Friday, January 29, 2010


Every time we shifted home, from one region to another I'd lament at the 'uprooting,' because that was how I felt at the time. We'd hardly settle into a new home, and I'd just start to say a warm "hello" to my neighbours ( it did take me a long time to say 'hello'!!) and get to pick up a smattering of the local lingo when bam! it was packing time again. Well beliefs do come apart at some time or the other....and so did this one.

When my younger son and his wife decided to shift base to foreign lands, I was thrilled. It made me feel as proud as a mother hen......all puffed up and clucking away to glory. After all they were in good jobs, living well, happy and what more could one want I'd think to myself contentedly. Then the elder one and his wife also shifted base. I clucked louder. But not for long. I would have to move too, I was told.

"I'm not," I said.

"But you have to," all trilled.

"I'm okay on my ownsome," I dug my heels in.

"You don't keep too well. What if something happens... there's no one there. Besides it's not safe for old people, especially old women to live all alone." They were playing the safety angle. I saw their point but decided to side-track.

"What do you mean by old? I'm still a long way off from the official 'senior citizen' tag," I sounded terribly offended.

It gave me a break. They were quiet. I knew they'd be back with fresh arguments and a different angle. In the meantime I was beginning to feel the clammy claws of dread clutching my innards. It all came together and in full kids' reaction and my bowels' too! I used the times on the throne(which were many) to think a way out. This time they had me in a bind. I buckled....with weakness literally and figuratively.

I can't help feeling proud of their ingenuity. They know my weakness and have played their cards well and with sensitivity. I couldn't feel offended. If I did I'd hurt them. I would have termed it emotional blackmail and pooh-poohed the whole thing, but they were clever. Didn't give me that option. Worded the mail with skill. So that's how I am learning today what being uprooted really means.

I watched my home being dismantled twig by twig. The only words I heard were....sell, give away, discard, burn.... all the old memories in albums, the treasured letters in my hand-painted files. I watched as a tsunami of sorts took options and choices away from my feeble grasp, as it swept away years of building bit by bit in one big swell. I was being uprooted! Would I take root elsewhere in a foreign soil, I pondered. Will the main root be pulled out without damage? Will it take root again?

I left the thoughts unanswered for I did not know. The positive answer is yes it will. The cynical one is yes but how...Just taking root doesn't signify that the heart has taken root as well.

I have things to see to. All isn't wrapped up yet. Let the root decide how it will survive....I will just go with the flow.

"Keep my hand firmly in yours," I say to my friend up there. It helps as it has always done. I smile. He has His plans and they're definitely better than the best. In the meantime my children await my arrival eagerly with open arms!

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