Monday, May 16, 2011

In Memoriam: A Tribute to My sister Ivy Abraham


I walk along a lonely path with no sense of direction on my mind. My legs carry me through dusty roads and alleys while emptiness fills my heart as I still grieve over my sister "Ivy's "death.

Questions come to my mind when fear and sorrow encroach upon me, "What if Ivy were here with me? How would she help me at a time like this?” Furthermore the chilly winds blow on my face, forcing me to withstand the reality of life. But as the dusk always ends with the breaking of the dawn, so do I hope that if not in this world then maybe if I am fortunate I will be able to feel the joy of having my very own sister…at life’s glorious dawn

I was born into a middle -class home, in Bombay, the business capital of India. Within a few days after my birth, we had to shift to Pune. Here I have been reared in an atmosphere of serenity. My childhood revolved solely around my parents. As the only child, I have been receiving all the love and affection my soul could possibly wish to have, but that could not fill the void of not having a sibling, one I could play with, share my inner feelings with, teach me through her experiences, and be supportive of my views. Little did I know that I had a sister who was snatched away at babyhood.

An insignificant grave beside my grandfather’s sort of tugged at my attention. Many a time I almost asked about that tiny little tomb. Year after year, as often as I went to see my grand-father’s grave as I tried to raise the question my parents simply evaded the question by distracting my attention towards something else, since they did not want to upset me by telling me the truth, leave alone their unwillingness to re-live that experience. But how long could they do it? Not very long! The more they evaded this question the more determined was I to get at the facts of the matter.

I once visited the grave- yard along with an aunt of mine on ‘All Souls Day’. As we lit the candles my aunt told me to place the first candle on that very insignificant grave I was always curious about. Upon my enquiry as to why I should place the candle over there, she revealed that the grave belonged to my late sister, whom I never had a chance to meet and know. My curiosity paid me heavily.

The very thought of a sister being snatched away, came as a shock to me. For many days I tried silencing the conflict within me to think about Ivy. I kept questioning God, “Why did thou take Ivy away from me? Why am I a loner, while my friends have siblings to play with, talk and be friendly with?” It was this brooding that made me go out of my mind for quite some time.
Imagine the plight of a twelve-year old heart filled with mixed feelings of frustration, hatred, jealousy and love.

I could sense that the untimely death of my sister overshadowed my parents’ happiness. They normally avoided talking about her as it hacked their memories painfully. I, wonder, if this grief of theirs would keep them company into eternity.

Due to a quarrel with a group of fellow students I wanted to sit alone during recess that morning. As mentioned earlier, I prefer a solitary life to joining a hilarious crowd. I was really down and listless. I freaked out when a friend offered to play with me. Every little thing simply irritated me and I did not feel like talking to my friends or even my cousins. At that point of time I wouldn’t even confide with my mother. I thought it would be best that she was kept ignorant regarding her daughter’s solitude. Thus to some extent I felt calmed. But this was no consolation for a person as sensitive as me. Man is a social animal and cannot afford to lead a forlorn and miserable life.

My parents have inculcated in me love for books from a very early age. Books have always been constant companions in times of loneliness and I survive any fear of loneliness. Days passed by and my anxiety grew. I started thinking about how to tell my mother about this incident but dismissed the thought almost spontaneously.

A few days later something weird happened. It was a cold Saturday afternoon. After finishing meal, suddenly I started feeling very sleepy. I could hardly understand what was happening around me. It was so mysterious. I excused myself into sleep. Dad was surprised as it was very unlike me to rest in the afternoons.

Some unknown power seemed to have carried me over beautiful hills and dales, slowly lowering me onto the soft grass. There at a distance I saw a young girl with a childish face smile at me beckoning me to her. I could identify my mother’s eyes in her and she wore an angelic look. I was amazed at her pretty looks and I could identify my dad in her smile. The radiance of her face made me feel reassured. The very first words she uttered were, “Sister, welcome to my world!” What a joy I thought to have had that experience! (This was before I knew what the Bible says about the state of the dead.) Then she told me to stop fretting over the insignificant things of the past that seemed to mar my days and to start making new friends. Finally, as it was getting dark, I think my sister sensed the fear in me because I usually am afraid of the dark. It was time to go home, Ivy came up with her parting words “ Never feel lonely; tell mom whatever happens because she’s best fitted to solve your problems.”

Just then my mom woke me from my sleep for tea. I could not share the dream with her but I did tell dad. Dad told me to hear the inner voice within me. He further told me that God would always send his guardian angels to protect me in times of crisis. That was the turning point of my life. I wish the appearance of my sister were true. Now, I know that the dead know nothing of whatever happens to the living, and that they cannot communicate with the living.

Today, I keep my past behind me and look forward to the future. I face difficulties with determination praying for success in all my ventures. As I step into the cruel and materialistic world I strive for what I endeavor. I work hard to build a rapport with my friends and family members and in doing so I try to be enterprising so that I can win the hearts of those who dislike me. Today I listen to the voice of God’s Spirit, and do not envy friends or foes for anything. I just keep dreaming of the glorious dawn when I hope to meet my long separated sister. What a reunion that is going to be!

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