How My Grandparents Found Love

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Point of Contact

  • The space between two people that disappears for as less as a heartbeat and as long as eternity
  • The midpoint between two extremes that reach an agreement
  • A meeting of two lines that defy parellelity
  • A focal point
  • A handclasp
  • Eyes that meet across a room
  • The click that everyone waits for

My grandparents had an arranged marriage. My grandmother was the eldest in a family of four sisters and my grandfather the eldest of a family of four brothers. With little choice or say in the matter they married, bore children, and stuck together for “better or worse”.

Having little in common, and with ten years separation in age between them, they had frequent disagreements, silences and misunderstandings. Their “point of contact” was limited to general topics: the house, the children, duties and obligations. Affection was minimum, and distances both emotional and physical were large and constant.

Nevertheless they lived, they persevered and towards the end of their lives they even found love. My grandmother passed away at the age of 87. After a year of suffering through the cruelties of dementia and other illnesses, she quite peacefully surrendered her life on this earth. My grandfather, less than a year later, quietly and determinedly gave up his will to live and followed after.

However the last years of their life brought them closer together than they ever were before. My granddad became the perfect husband, sitting beside my grandma’s wheelchair for hours at a time, holding her hand, his lips constantly moving in prayer. In her state of dementia, my grandma’s continuous repetition of questions, requests and demands, would be patiently answered by my granddad, as he soothed her with words and prayers.

The moment he got up from his chair beside her, my grandma would call out to him and he would sit down again. Being ten years older than her, he probably grew tired of sitting for so long. But he kept his complaints to himself and kept his prayers for the rest of us. While the rest of us were too tired with the physical aspects of catering to my grandma’s needs, my granddad was the constancy in her life, providing the restfulness that in our exhaustion we often found difficult to give.

On her part, my grandma lost in the realms of illness and dementia responded to his love in her own way. Every morning her eyes would wait for him to join her at breakfast. And any absence on his part (out of tiredness and sleep), would raise demands and insistence for his presence beside her.

My grandparents did not have the perfect meeting, the perfect relationship or a perfect married life. They married and stuck together out of a sense of duty, and out of their love and respect for God rather than for each other. But towards the end, they did find love.

anandita
Anandita Rao

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