That's Vicky's status message today.
This time last year we were waking up late, still a bit groggy from the week's runaround. I was making plans for a Niyogy family wedding due in five days, I remember, while I tried to deal with all the other worries we had then. We made a special effort, Vicky and I, to slow down and not pile the stress on an already worried little boy. Because I wasn't up to cooking, we went for lunch to Smart Kolkata. We had just ordered when his mother called with news of his father's collapse. Vicky was there in minutes and in those few minutes before I could get there, it was all over.
I never thought I'd miss my father-in-law as much as I have. That when I wake up early in the mornings and potter around the house, I remember quietly shared cups of tea, the wordless communication and a gradually built ease around each other in those semi-dark mornings. That I still hang on to his few words of praise because nobody else thought to even notice what he found praiseworthy. That it breaks my heart to watch his adored grandson slowly forget him and that indescribable bond they had. I still have the occasional empty moment when I see something and think, "I must tell Baba this" only to remember I can't.
If there is one thing that losing his father has done to Vicky, it's made him a better father in turn. He is far more gentle and patient with his own son than before, and I can see the effort he makes, trying to emulate the patience and kindness his own father gave him. Both the brothers suddenly grew up this year, in intangible ways. My mother-in-law discovered hidden strengths she never knew she had. She's had to cope with so much that she never had to consider before and she's managed.
I know Rahul's forgetting is only natural but I wish he remembered more. How he used to confidently saunter into the house, pushing his grandmother aside (who needs women) and go hunting for his 'Thakur'. How he would demand his car and keyboard and tools and know that his grandfather would ensure he got them all, despite my protests that he was too young. How he, a two and a half year old little boy, grew quieter and quieter around his grandfather when he worked out for himself that his Thakur was too ill to play with him. How he told me to take his grandfather to the bedroom and make him lie down because he wasn't well. I wish he remembered the delight and supreme confidence he felt in his grandfather's arms, knowing himself to be impregnable and adored. I wish he remembered the eagerness with which this grandfather of his used to look forward to the visits, to his growing up. Unlike the grandmothers, Baba wanted him to grow up so he could chat with him, take him around, play with him. So that he could reach the stage he is at now.
There isn't anything to say, really. Just that we all miss him.