At 62, when Raima was widowed, she was faced with her life’s toughest battle. Not that she was dependent on her husband of 38 years for anything. Beginning her career as a teacher in a local school had led her to retire as the principal of a Government run school, over time. Retired life brought a sense of freedom where she could tend to her garden herself, happily experiment with the recipes downloaded from the internet, stroll in the evening and every such thing that had a budgeted time every day while she was working. Her husband had retired before her and had been a great help in managing the home that they had lovingly built, up in the hills, as their retirement home.
Until the fateful night, when her husband passed on in his sleep and her world caved in, she was unwavering, unfaltering. She had a family, of course- an older son settled in Australia and a younger daughter working in the city. Both were obviously worried about how her life would take course henceforth.
Though regular visits to both her children, was always per plan, Raima preferred to stay back home since this was the life that she had built with her husband and she wished not to abandon it.
Shuffling through her husband’s wardrobe, one day, she came across some clothes that she thought could very well be given away. She got hold of the gardener that evening and started putting one piece of clothing after another in a cloth bag and handed it over to him. “See if you can get these fitted to your size,” she ultimately said as the gardener happily left with his stash.
That evening, after a brief call with her daughter, she let herself out. Tears streamed down her eyes unabashedly as if she was adamant to empty the welled up chest. Just how slowly her husband’s stuff was giving away from the house every few days, her eyes were starting to dry up as well over a period of time.
“This looks good too,” she checked herself in the mirror yet again, after trying out the 7th t-shirt she had pulled out from the wardrobe. Setting aside the sorted clothes from her husband’s almirah in a stack, she went about making breakfast when her phone rang.
“Good morning!” her daughter excitedly screamed in her ear. “Are you ready for the trip?” she asked further.
“Of course, I am.” Raima declared.
“Great! we’re on our way to pick you. Hope you’ve kept some apt clothes for the beach,” she went on and on while Raima nodded to each of her instructions for their annual vacation together.
When the siblings entered the gate to pick her, they were astounded to see their mother in a pair of jeans and their father’s t-shirt. “You look cool, ma” the younger one quipped.
“Isn’t that dad’s t-shirt?” the older one inquired.
Raima smiled at her children and responded, “yeah! he’s coming along.”
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