Thursday, June 28, 2012

What now?

How do I adjust to a 1 child family?

How do I keep myself busy?

I'm struggling right now. We run away the minute there is a break in Arjun's school. I buried myself in the Kids&Art auction. Really wanted to do it and now that is done too. The day after the auction I collapsed. I felt the vacuum and did not know how to fill it. The days leading upto the auction were so busy, so much to do, so much to get done, so much to pull together. So many people helping and just so much activity. The mind was busy. Happy too. When we went to Pixar to do art, it was sad to see all these bereaved families but there was so much positive energy in the art room. It felt like all the loved ones were there, holding our hands, painting with us.

But the real question under all of this is - how do I find the real normal?

I haven't even unpacked Amaey's bag since we came back from Israel. How do I get myself to clean up his closet. Thanks to Vicky she did it for me. I asked Arjun if I can empty the closet and take all of Amaey's clothes away and he emphatically said no. I have so many books that Amaey read, I'm debating whether i should donate them to the library or keep them, Arjun wants to leave them. He refuses to let anyone take anything that belonged to Amaey. For him Amaey lives in all those things that he touched.

My goal for going away for a month was to be able to look at life from afar and see if I can find a way to fix it. But I don't know what really needs fixing.

All I know is that Arjun has fond and loving memories of his little brother. For him, Amaey is happy. For him, Amaey deserved better. For him, Amaey was the smartes person he has ever met. He wants to live with those memories. He wants us to learn to do that too. He wants us to keep Amaey in our heart and learn to live with him. I so admire Arjun for that.

They say life closes one door and opens another. I do hope to find one soon because right now I feel astray.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

December 27 2011

I wrote this in December when we were in India while Apurva's dad was in the hospital--

Today I went to the hospital to relieve my mother in law. Dad is in the ICU. They had to take him in on Sunday morning. That afternoon Apurva asked me if Arjun and i could go to visit him... I couldn't. I just couldn't get myself anywhere near a hospital. 
Last night I was worried for dad and this morning was hard to stay in bed, I kept checking the time, I wanted it to be past 7:50 before Apurva called from the hospital. Suddenly at 6am we get a call and I jump out of bed but it was Swati, she wanted to let us know that she had reached. 
Today is 3 months since Amaey left us and I just do not know what the holds in store for us.

I had a gag reflex as I walked in the lobby of the hospital. I did not realize I had such strong emotions attached to it. The driver took me to the ICU on the first floor and as I opened the double doors I had to try hard to not start crying. So many people fighting for their life. In dads room, the constant beeping of the monitor, me trying to silence it, nurses and staff constantly checking in, dads frail body... 

I do realize that taking care of a child and an adult is different in some ways and similar in many. The biggest difference is that with a child you are responsible for everything, every decision. You need to curb their anxiety, explain before a procedure is going to be performed and prepare ahead of time for any new tests. An adult can handle it and take it in their stride. However the pain is the same. But it sure is hard to watch a child going through pain of an adults proportion.

Amazing Amaey

I wrote this in January. I'm thinking of doing an illustrated Book about Amaey. I spent some time talking with a book illustrator and she needed s little story about Amaey. So this is what I came up with--

Never thought he was sick
Did not consider himself less fortunate
Always had a smile on his face
Always lived in the moment
Loved life
Was very witty
Had a lot to offer to everyone, whether it was in the class setting, with his family, his friends or at the hospital
Loved his brother and always thought he and his brother would buy a 2 storey house and live together, yes even after they were married and had kids.
Believed in science
Wanted to play his piano like Omar Sossa
Wanted to do a throw down with Bobby Flay
He was an avid reader and picked his reading material very carefully
Wasn't easily swayed by people or fads or trends, instead he made his own rules

Monday, June 25, 2012

9 months

We are in London right now after spending 12 days in Italy.

