Tuesday, October 30, 2012

missing you never gets old

This post was written on October 26.

Maybe you know the feeling. The one when something about which you thought your heart had long reached a peaceful equilibrium comes back with an immediacy and real-ness you didn't know it still possessed. Equally surprising is when it hits you...such as a year and three months later when you're riding on a bus through the arid desert of Jordan.

I guess that's as good a time as any to miss Gracy Kochamma. I'm not sure what made me think of her, but before I knew it I had tears coming down my face and would have done anything to see her in that moment. I could picture her in my mind, of course--the purple and white saree she frequently wore, her thinning pepper grey hair pulled back tautly into a small nub of a pony tail, if you could call it that. 

Praseela and Gracy Kochamma
We knew just enough English and Malayalam combined, she and I, to be dangerous. To be able to laugh together about silly things...for her to teach me to crochet and embroider...to gripe about the (then) new warden. The space created by the words we didn't have was filled by the  comfortable familiarity that develops with companionship over time. 

She was/is one of the great women in my life. Maybe these are the things I would tell her if I had a way to (and if we had a translator). That I can still envision her in the mess hall, feet propped on a stool, chopping vegetables. That I love her facial expressions. That there are few people I respect more than her. That I regret not embroidering a bookmark for her like I did for Jaimol Kochamma. If I could change anything about my last few days in Kerala, it would be that. I'd find the time to make Gracy Kochamma a bookmark, too.

I hope she knows how much I love her...and that I can tell her that again in person one day. 

Perhaps some things you never get over- you're not meant to. Why would I want to 'get over' the love I feel for those people who were my life for a year, after all? After all this time I still feel the loss acutely, but maybe that is a pain for which I should be grateful. There are always things in life that make us sad...and if we're lucky, the good kind of sad. The kind of sad that comes from the void left by something beautiful, but no less beautiful in its absence.

Thanks be to God.