoming travel to India. So, today I stopped by the corner CVS store on my way home, bought the Airborne, a travel-size hand lotion, a hand sanitizer, a bottle of multivitamin Centrum pills and a foot cream for Ammi, and long Playtex gloves for my sisters to protect their hands against abrasive chores. These were all staple items that I chose to leave for the last run.

After dropping a box of Tic-Tac mints into my basket, my right arm reached to grab a bag of Lindt’s chocolate truffles from the adjacent hook, of its own volition, and then stopped mid-air — heavy with the realization that I would not buy those truffles. Not ever.

They were my father’s favorites.

I would never again see the childish grin spreading on his face when he rolled the truffles in his mouth or hear the crunch of their wrappers stuffed in his front pocket or watch him implore Ammi for one more when she pulled the bag from his hands.

I quickly checked out at the register, avoiding small talk, without getting my CVS loyalty card scanned and without responding to the cashier’s “have a good night”.

My car absorbed the deluge.

Earlier today, the same someone at work had asked me which part and towns of India I was planning to visit. “Mostly North. Roorkee,” I said, “that’s where my parents live.”

Immediately, my eyes darted away from her, seeking refuge in the wall behind her, which transformed into a giant screen, illuminated with a picture of Ammi, wrapped in a shawl, sipping her morning chai alone in the porch, beside my father’s nameplate hanging on the door of my childhood home.

“I am sorry,” the someone said, rousing me.

“I mean, my mother lives there now.”

Even earlier today, at the end of my morning prayers, I asked God, “Please be with my parents. Keep them healthy and happy,” and then corrected myself, “God, keep my Ammi healthy and happy. Grant peace and a place in Jannat to my father.”

At times, I find myself closing my eyes and wishing for my father’s health on stray eyelashes.

It’s been a year but parts of me still forget.


24 thoughts on “I still forget

  1. Margaret

    Sara, I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m sure it’s doubly hard with the distance. The passage of time is a double edged sword. While it gives you time to adjust to the new normal, it’s also a reminder of the time you’ve lost.
    Safe travels.

    Reply
  2. asha

    They never really leave you, you know. After twenty years, I still see traces of my father in the ways that I respond, or the way one of my children walks, the way the other eats his rice and curries. I hope finding traces of your father in you brings you solace.

    Reply
  3. Stacie

    I am fortunate to still have both parents but I have friends that have died and this happens to me with them because I forget that people in their 40s and 50s should not die. In an odd way, it’s a tribute.

    Reply
  4. Jolan

    I’m so sorry for your loss. My father passed away earlier this year and parts of me still forget he’s gone. I love that the simple pleasures are what we remember the most vividly (chocolate truffles). Thank you for sharing this.

    Reply
  5. Shilpa Gupte

    So sorry for your loss!
    We really can never get used to missing someone we lose. Everything about them is so deeply ingrained in us that we find it difficult to believe that they have left our world!

    Reply
  6. Christine

    You’ve already guessed that I can relate. <3 We settle into routines and only notice things when those routines are broken. The way you described leaving the CVS, ignoring your usual habits, was a very effective way to highlight your discomfort. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  7. Melony

    Sara, sooo sorry for your loss. I can relate to this. In fact,I was just mentioning on Christine’s piece about how for years, I would say “Mom and Dad” when talking about calling them. It’s those tiny moments that you miss them the most. <3

    Reply
  8. Shantala

    This was difficult for me to read, so I can only imagine how hard it must have been to write. I wish you and your family strength and peace, Sara. I hope you have a good visit back home, and get to spend quality time with your mom and siblings.

    Reply

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