She sat on a chair, especially decorated for her. And she saw her world in front of her, the one she had built with her husband; her sons, their wives and the grandchildren. The spread on the table included her favorite dishes. And she was seated next to her favoritest person in the world, her sister; also her best friend.
We had talked about this day for weeks. The night before we had stayed up to create a collage of memories for her, to include the most important people in her life. We had had a minor debate on whether to include the late grandfather’s pictures in it. She had a right to those memories, we noted.
Making the collage was a fun ride down memory line. The time when we made the men of the house chop salad for the evening meal, when we decked up in ghaghras for the Diwali Puja at home, when the baby brother’s first milk tooth fell off. We saw our grandmother lounging on a beach in Daman, a rare picture of her with the grandfather and of her with her favorite pair of knitting needles.
She was overwhelmed when we unwrapped her present. Until that moment, I had no idea that a bunch of pictures could make someone so happy. She took her time to identify each person and each moment. With pride, with glee, marveling at the world she had helped build.
I wonder who crossed her mind that night as she embraced sleep, her granddaughters who had wished her from the other side of the world that morning or our grandfather.