She is one of the most loved among the cousins in my family and I distinctly remember mom being greatly affectionate about her and almost gave her the title of daughter of the family. An elder sister she was, in all respects. The one who had no qualms about giving you a whack when you were wrong and then hold you close to her and wipe off your tears that roll down your cheeks all the while telling you how much she loves you!
There was an instance when I literally walked out of her home for being scolded for some silly matter. To my surprise she didn't call me back though I was expecting her to do so. Nevertheless I did walk back and all she had to do was look at me and I broke down. I cried till my tear glands seem to have dried up, but she was the one who made me realize that day, the value of togetherness.
All this and more were destined to be part of someone else's life when she married a man whom I thought was the simplest of the guys I've ever met. My brother-in-law [BIL] was truly an uncomplicated person and I even wondered how he will ever survive with my sister! I was really young; perhaps around 12 or so when she got married. A few days after the wedding she came visiting us and I was surprised to see her almost ordering my BIL to give some money to us, cousins! Of course, I didn't even have a clue of what love means between a woman and her man.
I loved visiting our relatives and till date I'm pretty regular with that whenever I'm at my hometown. During the earlier times when I was put up there, one house which I loved to go was her 'new home'. I always felt wanted there and that made me feel even closer to them. I shared birthday with my BIL and that made it even more special. Time flew by and they were blessed with two little angels! My adorable nieces loved me just the way their mom and dad did. It was so obvious to know and to feel how to love and being loved when you are in a family that knows nothing but to love each other!
My sister, with her characteristic personality was the dominating self between them. Many a times I'd felt that he was practically insignificant; little did I know the depth of their relationship and the love for each other. She was dominant yet so practical. She was chirpy, bubbly and filled with life yet the one who completed him. He just loved her! I realize it today that the love they shared was a good lesson in its true spirit for young brats like me who needed to know what the chemistry of love is between a couple.
People say, a marriage without trials is not worth it and God made no exception in their lives too. They did come, big time! My simple & loveable BIL fell sick one day and had to be hospitalized immediately. He was diagnosed with a rare form of meningitis and the doctors broke the news without much delay. They said the case was almost closed and my sister with her two little girls, the younger one being just 6 years old, was destined to be a widow at an age of 35! We were taken by surprise seeing the courage with which she accepted the fact. But what even more astounding were, the faith which she had and the belief with which she said, "I'm not going to let him leave me, at least not so soon"!
And the least we could say was God didn't have a choice. The trial period did extend for a few more days, my BIL started showing signs of recovery and eventually he did make the medical practitioners believe in the power of Super Natural. He came back home, much to the respite and happiness of an entire family that was praying for him. He folded his hands in front of his better half who dared God himself with a steely determination of not letting her sweet heart go all the while reminding herself of the words, "To have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part".
Life did change for them after that incident. Their love knew no limits. They were so much more a complete couple and knew that they were given a second life. They thanked Him, appreciated and respected His will. Years passed by and the happy family they were, continued to live their life in all its glory. Just before one of the Onam [State festival of Kerala] holidays, the family of four had an awesome vacation trip to Goa. The sun and the sand was just perfect and they evidently had one of the best times of their life till date! Little did they know that life was going to change again, but this time for ever…
They returned from Goa to a grand Onam celebration with the extended family and that was one of the all time best family reunions ever. My otherwise calm and composed BIL was unbelievably cheerful that day and the pictures turned out to be the most jovial of all what were taken till date. They returned home that evening and the very next day proved to be the one that can be termed life-changing for my sister & the two girls.
He was home and felt a pain close to his left shoulder and asked my sister to get some hot water. She stepped away to get it from kitchen and returned to see him lying on his chest. The hand that held hers when they exchanged the wedding vows were almost frozen and all what she could do was let go an almost inaudible cry that would've been carried along with his soul to the Heavenly Father who decided it is time that the term for second life reached its end. A life filled with love and respect to each other did end there. The physical presence gave way to an eternal bonding with a spiritual existence.
I truly believe it is better to have some questions left unanswered. The one who created us with all His love and tender care is the same person who tells us, it is enough and get back to me. Parents who kill their own child! This could be one of the biggest ironies of life. Something perhaps we'll never comprehend.
All what I could think is, love as much as you can cos you'll never know when you'll be called…