Hey Nana, can you hear me? I’m that precious granddaughter of yours that feels drowned in regrets. If you were still here, you would mock me and say “You are too young for regrets.” You would laugh at me. Then you would take me out to eat to make me feel better because you could never stand the sight of my tears. But here I am with tears streaming down my cheeks and you aren’t there to wipe them or pat my head and tell me to let it go.
It has been a year Nana, that you left us. That day still seems like a blur. I didn’t even know the date till this year when Mom told me. What did the date matter? You aren’t here and I didn’t need a particular day to be reminded of that. I never thought I’d see you leave before my O level exams. You always said so yourself that you would live long enough to see me get married. I promised myself that I would make you proud, that it was my only opportunity. The only way I could make you proud and I had to because I was always so proud of you. How could I not be proud of you? You were your country’s soldier, your community’s good doer, your family’s glue and a person with the largest heart. You couldn’t hold on for one more year, you just couldn’t. I wonder if you are watching me now, if you are, do you feel proud of me? You saw me growing up, my father himself never did. You knew me better than he does and better than he ever will. People think I lost a grandfather, what they don’t understand is that I lost a father. And it hurts in every inch of my body when I think about it. So like a child I lock that painful thought away to save myself from breaking down every so often. The dining table is empty. There is nobody complaining about politics and giving us all the breaking news of the world. There is no more need of fetching your medicine box after dinner and no more fighting among the younger kids in the house about who is going to feed you the medicine. Remember, not too many years back I was the only one with the privilege to do so? You would wait for me to come with the medicine. But gradually the nonsense thought that I was growing up took over me and I stopped feeding you the medicine and the younger ones took my place. I should have never let that happen.
In those last months Nana, I hardly saw you even though you were mostly home. I was going around doing extra classes for the exams the results of which you didn’t live long enough to see. I was working with that goal in mind, I would make you so proud. But while doing so I forgot about you as a person completely. I would still see you at dinner but never stick around long enough. The day it all started to go down, I was on the dining table and you called out from your room. Even in my worst dreams I couldn’t have thought that it would be those series of events that led to the end. That I would be helping you down the stairs to the car for the last time. That those were your very last step. When you were in pain you kept telling me that “This is it. This is it.” I wouldn’t believe you. I couldn’t believe you. I didn’t want to. But you knew. The next day, every second I spent away from the hospital I felt those words weighing down on me. On the day you left I spent the entire day there but you chose the moment I was not beside you to let out that last breath.
I thought a miracle would happen. You taught me to believe in miracles and that they happen to everybody. I would trade all the miracles of my life for that one miracle. But no Nana a miracle didn’t happen. I regret so many things now. Too many. I could have changed my last memories of you. I could have made you happier by spending time with you. I should have done so much and that still wouldn’t come close to what you did for me from the start. My results came out just the day after your death anniversary. Mom burst out in tears just thinking how happy you would have been, how you would be dancing around the streets giving people sweets and declaring to the whole world that your granddaughter is the best. When you would see me crying for that one mark that made me lose the chance to the scholarship, you would say that you would pay the fees if I stopped crying about it. And I wouldn’t so you would pat my head and tell me how this is just a lesson life threw at me, that I should get over it and be happy about what I achieved. But you aren’t there to do that. So I’m going to cry Nana, because nothing and nobody else seems to be enough to erase any of this distress. Then I will do what you ALWAYS asked me to do- count my blessings. But from the past year I have one less blessing to count.