Haunting Reflections (A #1000 voices for compassion post)

Source: www.amrita-it.com
Having read various definitions of love and compassion all throughout my growing up years I had began to believe in the text book meaning of it, in the literal sense till someone decided to change the way I saw it. 

Not very long ago there used to be a very old lady living all alone in the same apartments as mine. I had recently shifted there as a paying guest while she seemed to have lived there for almost her entire life. In her late eighties she was fragile with light blue eyes which would shine every time she would smile. She had a petite structure with silver white hair adorning her head, giving it the look of a halo at times. She would sit by the corridor greeting everybody throughout the day, asking their well being, and sometimes just giving them one of her made-to-melt smiles. Her 'God Bless you' was enough to brighten up anyone’s day. She stayed just a floor below mine and hence I had many chances to bump into her daily. It started from my morning chore of getting milk till the time I would come back from work in the evening. She would unfailingly be there, and depending on my mood would greet me with one of her trademark witty welcome remarks.
 

One evening as I climbed the stairs slowly I didn’t find her there. If that wasn’t unusual enough the entrance to her house was crowded. As I made my way through them I noticed she had fainted in the chair today. Some of the ladies in the group were trying to cajole her to eat something and she was just denying it. I moved a bit ahead and tried to catch her gaze. The moment I had it I smiled, one of my brightest smiles and waved at her making her remember who I am. She smiled back in acknowledgement and waved at me. 

She beckoned me to come closer. I went a step ahead and she just grabbed my hand, whispering into my ears, “Ask them all to go. I am fine. I don’t like all this.” I understood by now that she had taken me in as her confidante and so asked all of them to leave assuring them that I will make her eat something. I believe it was somewhere that day when the base of our friendship was laid. Friendship might not be the right word, amazing companionship it was. Over mugs of hot chocolate and Oreos we spent so many mornings and evenings together. Sometimes she used to talk and I would listen, while at times I would share and she would hear. 

Source: www.bitsoflife.com
It is said that when you do something you love time just flies I believe that’s what happened with me for I don’t remember for how long we like this were together creating memories for a lifetime. It was all sunshine till I fell seriously ill and was admitted to a hospital. Days turned into weeks without a sign of what was the ailment I was suffering from. I was hardly in a position to speak to anyone, leave alone enquire about her. Many weeks later I was towards the road for recovery when I came know that she had passed away. It came out in a very casual manner by a neighbor who had come visiting my room-mates but it hit me hard somewhere deep inside. And her last words were, “Tell her, she will be fine.” 

It took all of them a while to understand that perhaps she was referring to me. But to me it felt like a signal, one from the skies. I closed my eyes to see her smiling face mouthing the same words to me once again and there was a strange sense of peace that engulfed my whole being. Tears flowed down my cheeks and I didn’t want to open my eyes for the fear of losing her again. Just then the doctor’s cold stethoscope on skin jolted me back to reality. “You can be discharged today.” He whispered and smiled at me. 

That day she taught me that just to love or care about someone isn’t enough, it is important to let that love and care never leave us at any time. 


P.S: This post is written for the #1000 Voices for Compassion event. Apologies this post is late. I was down with a relapse and hence couldn’t write it. But this was a story that had to be shared. 

P.P.S I know this sounds a bit far-fetched but it is nothing but the truth.

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