Nagercoil Diaries – Day 9, Final Day

I was crazy to even think of it but I was hoping we could go see Lemur Beach in the morning. But that was highly unlikely. We had a tonne of stuff to pack and it was not going to be easy. Things were strewn all over the home, upstairs, downstairs and everywhere. It would be a great task to gather everything into one single place and get it packed but we were going to have to do it. My husband went out to buy some stuff to take back to Chennai. It was a very slow day. One by one we were doing all the stuff we had to before we left. We washed some of the dirty clothes early in the morning so that they would dry off before we could pack them up.

The packing kept going on and on, I was kind of exhausted and couldn’t do much. Till we had to leave to the bus station we were packing and we were running late. We loaded everything into the car and were on our way and were hoping we could make it on time to the bus station. We boarded the bus exactly as it was about to leave the bus station at 8:30 PM. The driver wasn’t amused. Our luggage had to be loaded at another pick-up point, which is where my husband boarded the bus. With the little ones I’ve got so accustomed to being late for every thing so the drivers annoyed attitude didn’t bother me one bit.

The kids were so excited to ride in a bus. This was their first experience. It was a sleeper bus so there was no option of sitting. The kids all settled down in the upper berth while we lay down in the lower one. They slept off instantly. For a while I was trying to look outside through the window to see if I could recognize the places the bus was stopping at. But then it was so dark, that it was pointless even trying to do it. Such journeys remind me of my younger years when we would often travel to mom’s village and back. It was a tiring night. I ate a bit from the food (boiled egg) I had packed and retired for the day. Thus ended our super duper trip to Nagercoil, the place that captivated my heart at first sight.


Nagercoil Diaries – Day 8

This was a very slow day. We were very tired from the previous day’s venture and the need to start packing for our trip back was looming over our heads. We hadn’t booked our tickets yet mainly because there were no seats available on trains or buses and flights were too expensive. But we had to leave Nagercoil by tomorrow as my husband had to rejoin office soon.

One of our friend’s dad had come home with a huge jackfruit for us to take back to Chennai. Luckily we told him about our plight of not being able to get tickets back home and he helped us secure tickets on a sleeper bus for the next day. One issue was sorted.

In my mind, I was still longing to visit at least one place that I had missed out in the last few days. One of the beaches, Lemur beach, that people had recommended came to mind. I was trying to find a way to squeeze in that one place into our itinerary, but I knew I was aiming for the stars.

The rest of the morning went in relaxing and having our breakfast. One of my husband’s cousin invited us to go out with him for lunch. In the evening we had to go to Pothys to exchange some stuff I had picked up accidentally, last time we went shopping. We got ready for lunch and headed out by around 1 PM. My husband’s cousin picked us up and we headed to a nice area with a multicuisine restaurant. The dining area was in the topmost floor. It had a nice view of Nagercoil. How lush and green the place was. Never in my life had I seen a place more greener that this. We all ordered food and had a lovely lunch with our cousin. He offered to drop us at Pothys. We reached Pothys at around 3:30 PM. We didn’t know how time flew by, but by the time we were done at Pothys it was almost past 6 PM and I knew we wouldn’t be able to make it to the beach. I was a bit upset.

We finished shopping and then headed to the bride’s mom’s home to say farewell to them as we wound up our small trip to nagercoil. We spent some time chatting with them. The kids were playing. We then had dinner. They ordered some ice cream for the kids. We all enjoyed the ice cream and then took leave. By the time we reached home it was very late and we decided to get to sleep as soon as we could because the next day was a very long one.


The Last Cord!

After so many years of pain, confusion, trauma, arguments and restlessness, it has finally come to an end. My mother is no more. Did I grieve? Yes, I did! I grieved the mother my mind always assumed it had. The loving, doting mother. In reality, no matter how much I loved her and my heart ached for her, she was incapable of receiving my love and bestowing the same love upon me. Nonetheless, it was painful to see her body lie lifeless. Tears flowed. I had least expected her to leave so soon. In my heart, I had finally placed her in a decent and safe place and my hope was to see her alive the next time I visited Chennai. Instead, I had to go to Chennai to arrange her funeral and burial. That was one thing I couldn’t come to terms with.

