The grandchild in me

I was walking back home, after more than an hour of being in the woods. It was October, and the day was warm for fall standards.

For me, the woods are always dark and deep. Quiet and still, except for the birds that chirp and dart from one tree to another. Sometimes, they just choose to perch on a branch and stay comfortably there for what feels like ever.

Sugar Maple Park

As I came out of the woods and entered a paved road, I noticed a little battalion walking towards the woods. A grandpa with a bunch of grandchildren, it looked like. The boys were jumping around, two of them holding grandpa’s hands. I couldn’t take my eyes off this group. I could feel the love and warmth they exuded. I continued to do what I do when I encounter such scenes. Keep looking and fill up my heart with their happy emotions.

The grandpa looked content. One of the boys sported a mischievous grin. So mischievous that I couldn’t but pay him more attention than the others. As soon as he understood that I was paying attention, his grin turned to a near laugh though I couldn’t hear the sound of it. ‘Maybe he chuckled’, I thought.

Sixteen Mile Creek, Oakville

I told my husband, who was walking alongside, that the little one was up to something. “The grandpa probably knew it, but he was playing along”, I suggested.

That’s when I noticed the boy with the mischievous grin stick something behind the grandpa’s t-shirt. Within seconds, we passed them and I turned to see what it was. Dried thistle flowers or Burdock burrs, as they are called, not just one or two, but a handful of them neatly stuck behind grandpa’s t-shirt!

I stole a glance at the grandpa who greeted us as we passed them. His smile was beautiful and he seemed blissful in the company of the little ones. I turned to look at them disappear into the woods and caught the little boy turn and look at me. More grinning and more mischief in his eyes!

The moment and the discovery brought alive the granddaughter in me. I suddenly thought about my grandpa who left us two years ago. I am almost 43 and I had my grandpa till I was 41. He was 100 when he left for the light. I have 41 years of memories with him, or a few years less, considering I don’t remember the first few years. Does one feel enough about the love of grandparents? I surely don’t.

I am grateful for all the beautiful times I have had with my grandparents, but I wonder what it would be to have them for a few more years. Would it make me feel younger?

My maternal grandpa was the last of my grandparents to leave. When he left, I felt the grandchild in me become less important. I felt that the grandchild in me started fading away, slowly.

One of the happiest moments that I would recall is a particular situation in which my grandpa had to introduce me to a third person. A neighbor, or someone visiting. He would proudly introduce me by saying, “She is my granddaughter.” After I became a mother, and after the responsibilities of being a parent weighed me down, ‘she is my granddaughter’ made me feel lighter and younger.

Now, years after he left me, it’s moments like the one in the woods, unexpected encounters with other grandfathers that would bring back memories of time spent with my own.

Burrs – image from

The void

Another pair of stilettos, golden rimmed this time around
A choice made after hours of leafing pages on the internet,
After strutting in and out of malls, on yet another chic pair,
After impatiently trying out a motley of styles and shades
Winter coats; how many more can make your closet full?
Your closet of desires; its void vexing with every single buy
Every spring a few ghosts grope their way to the dumpster
You would rather not give them for charity, what a bother
But every time you pull them out, one or two, from the closet,
You see skeletons come out, perilous reminders of your past,
Every buy an attempt to cure a fever, one that never breaks in you,
You embrace cures one after the other, trying to break the heat,
You redo your home décor, trying to find solace in the new
But each a reminder of wounds from the past, self-inflicted
You pack your bags in haste, for trips that simply don’t cure,
Stay at the most exotic locales, sun bathe in sought after spots,
Sport pretentious expressions beneath real high-brow cheaters,
Voluminous waves sweep over you, the emptiness only caves in,
Sun bathes you in its warmth, but glaring vacuum is all you feel
Skin enhancements, beauty treatments, name it, you fall for it,
Anything for a fairer skin, for luxurious curls, buxom curves,
A fashionista for the world, but a meek marionette to your whims
But little did you realize that you missed the soul for the body,
The eternal for the material, the metaphysical for the physical.



The phone rings for seconds on end,

My patience drains out at the other end,

At what seems like the last ring,

A familiar voice; but sounds way too different,

Cheerless and tired, not in for a chit chat

My friend, a mother, her dear child fallen sick,

Her voice, a connotation of her child’s ailment,

Her heart, heavy with her child’s anguish


Mothers, they carry burdens, of their children,

Many a baggage from their past and present,

Worries for the future, for days trouble-free,

Mothers, with an innate ability to transfer pain,

From the deepest wounds, to their own bodies,

Lessen pain for their children, for speedier cures

A mother’s heart drugs with despair,

Over a child succumbed to pleasures vicious


The mother kneels down in prayer, day and night

For a child who wouldn’t surrender to grace immaculate

The mother walks alone to temples and churches,

Mosques and synagogues, turns a pilgrim eternal,

For her child’s homecoming, for the return of a racketeer

The mother weds hunger, to satiate her child’s need for food,

The mother burns the midnight oil, during her child’s days of test,

Struggles to keep awake, after a day of toil, of trials and troubles


Pick up the phone, call your mother,

Tell her that you love her, which is not enough though,

Book a ticket; take a trip down that road once again,

One that leads you home, a pathway presupposed

Care for her like you never did, like today is that last day,

Love her like never before, fill her days with cheer,

Walk the roads with her; show her a world anew,

Sit by her side; hold her hand, for she needs you