I still remember that huge Dining table with six seats, where the six of us would have meals together. I never knew such simple family time would be an unforgettable memory for me someday.
By Shajiya Khanom
Life is a journey and family is the basic place from where it starts. Dear readers, today I am going to share how simple family times become precious memories for a person once they become more busy with their own life. You will never know when and how you are creating moments with your parents and siblings while living in it. Until the day you realise that your journey of life has entered another phase as an individual.

My memories of shifting home for the first time

Dear readers, as a child a lot of things could affect your life so deeply that an adult would never understand.  But no matter what age you are, most of us will always feel the pain of relocating from an old place to a new place.
I remember when I was in class 4, I had to move along with my family to a government quarters , where my father was working as a Principal Scientific Officer. It was a beautiful complex filled with housing for staff, office blocks, a school, a library, a multipurpose hall & a playground . Though the complex was safe and had a better social environment than other individual private areas, it didn’t help me decrease the pain I was going through at that time. I remember I cried for so long and felt an emptiness inside me for a while.
The reason was the place we had come from, I was enjoying my freeing tomboy lifestyle. There were no boundaries that I didn’t jump over while playing with other kids. And all of a sudden I found myself in a place where everything & everyone was organized and more focused, like an invisible rule was already there of maintaining social and educational status.
Eventually I accepted it and started my new journey but I became so calm and self-centered. Inevitably, which made me stronger and matured at a very early age. At that time I started to open up to my mother more and shared the pain and obstacles that hurt me. My siblings and I spent most of our time  reading story books and adoring our cats after we got back from school. Later on those cats became a part and parcel of our lives.

My memories of having a front-yard garden and pets at home

In this long journey of our life, we had to rent new places to live as we didn’t have our own house. But that wasn’t something that bothered me. The point is wherever we had lived, we always built a front yard garden filled up with flowers and vegetables as well. In fact my father had this craze for gardening and I inherited this hobby from him.
Dear readers, do you know why making your hobby a part of your daily life is so important? Because, when you would feel depressed thinking about your past bad memories, all these hobbies that you enjoyed once, would  help you to overcome those bad times of your life. Moreover people need to cherish only those memories which bring a smile to their face.
So, the new place after we moved in, there were plenty of spaces in the front yard. And I remember there we grew different varieties  of local flowers like rose, jasmine and many more. There was another part, where we grew vegetables. Such an ordinary activity, yet a memory that I still cherish 32 years later!!
Out of nowhere, there was a cat that would come to our house. The cat was adorable and didn’t really look like a typical Bangladeshi cat. It was so fluffy and big with beautiful eyes. In no time, this cat became a member of our household. We named her “mom cat” ( মা বিড়াল ), because as soon as she got all the attention, we found that she was already pregnant. So very soon we got four kittens. It has been 29/30 years but I still can remember their cute faces and their clingy adorable attitude whereas I have almost forgot most of the miserable moments or you could say important facts of life at that particular phase of life. My mother had to do all the cleaning parts as they were not properly potty trained. It was literally a terrible duty for her but she was also fond of them. Unfortunately I have lost the very few pictures of them as a camera wasn’t available for us at that time. My elder sister and I still talk about them over the phone (as she has been living in another country for almost 25 years) whenever we miss our old days. So you can understand how some simple incidents of the old days can be so memorable after such a long time .
Dear readers, Without lengthening my pet’s story let me tell you the moral of telling you the story is that, ”Sometimes a simple plan or simplicity itself can be the irony of life”. Accept life how it comes to you and try to enjoy it because nothing in life is guaranteed .

On the day we lost our father

I am the youngest one among all of my siblings. At an early age, I found out that my father was suffering from heart problems and high diabetes. After his 2nd heart attack he was partially paralyzed at a very early age. So my elder brother and my mother had to put in a lot of effort to help him to recover his health in order to have a normal life again. My father was the only earning member and he had to continue his job soon after that incident.
My father was very well known for his honesty and sincerity at his work. As a government Scientific Officer, he had loads of responsibilities besides his family. One day, after 5 years living in the government staff’s quarters, my father got severely sick again and had to get admitted to the hospital. My mother and elder two brothers were there for him sequentially all the time. After a few days the doctor released him from the hospital, finding all the test’s reports fine. My brothers and mom went to the hospital to get him back home. My elder sister and I were waiting for their arrival at home while watching a drama on television. I still remember that and remember both of us feeling so uncomfortable & unstable while waiting for them. A few hours later I saw an ambulance just arrived outside our house.
My father had a heart attack for the last time when he was getting ready to come back home. He didn’t survive this time. That was the first time at the age of 14 I experienced  how it feels, when someone from your own family dies . At first I didn’t realise anything out of shock. For a few months it was so unreal. Like I was having a bad dream. I couldn’t accept that my father will never be with us anymore. Later as years went by I understood “reality hurts but everyone accepts it eventually”.

When us siblings started our own journey

In fact, my elder brother and my mom had to face real challenges .As I was the youngest one , I had no clue how they managed everything after my father’s death. Actually,  I do know how they managed. I was young but not dumb . But I don’t want to share that part. That could be another story. My elder brother, who was only 24 years old, did his best with the minimum resources my father left. I remember when my brother and sister in law had their first child .I remember how young my sister was when she got married  and had to settle in the USA with her husband far away from us. I remember how everyday was so challenging, and of course how willingly neighbours, relatives and friends supported us in our bad days. I can remember a lot of good memories too. I miss a lot of things. But, I miss our six seater dining table the most.
Next week will be 28 years of my father’s death anniversary. But within these 28 years everything has changed. All four siblings are living in four different places of the world along with our own family & kids. Luckily my younger brother lives near to my mother’s place so he can take care of our mother as much as he’s able. Now the only way we can contact each other is via phone & the internet. That’s how our life works these days. Emotion is real but our presence is unreal .

My mother’s call

All families have conflict – it’s a natural part of human relationships. We have them too. But the reality is, growing with age will also help you understand the value & worth of having parents & siblings.
Now-a-days my mother is playing the center role of a circle. From her I get updates about my brothers and sisters and also about her grandchildren. Because each of us are so occupied with our own selfish lives and can’t connect with each other more often .She keeps herself busy & happy contacting each of her children on video calls. We all know our mother will call us after every 2/3 days, no matter what .

Dear readers, I have a dining table with six seats now too, even though we are just three family members. It’s not about how many seats you have around your dining table. It’s the emotion and moments that a family lives through while having their meal altogether, that become priceless . A simple family meal time could be your lifelong treasure!  I can’t help but end today’s writing with the lyrics of the famous band Carpenter’s song “ it’s yesterday once more” one of my most favourite songs of all time . It makes me nostalgic every time I listen .

“When I was young
I’d listen to the radio
Waitin’ for my favorite songs
When they played I’d sing along
It made me smile.
… Those were such happy times
And not so long ago
How I wondered where they’d gone….”

8 Responses

  1. You have presented the topic beautifully. It has a lovely emotional and inner thought that kept me reading the whole article without stopping and literally I could visualize each person, each scenerio.
    Keep writing…

  2. Beautiful writing. Thanks for bringing back our sweet, simple but precious memories. Keep writing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *