I watch my mom follow through her mundane Saturday routine, knitting another addition to already 7 on stock sweater for my dad. One on sky blue this time, double knotted on woolen, heavy with complex designs. Still, midway in June, winter seems far way off. But it didn’t surprise me. Mom always started early, sometimes way too early, just to ensure that dad had her hand made sweater put on before, the chill of winter first touched his feet. And with full time job on hand, finding time to do that for her was next to impossible, without utilizing every break she got now and then.
I never understood why Mom did that? Trouble of making another sweater, i mean..Didn’t Dad already had enough of those to chose from? And even if he was tired of his old ones, we could always buy him a new one from the market. He wasn’t going to complain. Dad knew, like i did, it was going to cost a lot less, if we took account of other factors like mental and physical stress in mom’s part. Heck, we’d give away every penny of our savings if she could relax and rest for a while.. But, she wouldn’t agree to it.
‘You will know it someday why i do this..’ she answered, the same way every time, with her usual strange smirk in face when asked. And after last summer, when she wouldn’t stop knitting despite being down with flu, i have given up on convincing her to stop laboring.
As for my dad, 4, 7 or even 10, he didn’t mind Mom making more. Of course, he asked her to stop now and then, seeing her squeeze her eyes and strain too much while making loops on the wool. But, when she landed him with the finished product, he always wore his ‘just won a million dollar lottery’ expression on face. And went around right away, showing it off every chance he’d get, to his friends and to our neighbors..
When Dad behaves like that, acting as if he is some spoilt rich kid who loves flashing his new toys that others are not interested in, i feel really embarrassed. But Mom never does. She doesn’t even ask him to stop. I don’t know how in earth did she cope all her life with Dad’s childishness, i suppose? i don’t even know the word.
Home sweet home. This is Wokingham!
I am back in my humble abode for a week. A place of my own, away from my school, books and of course, my complicated love-life. Two of these days are the weekends and the five are registered as ‘sick leave’, in my application. Although, i am on a week holiday from school for my parents.
Love the aura, the comfort of here. The breath of air that circulates in, so vitalizing.. The smell of old furniture, the noise of clock wall and even the rugged mat ‘poochie’ our dachshund just flooded in with, answering her urgency of nature’s call. ‘Damn pooch!i was in such a good mood!’
Settling myself in my favorite old couch, I wonder, if it grew in size with me over all these years. I can still fit in my legs perfectly fine..We have owned it for 8 years straight now, since dad first bought it second hand from a shop downtown. So many good memories..
‘I’m 17, the only way i will be growing now is horizontal not perpendicular. So if i manage to keep track of my weight, i might still be able to keep you’ I addres the couch, speaking out loud, before folding my legs and settling on to it. At which, Poochi, my beloved four legged creature, responds to me, by throwing her retarded expression.. ‘Come here. You don’t think i lost my mind seeing me talk to the couch, did you?’. I carry her to my lap, stroking her long golden brown back. She whimpers first, then lets me pick her up. However, throughout the entire time she exchanges stares with my mom and turning back at me, throws suspicious looks. ‘I don’t think she remembers me, does she?’ i ask Mom, confused at her odd behavior.
‘No. I don’t think so dear. She sure is old but her memory is still solid. Maybe.. probably wondering where were you all these times? If she could ask, i think she would ask if you would leave any time soon. Because, last time you left, she didn’t eat for two days. Not even her favorite dog cereal ‘.My mom replies, pulling down her specks onto her tip of nose.
‘Oh Poochi you miss me that much’ i nuzzle my dog’s nose with mine, feeling sorry for her. ‘I did too’. I assure her, gently patting on her back. But, i doubt Poochi understood anything i said. She closed her eyes and laid her head tiredly into my hands, snoring in minutes.
‘Time for her nap. Put her to bed Carem.’ Mom asks me, keeping her concerned eyes on poochie, never leaving her eyes from her as she said that. ‘She has been sick for few days now. 15 years is a long time for a dog to live…’
‘Have you taken her to vet?’ i ask Mom alarmed. ‘Yes, they said its about time. And we should be prepared’.
‘Everything alright Carem in school?‘ Dad’s voice in the room out of nowhere, suddenly startles me. ‘Yes Dad. I just missed home and Irish and our little poochie’. I reply, putting a small blanket over my arm, to warm her.
‘Ah good old Poochie’ Dad sighs. ‘You were just 2 when i brought her home. Your mother raised you together like a baby. Then in no time, she was your nanny. Waking you up, looking after you, waiting by the bus stop.. And now look, she is old. Its really unfair isn’t it, to live that short? ‘
Tears run down my cheeks and i start to snort when Dad said that.
It never occurred to me, Poochie would leave us. Yes, getting old but not that she would die on me. She was my best friend. Someone i could depend to. Someone who loved me, no matter how angry i was with her or forgot to take her on walk or even feed her at times. Her love was unconditional.. And at times, even when i completely neglected her because i was with friends, she would just come in, wagging her tail to snuggle beside me. Asking me, in her own little ways not to forget about her.
She could watch me all day, throwing tantrums, never complaining. Waiting patiently on me, flopping down her ears and sitting low on the floor as i go by kicking stuff..breaking things. She would laugh too, barking and howling when she saw me happy till it annoyed me and i had to ask her to stop, personally.. And when i was sad, when i cried alone,no matter where i hid myself .. Pooch always found me, licked my face dry till i had no tears to spare for her.
A little of bundle of joy she was.. and she passed away snuggling, like sleeping, that night in my arms.