Remembering Grandma
I still remember everything like it was yesterday. Just yesterday.
When I first met Grandma, she seemed strange, mysterious, weird.
The cottage she lived in seemed old and dirty and the statues seemed creepy.
She tried to engage me in conversation, but I would always shy away, making the worst of excuses.
Her smile would fade, and she would fall back, her head hanging in sadness.
She would go and relax in her rocking chair, sighing sadly in dilemma.
And then she would fall asleep.
It’s wasn’t long before I began to feel guilty.
So I apologized. A soft apology, bending in shame.
Grandma laughed and played with my hair.
And then, she revealed another side of her.
Her 66 yr old self would change into a bright, young girl with pigtails, as she went berry-picking with me.
We’d have picnics by the river.
Camping trips in the forest.
I would always be devastated when I left her after the holidays, but she would always allow me to take anything, any artefact, home. Anything, I chose.
Expect one small thing.
It was a diamond, a small diamond she said Grandpa gave her before he went off sailing and died.
It was a memoir, she said.
She couldn’t give it to me.
But I still got equally stunning gifts.
Each summer come, I would be back in her haven.
Such we spent four glorious summers.
From ten to fourteen years of age.
And suddenly I was busy.
At fifteen, summer at grandma’s wasn’t just my cup of tea.
I wanted to go to the beach, lounging with my friends in w swimsuits, in the fabulous sun, tanning naturally.
I cut the summer holiday short to twenty-five days from our two month usual plans.
Grandma seemed disappointed over the telephone, but she tried her best not to show it.
And those twenty-five days, I had a lot of fun. But when I came back, I was plunging in the beach and forgot all about the camp trips with Grandma.
Turn sixteen, my plans were reduced to fifteen meagre days.
And when I was seventeen, I gave up going to Grandma at all and was cut off from her. I didn’t even talk on the phone to her.
Two years passed, till my dazzling nineteen came up.
I was in college.
3rd December... I received the news.
Grandma was sick.
She had a heart attack.
I rushed from college, packed my bags.
I reached her cottage and hurried to her bedside.
And she was wearing an oxygen mask.
Equipment surrounded her.
I began to sob, but she was smiling at me.
‘ My granddaughter...’ she whispered, taking my hand and kissing my fingers before handing me a diamond.
‘For you...’ she whispered.
And the machine went beep.
And I watched the diamond, as a single tear fell and dropped on it, magnifying its pale surface.
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