Your Last Breath
We first met in the year 1991,
For me the world was new,
For you, the world was sixty years old.
You picked me up in your arms,
You showered me with love.
From waking me up for school every morning,
To waiting patiently to ask me, “How was your day?”, every afternoon,
From playing cricket with me on the streets
To playing badminton with me in your room,
You were my childhood
You were my home.
I remember when you first dropped me to my new school for the first time,
I was so worried that you would lose your way,
So I ran up to my classroom, dropped my bags, and came running back,
Just to check that you were doing okay.
“Don’t worry about me Siddharth, just take care of yourself,” you said.
Those were words I would hear over and over again,
For the next two decades,
As we both grew older.
I will never forget the nights I kept you up because I got late at work.
Or the mornings I woke you up crying because I didn’t want to go to school.
Your bed-time stories filled me with hope,
Your life stories gave me joy.
Your love gave me strength.
I know you were heartbroken when I left home for the first time,
But not once did you let me feel it.
In fact, it was you who saw me off at the airport.
It was you who told me, “You’re going to do amazing things Siddharth.”
It was you who taught me to never stop believing in my dreams.
You would always say, “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.”
But I never had the courage to ask you,
How does one prepare for the worst?
“You cannot worry about me Siddharth. Ultimately, each one of us will die. You just take good care of your health.”
These words still ring in my ear, every day.
Two years back, on this day,
I watched you take your last breath,
And at that moment I realized,
It was not death that I was afraid of, it was my fear of losing YOU!
You — my favorite teacher, my biggest cheerleader, my best friend.
Yet, here you are, my favorite memory.
Watching over me every single day,
I hear you whispering to me in those moments of self-doubt,
I hear you supporting me in those moments of pain,
You are my voice of reason,
You are my source of strength,
You are my biggest value.
Through your life, you taught me how to live,
Through your death, you taught me how to love.
Your words give me courage,
Your memories give me joy,
Your confidence gives me the strength to keep going.
Thatha, I miss you so much, every single day!
But, I know you’re here as my favorite memory.
Watching over me every single day.