When I visited her last, I took all my kids with me so she could see them and send us off happily. Instead, she cried and cried to be taken out of the cancer hospice and to be sent to her father’s family, her sisters. Her mind was troubled. No matter how much I was there for her, she only yearned for her siblings. There was nothing I could do to fulfil that wish for her because for her father’s family, my mom’s welfare, was the least of their concerns. One of her sister’s family actually volunteered to take her into their home and told us how much they’ll need every month and demanded we put some jewels on her before sending her there. Three days later, they called us and said that her sister didn’t want her there and refused to take her in. I realized that there was no genuine concern whatsoever. I felt sad for not being able to keep her in dad’s home. Just as I was making arrangements to move her downstairs, she fell and couldn’t get up for almost 12 hours. She was soaked in her own urine by the time I reached home. That’s when I decided that she needs a dignified end.

I’m glad her life ended in a dignified manner. She may not have had the people she wanted around, but she was surrounded by people who served her with their heart and soul. I’ll ever be thankful to the sisters at Jeevodaya Cancer Hospice for their selfless care and efforts to keep mom as comfortable as possible till her last breath. They are truly angels.

Her death also leads to the end of all my ties with her family. The last cord that connected us has been cut. I saw them at the funeral. I’ve never felt so disconnected as I did then. They knew where she was for the last few months, and yet they did not go visit her. The ones who had volunteered to take her into their home had all the details of where she was put up. Yet not a stir. I found that attitude brutal. My mom was all alone, with not even a soul to visit her over the last four months. The hospice was shocked that not even one soul came to visit her during her stay there. I simply had to tell them that I had no one. There was nothing to say, nothing to smile about, nothing to feel, just numbness when I looked at my mom’s family. A void so deep it could engulf me. What a miserable death these relationships have died! All because I had to spew out the truth at all costs. I had covered it up for too long because I was so confused. When it was all clear, letting it out released my mind from those pangs.

Many days, my heart has ached for the generous time that had been wasted with the wrong people while the least amount of time was spent with valuable ones. But my mom’s mind was stuck in a loop. Despite her family’s behaviour, she always wanted to return to them. She just couldn’t think in any other way. Now, all I feel for my mother is sympathy. Sympathy for the way her mind and spirit was always troubled throughout her lifetime. Who knew what kind of troubled childhood she had? Who knew if she had undergone any form of physical or emotional abuse as a child? Who knew what turned her into who she was with dad and me? Something was surely amiss, but we’ll never know. More than her physical rest, I was happy that her spirit and mind are resting calmly.

An era has ended. No one remains from my childhood. My dad is gone, now so has my mom. I’m kind of blank in my mind. I walked into the home where they spent the last part of their lives. It was a stark reminder of them, their faces. I couldn’t stand there for more than five minutes. I was shattered, broken, and agitated. It was all over, one half of my life is done and dusted and there I stood finding it difficult to move on.

One fact every human being must understand is that everything comes to an end, whether it is good or bad, beautiful or ugly, constructive or destructive. Nothing can stop time. Everything around is temporary. The most priceless thing on earth is inner peace and a sense of satisfaction of having done the right thing. I gave my mother a dignified end, and I’m so glad I was able to do so.

Goodbye, mum! I miss the mum I always thought I had in you. I hope you’ve finally found the peace you didn’t have on earth. God bless your soul!


The day I felt elated to be a stay-at-home-mom…

It doesn’t happen very often! Being a SAHM is a highly frustrating venture. One in which at times you feel you have lost yourself fully before discovering yourself all over again in a new avatar. It’s not for the feeble hearted.

How many times have I wanted to go back to work, restart my career, have a life of my own? Countless times! But what stopped me? The very thought, ” Who’d take care of my baby, the way I would? And this one thought has stopped me from quitting my SAHM role. I’ve had plenty of domestic helpers come and go with no personal satisfaction towards their behaviour or their work. At one stage, even my young kids asked me to stop hiring them further.

I think we SAHMs don’t give ourselves enough credit. What we’re doing is nothing short of incredible. How many women, who have the financial means to survive, would actually leave their jobs and opt to stay at home to look after their families? Hardly 10% of them. One needs a deeper passion to cater to the physical, mental and emotional needs and well-being of the upcoming generation, to take a step forward in the said direction. It’s not easy.

