My name is Jhana, I am very old but I have a young friend translating for me. She knows ‘Merican language real good. Now we start: “The pain in Jhana’s old heart was searing now. The intensity, the throbbing came and went but there were times when she would kneel on the dirty, muddy floor and weep. She only did that when she was sure she was alone. Jhana’s children, all except one, brothers and sisters all lived near-by but she was not looking for comfort, she knew there was none. None for this type of her anguished heart.
We are alone with our grief she had learned through the hard times even though we have family for whom we bless. It took more bravery and strength to be able to hold on to love, than to dismiss it. Love is fleeting, like birds in the sky. That, she knew. Love was there, deep down but could you feel it all the time? Of course not. You had to imagine it, rely on it, pray that it would be there or come back to you. Have faith. Love was an assumption only.
Love was not the “smiling, holding hands” we would look at in the American magazines that the girls would find and hide under mats, and yes we let them. They looked at something called “romance” not true love but we let them. They did not yet know our plans to move to ‘Merica in a year or two years.
Here, in India, I would look at second daughter’s face as if I was looking through her, I had no problems with my other four children. Why was this child so different? The love was always there in my heart, in her father’s heart and siblings. What happened that was different for this child of mine? How could she not know our love? Did she not know that her father and I blessed the differences from her and the others. She was our pearl, our stand-alone gem. If anything she was more loved but would not take it inside herself.
The other older children could play and work and keep busy but this one held feelings deep inside her heart or just could not communicate. There was hurt and anger, deep inside hammered in to her heart but yet she could not forgive. Nor would she allow us to apologize for something we did not know about. She would not give in, she would be strong, very strong. But, I knew better, of course I did. Well, I thought I did. I was her mother.
This was not a betrayed love, this was a love that ran so deep, only a mother could know. I waited patiently until the day she would find her way back to me. Where did we go wrong I asked the husband? He said of course “we did nothing wrong, she is the child.” But, a mother is different, I tried to tell him. No, that is not the answer.” he told me.
I imagined looking at your face with my two hands one on each side like pressing on cold, hard glass. Press too hard and chips of glass would embed themselves in your fingers, blood would run down slowly each time. Not enough to scream but just enough to notice. I would imagine you trying to get away, twisting, fighting and screaming but my love for you was stronger than everything. You could not run away forever. I held you close, I would not let you go, ever.
I tried to forget the unforgiving words told to me about what you called me and how you viewed me because I do not follow that life. Love was a mystery that couldn’t be easily explained. Where was the joy, the simplicity, the laughter of love? Did it exist past the many layers of the wall you created? As a mother I dearly hoped but I could not know, you would not allow me to know.
Beautiful child, lovely child. No matter how old you are, you still live in my heart no matter what you do or don’t do. There is the difference. I will always cherish you, always love you, for the goodness in you that I see, that I feel. Yes, certainly. Two hearts, even those estranged, can come back and beat as one.
Until the last breath I will love you. Do you hear me child? Does anyone? I will say it again and again since I cannot see you, my eyes have failed me many years ago. But, I would still know your face, my hands might be gnarled and brittle with illness but my heart knows, will always know that you, beautiful heart, was so blessedly loved every second of every day and night.
I will wait until the last breath has left my body, which dear one, I know will be soon. I will never give up on you, you see I was learning Patience too and different ways of loving. None was right, none wrong. I was changing too.
That is a mother’s truth spoken in my body now and in the next life. I promise this to you. I love you now and forever. Look for me at night, in the sky, I will be watching you still, loving you, when I am gone.”