Amaey would have loved the food in Italy. We ate amazing food everyday. Pasta and pizza was among Amaey's favorite foods. We don't think he would have liked Rome much. Yes the colosseum would have been a wow for him. Venice would have been enchanting for him. We think he would have liked the way the city does not need plumbers because the tide clears up the canals. He would have been fascinated with the several canals and the fact that there are no cars in the city. Florence, he would have really liked. We went to the Galileo Museum because we know he would have wanted to see it. We were so glad we did because it was an amazing collection of inventions. The way the room was designed, the way the exhibits were arranged, the clear explanations, the movies explaining all the I vent ions... It was quite spectacular.  Arjun and Apurva took so long in the museum that I left, sat at a bar, had my tea and foccacia and went back to the museum and they were still not done.

Here in London, Amaey would have loved to see his cousins and masi's and masa's. If you were to see Akhil, my sisters son, Amaey would have grown up to look like him. It is wonderful to see him. Akhil came to US in August 2011 and was there for Amaey's 9th b'day. He and Arjun would come and play games with Amaey in the hospital. 

Today, Arjun went to the Harry Potter World with his cousin Anokhi. Would Amaey have wanted to be there? He really liked all the Harry Potter books but did not really enjoy the last 2 movies. He thought that they overdid it by dividing the last movie into two parts. He and I re watched HP 2 many times in the hospital. We also decided to re watch the entire series but when it came to the last 2, Amaey did not enjoy them. He found them too loud and dark  and it wasn't something he wanted to do. 

Today, I went for coffee with my sister Bhavna, we were taking about a lot of different things. I wanted to know what time it was when they got the call about Amaey and she said it was 7:30am in London on Sept 26. As soon as Amaey had passed, I had called my sister Mona and told her ammu was no more and he was still here if they wanted to say anything to him for his journey. I kept my phone next to his ear while all four of them talked with him. 

Here in London, we keep talking about ammu. We talk about him whenever we think he would like something or find something weird. his family has been cooking amazing meals and tomorrow we are planning to go for dim sum in Leicester Square, and this meal is totally for ammu. Last time we were here in 2008, we went for dim sum and to the transport museum, and Amaey and Arjun had had the best time of their life. I know tomorrow he will be with us too.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Italy, we are in fattoria il lago, out in the middle of Tuscany. It takes an hour to get here from Florence, it's a small town, village I should say. Once you get to the farm, you forget everything. You forget that it took you 2.5 hrs to get here instead of 1. You forget that you finally made it in at 2am. You just forget everything. The cool nights breeze, the chirping of the birds, the wide expanse of lush green mountains and vineyards all around you take you away... The view outside our room is pure, all I see as far as my eyes can see is greenery. The Small chapel on the property is lit with lights. The 4 other villas are close but not too close. 

We went swimming in the pool and for a hike on the farm. Apurva wanted to carry on but I was too hot so I walked back. As I'm making my way, I feel ammu walking by me. I kissed my hand because I could feel his hand on mine. It was so beautiful that I did not want the moment to pass. We walked downhill for a while and I was peaceful. As I took a turn on the road, I knew he was not there anymore. I knew I was walking by myself. The weight on my hands was gone. No one was holding me hand. I had a warm smile in the 95 degree heat. 

I cannot express how beautiful that moment was. I have heard such stories and considered them fibs. But, I have had so many such special moments now that I know that these visits are real and special. 

I went for a walk after dinner, I think it was 10pm. The farm is lit up in a few lights and then all you can see is some distant light on the mountains and lights from the village square all the way down in the valley. The breeze is cold and the air smells fresh of jasmine and earth and sometimes just of the dry grass that is being packed into bales. As I left the columns that mark the entrance to the villas I could see some lights flickering. I kept walking towards the dark path wooded with trees. It was a bit spooky because it was pitch dark. I was really curios about the little flashing lights and as I kept walking I realized that I had fireflies all around me. I have read about fireflies and seen them in illustrations but never seen them in real life. I did not know that something could amaze me in this way. I felt like a little girl in an enchanted forest. I felt like I had a special showing of beauty.... All for me, unspoilt and breathtaking.

I turned back and took the path that went down toward the village, there was some light from the fattoria glowing my path intermittently. But whenever there was a dark patch I would see my firefly friends gliding effortlessly.