Pic.: Pradeep Nanda
Today is 2nd Jan.
Every 1st Jan morning, I call my mom to wish her a happy new-year. And, she leaves me with mixed feelings…
The New-year in 1983 had come on a Saturday. My dad was 57, then. Despite the meager means at his disposal, he was, to the boot, a fun-loving soul… He dank like a fish, smoked like a chimney… and he sang, danced and made merry like a Brazilian … Yes, to him, ‘tomorrow’ was, always, another-day! So, he had partied hard right through the Christmas week till Saturday, the New-year day. The next day was Sunday. Mom and he both had dressed up to leave for the Sunday mass. But, then, as they were about to leave, dad told my mom that he wasn't feeling good and, hence, to proceed alone for the mass. That’s, really, unusual of him. However, not wanting to be late for the mass, my mom left. When she was home, she found my dad on the same sofa, in the same sitting position… But, he was no more!
It was a massive heart attack!
“Happy New-year, son,” my mom greeted me, yesterday, when I had called her. Then, she reminded me this, once again: “Tomorrow will be 32 years!”
My mom was 48 when dad had passed away… All her five sons got married after that… A dozen grandchildren came along… their christening ceremonies, first Holy Communions, Confirmation days, wedding anniversaries, Silver Weddings and yes, thirty-two Christmas days and thirty-two New-year days came and went… but, my mom would never forget to remember by dad on his death anniversary!
Honestly, we, her sons, have forgotten about it, so often… But, she would unfailingly remind us, on every New-year day: “Sons, tomorrow will be…. years!”
Well, I know death is part of life, and, we all should move on in life. My mom, too, has moved on… we all have moved on… But, then, I think, what my mom’s legacy would teach me, personally, is this: “Look son, your dad, always, lived assuming ‘tomorrow will be another day’… But, you never know what will be there in store for you ‘tomorrow’… Just remember dad, every time, the New-year comes.”
Incidentally, I will be 57 this year… And, my wife will be 48… We are very aware that tomorrow will be another day!
Thank-you dad, thank-you mom… Love you both!