Wistful, probably. At any rate, I found myself answering the question Mr. Albom asks, “What would I do if I had one more day with someone I’ve lost?”
I would have said my grandfather, without a blink of my eye, because my grandfather was the most important man for me. But, I pondered for a while. My answer would be my grandmother. I would like to spend one more day with her, if I ever get to.
‘My father once told me, “You can be a mama’s boy or a daddy’s boy. But you can’t be both.”
I would like to modify this a bit. I have always liked to be identified as my grandfather’s girl. I have his temper and his ego to some extent. I can be scornful like he was. I have his practical bent of mind. I’m good at Maths.
To Patti (grandmom), I was always her girl from day one. But, to me, I became her girl only after my grandfather died. She had always been a significant part of my life, undoubtedly, but it took me a while to realize that. By then it was too late.
I could get away with yelling when she would bombard me with her childlike questions, which seemed so irrational and pointless to a teenager returning home after a long, yet useless day in college. Or when she wouldn’t let me watch my favourite episode of “How I Met Your Mother” without having described her day.
I would promise to play carom with her each time she visited us. I guess I broke them all the time and she being the soft soul that she was, never minded my forgetfulness. Mere words were enough for her. During her last days, I told her I’d play Rummy with her. I never did.
She loved Bollywood movies and slapstick comedies. I can count the number of times we watched movies together. I was lazy enough to not walk to the nearest DVD library and rent a DVD for the weekend.
Almost 7 out of 10 times, I preferred spending time with my grandfather over her. Was that wrong? I don’t know. I probably ran out of patience explaining stuff to her.
And yet she didn’t mind. She swallowed my rudeness, my irritation and annoyance at her ignorance about the so-called worldly things.
Because I was her girl.
For all those times I did not stand up for her, she stood up for me.
I probably didn’t realize or I shrugged her away, hence that, was the one time I majorly let her down I suppose.
So if I do get one more day with Patti, I would spend it by playing carom, watching stupid movies, eating ice-creams, gossiping about our old neighbours, and answering her every question in detail. I would like to have that one meaningful conversation with her, that we should have had ages ago, but never did.
For one more day. That’s all.