This is from an old blog...
I finished reading this book called Tuesdays with Morrie. . The ending is so touching.. I almost cried today in the bus when reading it. It reminded me of my grandpa who was suffering from cancer and after I came to know that I never got in touch with him. It was in 8th std when one day I came home from school and mom broke the news to me that he is suffering from cancer. I just said Oh! And then came to my room and cried.
I was the youngest among the cousins and my grandpa’s pet. If we wanted a treat from him I was the ambassador. I would find a suitable time – after lunch when he sits and chews paan. At that time I wud go and make paan for him and pester and butter him up for treat... our treat meant going to the town and having the then famous 'Gadbad' ice cream at the usual joint. He likes kittens a lot.. he had a huge belly which when he sat on the chair would create a concave structure between his chest and his convex belly , a gap enough to place a kitten. That ancestral house had cats, dogs, cows, buffaloes, bull, hen, cocks and even peacocks and peahens at some point. Everytime the cat gave birth to kittens we 5 cousins would select a pet and claim it to be our souvenir. I would place the best looking kitten in his concave structure and he would just love it.. and tat was the time.. I would broach the topic and after a lot of Yes and NOs he wud finally agree. I visited him only once after I came to know that he had cancer. That was a month before he died. I entered the house and saw a thin bony structure with sunken eyes sitting on the easy chair which had pillows on each of its arms and near the head rest. It was my grand father. I cud not recognize him ,There was no concave structure. His belly itself had become concave. He did not even have the strength to move his hands or legs. Or even nod for that matter. When I went close to him... There was a faint smile on his face which he brought after so much of effort. Somebody had to help him stand with major weight of his body falling on them. He wud either sit on the easy chair or on the bed. I did not speak to him much as I was scared. I went straight to the kitchen where my grany was preparing his lunch. rice boiled and mashed to a fine paste. When he strong and fine he wud throw his lunch plate away if at all rice was little softer than the ‘standard’. I just wondered how things change. After his lunch two people helped him lie down on the bed. And granny brought a cup of oil and she started rubbing him on his stomach. He had intestinal cancer. He had been operated also but since te malignant had spread all over the operation was a failure. I was sitting in the hall not having enough guts to enter the room where he was lying. But he wanted to see me.. talk to me..he asked granny to call me in. I came in. and stood in the corner. G pa raised his fingers inch above where it was and motioned me to come long his side. I looked at granny... She too nodded her said and asked me to sit next to him. And then she asked me to take some oil and apply it on his feet. I took the oil and rubbed his cold feet. The pain was killing him inside. He would wail all night crying in pain. Granny and my 2 cousins could never sleep. Whole night they would take turns to apply oil and ease his pain... but that would never do. He wanted to kill himself before the pain killed him. He tried to commit suicide one day. One afternoon he went to the yard where in a shed the pesticides were kept. He was opening the bottle when one the cousin saw him and stopped him...!I rubbed his feet and he wailed. He asked me to come close to him. I bent over and saw his sunken eyes. I got so scared that I suddenly jumped out of the bed and came out. After that I went to the fields and sat near the pool and cried cried. Until my cousin came and asked me to come inside. I went home but not to THAT room. Later in the evening when I had to return I went to his room to say good bye. I saw his back was to the door and was half asleep and wailing..so I sneaked into the room and touched his feet superficially so that he doesn’t wake up. More than he waking up I did not want to see his sunken, hollow cheeks . I came out as quickly as I could from that room and I went back to my place. That was it. I never saw him again.!
Today when I read the book it reminded me of my grand pa so much. In the book Morrie tells how much he needs human attention. He is lying on his death bed and waits for someone to come and talk to him; rub his feet. Even my grand pa wanted that. Not from somebody else but from me.. I was his best grandchild. He loved me.. I too loved him. but I was not the good grand child. !After reading that book I feel I cud have atleast rubbed his feet,at least kissed him on the cheek, said a proper good bye. NO. I did not do any of these.. I feel so sad about it. I regret what I did not do..!!