We, the women of this generation have tasted both worlds. One where we have gained an identity by working, earning, being appreciated and feeling equal to our male peers. Also, the other world, where our identity slowly fades into a mist, where we are hardly recognized or appreciated and life rolls into a monotonous routine of selfless service. Now which woman would want to live in the second world after experiencing the joys of the first one? No woman would!

So recently last week my eldest was lying down with me and she suddenly blurted, “I’m so lucky to have you and dad as my mom and dad. You guys spend so much time with me, my friend says she’s sad because her parents hardly spend time with her.” Suddenly, something that felt like a mundane everyday routine became a unique bond building activity we did on a daily basis. How happy and motivated I felt at that point, I cannot explain. I finally felt it was all worth it, all the sacrifices I’ve made to be with my kids, whether they were financial or mental. I mean what’s more precious in this world, than your child running into your arms and telling you that they’re so glad you’re their parent. Folks are not wrong when they say one day it will be the little things that matter the most. They seem trivial and insignificant but they’re the building blocks of an eternal bond.

As much as possible, I will try to be available for the kids at every stage of their life. At some point in time, I may have to think of working again, but if at any point I feel my work interferes with the welfare of my children, then I wouldn’t think twice about getting back to being a SAHM.

It hasn’t been an easy journey so far. There have been a billion hiccups along the way. At times, I’ve even lost my health simply handling their menace. I’d be lying if I said I’m having a happy time. I’d be more honest if I said it’s a satisfying undertaking. Kudos to all the SAHMs who are raising tomorrow’s heroes in today’s world. Though we don’t see the fruit of our labour today, we will eventually when the right time comes.


Grieving some more…

It’s just one of those glum days. Those awful days, when I terribly miss my dad and feel hopeless at the thought of never being able to see him again. All the material things he left behind live on, and yet he isn’t around. A hard truth to digest.

My last trip to India was when I felt like he was the very essence of my being. I saw all his clothes stocked up in the cupboards and honestly I didn’t have it in me to sort through them or give them away. As far as I know, nothing of his will leave that home as long as I’m breathing. Nor will the yearning to have him around die.

His home is nothing without him. The very spirit of the home felt dead. Seriously, how does one get out of this rut within the mind? They say time heals all wounds. But I’ve felt my wounds from dad’s demise grow deeper and deeper as the days go by.

The trip also called for war. War against evil, against people who tried to steal what was dad’s. It was only by God’s grace we were victorious. In the end, it was dad’s victory. The victory of good over evil.

Although I celebrated the victory God gave me, certain things didn’t go as I had planned. I’ve mentioned countless times on my blog about how I’d never forgive my mother for murdering my dad. Yet, not because of who she was but because of who I am, I wanted her to have a decent ending and hence I decided to set her up well in my dad’s home. However fate had decided otherwise. My mom lost her strength and fell. On the first day she managed to pick herself up. The second day things took a turn for the worse. She fell and she never got back up on her legs. She had fallen down late evening and was on the floor till such time I reached dad’s home the next day morning and managed to get external help to come lift her up onto the bed. Even then her back had lost the ability to hold her up straight. She lay helplessly on the bed. She was soaked in urine. It was then that I decided she needed more care than anyone around could offer her, and I moved her into the hospice.

The hospice is heaven for those who are in agony or pain. They take lovely care of all their patients. My mother was neat and clean for the first time since I had reached Chennai. However, being the covert being that she was, she was not happy with the social and friendly environment that existed there. The last day I visited her before I left Chennai filled me with sour memories.

I won’t deny my disappointment of not having her in dad’s home. I somehow wanted to keep his home alive and give it a new lease of life. I also wanted to give my mother the end she desired, to complete her life in dad’s home. However, God’s plans weren’t what I had planned out and tried to execute. They were far different.

There hasn’t been a day that I’ve not thought about my mother and how she’s surviving socially. She may have been happy alone, living life on her terms in dad’s home but she was living in a stench that was unbearable. So I take heart that she’s clean and being fed three proper meals each day. Although there is nothing between us, no feelings whatsoever, I guess I’m still grieving the mother I thought I had.

Recovery from narcissistic abuse is brutal. One day I think I’ve gotten over everything but the very next day I find myself sobbing like a 3 year old who couldn’t find her favourite toy. I really wonder how people carry on in life after dealing with so much. For today, I miss my daddy and I miss the mummy I thought I had. The grieving seems never-ending. So today I grieve some more for both of them.