My Grandpa asked me, “Do you want to go again?” And I cried .
It was 5 years ago, when my Grandpa came to visit us and he just loved the independence he felt in strolling down the road with trees on both sides and at night, sipping his favourite drink while humming the songs he remembered. Seldom would he go out of the neighbourhood. He just loved his routine chores but with a different scene. It was difficult for us to convince him to come for shopping or to visit certain places that we thought that grandpa and grandma would enjoy. Grandma is fun. She agrees to come anywhere we take her. Be it the malls, the parks, the restaurant, or even our terrace. She is sporty. But she doesn’t like to go anywhere without grandpa. They secretly love each other but never show it to the world. And it was like a pact that only grandma had signed that if they have to go, they will go together.
It always brings a smile on my face when I recall that afternoon when I was ditched by my friends for a movie and I didn’t want to go alone. Even my brother had seen the movie before me. No one in house was free and Grandma caught my eye. I know I acted out of my selfishness to ask her if she wanted to come for the movie. When I asked, she was happy for the invite and then looked at grandpa for the company. My Grandpa was stubborn with the remote in his hand, and he said, “let’s watch the movie at home.” He hadn’t seen the movie in a theatre for about 30 years. He was always working and taking care of his family and visiting relatives. And he didnt want to sit at one place for more than 10 minutes. I could understand the reason for his unwillingness but I thought that the change in technology of the movie theatre was something I wanted to show them, make them experience the change. He had only seen the movies on a television set since then. Somehow, my parents convinced him and we booked the tickets in the middle of the hall. For better acoustics.
The movie was a biographical depiction of an athlete who was related to the time when my Grandpa had witnessed his winning moment. He did not know that the movie was about that phase. Grandma also dwelled in the movie so much that she continued humming the songs even after we reached home. They were happy.
My Grandpa gave me a pat on my shoulder and thanked me for a wonderful day they had because of the movie plan. He liked the movie so much, that Grandpa and I went for it again, a day later. He loved it. I know it for a fact because he asked for it himself.
It was 5 years later when he called me to ask if I were coming to visit them soon? He asked me everytime we spoke during those five years. Grandma knew how we entangle our job life with our personal ones, but my Grandpa was always blunt in asking me to just come and visit them, even for a day.
Now he had a plan. A plan to emotionally convince me like we convinced him for a movie. He told me that since the day we saw the movie together, he hadn’t been to the theatre, which was true, and now would like to visit again when I come to meet them. He did not want to go with others. He would only go if I were there. And when he asked me, if I would go for another movie with him, I felt sad and guilty.
I never wanted to leave him. Always wanted to be his little kid whom he loved so dearly.
But life’s lemons come and squeeze their citric acid over the plans we make to make time for family. It take a lot of time to make plans with our family because we take them for granted until the day comes when it cannot be done.
I went to meet him, we went for the movie too. He was very happy to have met me. Now, with his age, the gifts of elderly phase have set in. But you know what, whenever we remember the day we went for the movie together, it always brings a smile on him.
What else could they want? What else can we give them except memories?