...admit it took sometime to regain familiarity with my dashboard...
...........and yes, this is me, and yes, it has been a looo...ooong time. Many thanks, all of you who faithfully kept coming back to this blog to check on me, my lovely friends, and a few lovely Annony-mice I didn't know were there... I also noticed with shock that my hitcounter is registering over 15,000! So thank you again, everyone... and I am sorry to have disappointed.
As for what the heck happened, I guess death has made it a habit to pay a visit around the same time every year. My grandfather passed away, almost exactly 2 years to the day my grandmother died. Although it is not very buddhistic, I like to think that he went to join her. Maybe they have 7 more lifetimes in samsara together...
Seeya had a very peaceful death. He was healthy until about July, walking about, going to work (at 88!) and had eyesight better than mine. Then he got a really bad chest infection that just wouldn't go away. Slowly he grew more feeble, more breathless and more dependent. I loved looking after him, making his meals - blended, energy dense and various combinations so that he wouldn't get sick of the same thing. I loved keeping him company while he ate, while he listened to the sermons on the radio etc. I'm so glad I was able to help out my mother with his medicines etc. and with treatment decisions, to get a nurse to look after him, to nebulize him etc. I think the last couple of days, he had better care than he would have had in an ICU - 2 doctors and a nurse, nubulizers, IV medicine, oxygen all at hand if needed. That day, he had his breakfast and lunch and was listening to pirith and waiting for his tea... he nodded off against my mother's shoulder, and moments later, she noticed that he was not breathing.
He had a good life... 55 years marriage to my lovely grandmother, 4 successful children and a number of loving grandkids. He was principal of a leading educational institute and fondly remembered by his students - many who are well respected academics, professionals and businessmen. They dedicate books they have authored to him, remember him when accepting prestiges awards and recently felicitated him at the institute. Seeya held truth and justice of foremost importance - and that's a lesson he imparted to his children, grandchildren and students, that the easy way isn't always the right one. He valued education, glorying in gold medals, academic distinctions etc. of his loved ones. But his emphasis was more on right thoughts speech and actions. He used to recite this little poem to us when we were at our most impressionable:
Guard your lips from evil slips,
Five things note with care.
To whom you speak, of whom you speak,
When, why and where.
I miss him deeply. I am sad, but not distraught - I can only look back at the times I spent with him and know that there are no regrets. I am luckier than many... I got to spend over a quarter of a century with both my grandparents. I hope I live up to his standards and expectations, and I cannot wish him a better passing - alert and rational, free of pain, in the company of his loved ones and while listening to pirith. May he attain the supreme bliss of Nibbana.
On a different note, my silence has also been due to the dramatic political scenario in the country. While quite interested in what is happening, and terribly opinionated, I did not want to turn this blog into a political forum. In fact, given the atmosphere online, I'm fairly sure that even a statement like my mum went and bought a banana plant for 150 rupees but it died a week later would have been interpreted by some as supportive of one candidate, or flippantly dismissive of another. I had fun reading election related posts on kottu/achcharu and went bright and early to vote. I confess that one preferential vote was for the guy contesting under the kangaroo, simply because the symbol was so priceless. Darling kept muttering darkly that people like me should have limited franchise... huh!
And finally, I was a bit in the dumps because I am becoming a monument of sorts. I am now firmly on the other side of the fence (biological and otherwise) and (sigh...) it's going to be downhill all the way from here.
For those of you who have no clue what the heck I am talking about, today is my birthday, I wanna be wished! :)
Signing off - vintage Angel