On 19th Jan 2014.

In November 2010 when a parent said they lit a candle and cut a cake on their child’s birth anniversary each year, I was sure I could never do that.

But today, Brat Three cut this cake.

LoveYouTejaswee

And her brother insisted on this orange candle…

Orange Candle

* * *

Later this afternoon I wanted to rest but Brat Three woke me up, asking me to come and see something. “Can’t it wait Brat Three? I am trying to get some sleep!”

No protests, no attempts to convince, no ‘it will take only a moment’, just an uncharacteristic, almost meek, “Okay.”

Later when I got up she got this for me to see.

HappyBirthdayTejasweeRao“How did you think of making this card Brat Three?”

“Because it’s her birthday today.”

“But she can’t see it… how will she see this card Brat Three…”

“She will. She knows. She can see from there.”

 * * *

Earlier this morning Brat Three had to draw a ‘Family Tree’ for her home work and she asked if she should show three children in our family.

I wasn’t sure.

“Name the three children?”

“…then should I show two children?”

“Three is fine. There’s you, Brat Two and Tejaswee.”

Tejaswee2

* * *

And this photograph is from 19th Jan 2010. Tejaswee’s 19th birthday. The dogs came out every morning to say ‘bye bye to Tejaswee’ …barking to make her come back.

DSC_0006

Related Posts:

Two photographs in an email.

On 19th Jan 2011.

On 19th Jan 2013.

Of Calvin, a dream, an old song, and a birthday…

What are little girls made of?

While walking a dog…

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She would have been 21 today and I miss her.

I have no words, just thanks to all who remembered Tejaswee today. This year is easier than the last one, so I am sure it does get better. My mother is with me and her constant attempts to cheer me (joking, talking about everything but what’s in her mind and mine) upset me and then I sat her down and read out from some of my earlier posts about there being no right or wrong way to grieve. I told her it was okay for me to not laugh or be able to focus on anything sometimes. I also assured her that I was much better but she really needed to accept that I was not and could not be the same daughter she had before her grand daughter died, but that did not mean I was always crying. I told her I actually laughed aloud when I read Tejaswee’s letter to J K Rowling, and how I will never forget the wonderful life we had, and the amazing memories we have now. I told her I didn’t need to forget Tejaswee.
She says she understands but everything she does conveys she wants everything to be ‘normal’. I tried to make her see that it didn’t harm me to acknowledge that I was thinking of  my daughter on the most special day of my life and hers (and every single other day).

My deepest gratitude to the blogosphere and the internet for keeping me sane during the toughest time in my life.

This portrait by Midhun Kumar made me feel I was not the only one remembering her today.

From this photograph by Divesh,

Thank You.

While walking a dog…

1. I spent the last two days answering some questions for a magazine interview, about my daughter and her death. I realise a lot of parents find this difficult, I do too, but somehow I feel a need to write and talk about her and felt a sense of an achievement when it was done. I think I managed to state facts without sounding emotional, so I am feeling not depressed but actually light hearted today.  Took both the dogs for a walk and it was a beautiful morning at 11 C 🙂 I have decided to share a photograph a day from my daily walks, either here or on Google Plus, not sure how long I would be able to keep this commitment, but let me try 🙂

2. While coming back home (some days back) I was interviewed by this kid who wanted Mutt’s complete biodata. He understood that older dogs could have arthritis too. He has a dog, a brown coloured dog who he loves to walk. Our Ms Mutt has been raised by a kid just like this one, who knew the names, ages, medical history and tastes of all the dogs in the neighbourhood.

Mutt grew up playing with children who doted upon her and has no doubt that she is just another well brought up human child.

We have had kids visiting us just to see how she is doing. (Gabbar Singh has been adorably sporting about this).

I told this kid that like people, dogs also learn to be aggressive only if they are treated cruelly.

3. Got my mother’s call on the way. She said she has some problem with her laptop and needs me to help sort it. “Okay, send it…” I started to say because that’s what she usually does. But she is bringing it herself.  She wouldn’t say it, she is still scared of saying the wrong thing, so I asked, “Because it’s Tejaswee’s birthday tomorrow?” “No, I have this laptop problem also…”” Are you bringing gajar ka halwa?” “Errr… Okay, I will make it when I reach there.”

Now that i have Sangeeta’s short cut recipe (will share soon!!) maybe I can surprise her with some gajar ka halwa when she reaches here?

Dreams by Tj91

In the ‘A Letter to The Future Contest’, I had loved the letter by the winner, Shivika Saxena.

“Dear Mom, Dad, Sis, Special Someone

… I don’t even know whether you’ll get a chance to read this letter but I am still writing it because … if some day suddenly I am taken away from all the people I love,  …without being able to say something to everyone I care about …will make my heart die again. I was never good at goodbyes but I cannot make my final goodbye so dry that even my memories begin to wither. ….

… Now with this letter written I can go with a free heart and mind leaving all the adversities and feeling liberated from all the pain…”

(Click to read the entire letter)

This letter made me long for a similar letter from my daughter. I wondered what she would have written in her letter… I could easily imagine, of course, but that was no comfort.

Yesterday afternoon when I visited Tejaswee’s account on Deviant Art, I finally found something I had not seen before. This was published on Feb 10 2008, almost three years ago…

Dreams

by ~Tj91

DREAMS

What do you do when the days go bad,
When all that was good, seems suddenly, sad,
When the last vestige of joy seems gone,

Think of things gone by, gone good
Not of how things could be, how they should,
Would, may have turned out
Don’t fill your mind with so much doubt!
Oh! If I could put your mind at rest
But still, I’ll do my very best…

When things are bad
Oh, so sad,
Sit yourself down, and try to think
The tears that drop, do not blink
Back, let them fall,
And to yourself honestly tell all.
Allow not your biases to decide true or false,
And you’ll come to the bottom of what mauls
Your heart,
And then let it part
Fall into the soft arms of dreams
And sleep, my heart, sleep…!

I was glad to find something by her that I had not read before. She would have been twenty today. I am just grateful she came into our lives and although she had to leave a little earlier than we would have liked, I hope to continue to remember her with a smile, today and always.