Love Remains (Part 1). Cotd..
The past decade was so different from her previous 60 years that it felt like two different lives. The only connecting point being some of her close friends whom she kept in touch with. She never compared the two lives because she was as happy and content then as she was now.
Though he spoke non stop, when it came to describing their relationship, he fell short of words. He could never find the right words to describe her or their comradeship. He said, it is beyond words. On the contrary, she, a person of less words, could go on and on when talking about their relation!
Her diary entry read:
How do I describe my relation with you, I have often asked myself.
I am amazed that I come up with new answers each time I attempt,
“I am your anchor and you gave me wings” etc would be too cliche to say,
Because I was 60 and you were 62 when we met and there is nothing cliche about it.
It could be the age and the wisdom that we acquire with age,
Both of us had no expectations from each other at any stage.
We took each day as it came and each day turned out to be better than the other.
We just “showed up” for each other and that’s all each of us wanted.
Whenever we looked for companionship;
Whenever we looked for a travel partner to go around the world;
Whenever we looked for someone to cook and clean while sick and not in high spirits;
And whenever we looked for someone to read and discuss the new editions of our favorite authors ;
We found each other always “showing up”.
Whenever we looked for someone to sip a cup of coffee with on lazy afternoons;
Whenever we looked for someone to guard and take care of the house while we were out on our solo trips;
Whenever we looked for someone to argue with and win an argument over;
Whenever we looked for someone to say, it’s all fine and things will be better tomorrow;
And whenever we looked for different things at different times;
We found each other always “showing up”.
I still do not want to give a name or status to our relationship
Because that will only limit the scope of this beautiful relationship.
I am glad we always “show up” for each other.
She was standing under the tree that he had planted in the first year of their friendship. Her eyes filled up. Then she thought of the incident that had led to the planting of this tree and her lips curled into a smile. She had asked Mr.Big to transfer a plant to a new planter because she was too busy that day. He had taken an hour to take out the plant, take out all the mud and clean up the roots and trim the roots to make it of equal length and then plant it into the planter. She rolled on the floor and laughed when she heard the process. She also realized that he had never planted a tree/plant in his entire life. She took it upon herself to make sure that he planted one tree for each year that he had lived on this planet. That was her motto in life. Every person must leave behind as many trees on earth as the number of years that they had lived on earth. This was one of those trees that he had planted and it was very special to her.
It was near the same tree that they had made the plan which changed both their lives forever. One afternoon discussion led from one topic to another and by the end of the day they had a concrete plan for their project that they named “Love Remains”. Both of them wanted to give back to the society and they felt it was important to do something at the grass root level. And grass root level for the sake of humanity would be doing something for kids. They chose to build an orphanage cum school for orphans from war and terror. It was a huge step and they worked for months together for realizing this dream project. Her eye for detailed planning and his interpersonal skills took them through this task. They realized that they complimented each other professionally as well.
Once “Love Remains” was set up, their lives changed. They shared their lives with many more people who were orphaned by war! The result of the war did not matter to them. They were living examples of the fact that you win or lose a war, there is equal misery on both the sides. Mr.Big had always wanted to do something for the war victims and she had always wanted to work with kids inspiring them to dream big and achieve it. She had been a very positive influence on all her students while in college and she wanted to keep doing it. “Love Remains” was their dream come true.
“Love Remains” was a temple of hope, aspiration and love for all the kids who were enrolled into it. It was an assurance for them that despite all the hatred around, Love still remains in the heart. It was a place where they still felt loved, wanted and special. The atmosphere, the staff and the vibration of that place was meant to kindle the bits and pieces of love that remained in their hearts. There were kids from different age groups and they found love, education and guidance under one roof.
Time started flying after they started “Love Remains”. In spite of all the running around and management that they had to do during the day, they made sure they spent quality time with each other. During one such evenings Mr.Big complained of slight uneasiness while breathing. She immediately scheduled an appointment for a complete health checkup for him for that weekend. But he could not make it for that scheduled appointment. He breathed his least breath holding her hands, a big smile on his lips and a sign of gratitude and blissfulness in his eyes. He was at peace.
They had discussed death so many times. Each one knew exactly what had to be done in case the other person passed away first. She did according to what he had wished for. It saddened her to be not able to come back in the evening and have a quiet dinner with him. But she knew there were things that are beyond one’s control and the only way to deal with such things is to acknowledge it and accept it.
It had been a month since he had left and there were days when she really missed his physical presence. Today was one such day. The heaviness in her heart and the tear in her eyes were symbolic of that loneliness. But like always, she had a series of sessions lined up for the day and she had to get going. Today was a big day because the first batch of kids were leaving “Love Remains” and going to different universities for their higher studies. She had to address them and bid farewell to them. As each of those students stepped up on the stage to thank everyone and say goodbye, she noticed that twinkle in their eyes. She couldn’t stop smiling because she knew that Mr.Big had left a little of him in each of those kids and a big part of him in her. She knew they had come together because they had to achieve this big goal in their life and leave a legacy behind. One of Mr.Big’s children and one of her her ex students had joined them and they were as committed to this cause as she and Mr.Big had been. She knew it was in safe hands even after the two of them were gone.
As she walked back home that evening, her eyes twinkled as bright as the star that she had identified as him! She was reminded of what her father had told her when she was a kid “When you have loved someone so much, and that person occupies such a big place in your heart, their physical absence shouldn’t matter. The person remains there forever and ever.”
That night she wrote in her diary:
Everything goes back to where it has come from.
The body goes back to the earth.
The soul goes back to the supreme.
But then, Love Remains!