In the company of her children, Raji patti passed away yesterday. Amma said she witnessed her last breath, rising from her belly, traveling through her chest, escaping out of her mouth. The next moment she was lifeless.
Patti had been steadily deteriorating and all signs of end of life was there. And it was getting clearer last morning that it was just a question of time. Everybody surrendered to the ultimate reality and was by patti’s bedside reciting Vishnu Sahasranamam when I spoke to appa and amma last.. Barely clinging to her life, and with likely some suffering from within, she seemed to have acknowledged everyone and even faintly smiled.
I am grateful that she is not in pain anymore. I am grateful that she lived a full life and that my children, especially Hari, has memories of her. I am grateful for all the love she showered and the prayers she offered for us. I am grateful that my mama provided top notch care for her. I am grateful that my parents visited her whenever they could, and were fully present for her.
I was not as close to my maternal patti as I was to my paternal patti. But there was love, affection, blessings, well wishes, food and a childhood filled with indulgences. Last time I visited, which was several years back, I remember enjoying every morsel of the meal she had cooked, and I made sure I told how much I relished her cooking, although I did not quite appreciate it as a child. I brought with me her exquisite bead work, which will always have a place in my gollu and in my heart. Amma told me how people have been pouring in with high praise for her generosity. She had truly won many hearts.
Rest in Peace patti. Love you and miss you.
With none of my grandparents surviving anymore, I feel like a layer of my safety net has been pulled from under my feet. And I tell myself, I will carry each of them with me in my own way. Lord Rama and bakshanam will always remind me of Nana thatha. I will work on green corner, and our yard thinking of Babu thatha’s love for plants. I will put in a little more effort to be in touch with my extended family just like Andu patti did. Raji patti always expressed love through the food she served, and she inspires me to put in more love in my cooking.
I feel so lucky to have had a rich childhood filled with memories and indulgences from my grandparents.