Stories My Grandmother Told Me – 29


My sister is a far cry from the tall and empowering figure she used to be. She is older than me, and I have always looked up to her. It is difficult to see her in that perilous shape, laying in bed, counting down her days.

She had a stroke. She has been hemiplegic for four years. She can barely move. She needs assistance to perform her basic bodily functions. She needs to constantly rolled over to one side and the other, otherwise her flesh will rot. Her daughters-in-law are having to look after her, and they have a hard time doing it.

Those bechara are not to blame. It is difficult to look after someone for so much and for so long. Four months is a long time. Four years is too long.

I saw her last year. We talked all the time. As usual, I went and sat next to her one day. She looked at me and was startled. She wept.

Are you my aaghaye? Where have you been? When did you come? Who are all these other people with you?

I had to sit there and explain things to her like I explain them to my baby grandson. Old age is a cruel time of life.

I pray that if something like that ever happens to me, I should die quickly. I don’t want to end up like that. Else, I will suffer and so will everyone else.

*bechara = hapless, poor
*agghaye = sister