dear ba…a note to the grandmother i never knew

Dear Ba,

Hi…this is Shraddha. I am your granddaughter.  I think of you all the time.  And not necessarily because I miss having you in my life – we never even met.  Dad barely knew you – you left this Earth when he was two.  I’m sure you were a beautiful lady inside and out.  Dad definitely has your nose which I also inherited…the one that mom used to make fun of, the way only moms can do without hurting feelings.

dad with ba and dada

I’m sure we would have been close.  I would have wanted that.  In my dreams you would have too.  But I think of you often because, well you’re my dad’s mom.  I think of you because he didn’t have his mom.

Ba, I am mommy to two boys who truly have made me a better person.  Two boys that will never know the ends to my love because no such thing exists.  Two boys that run to me for kisses to their owies, to sing silly songs at bath time, to make their favorite breakfasts on the weekends, to make sure they are forever taken care of (even when I’m not there) and cherished and loved no matter what.  To make sure they know without a doubt that they will forever have my time, my heart.  But Dad, he wasn’t so lucky.  He didn’t have you.  I sometimes think of him and I wonder just how…how was he able to become the strong, successful, loving, so incredibly generous man he is…without you.  He didn’t have you.

Some things, sadly, you only realize after you have your own children.  When you experience this experience that no one, nothing can prepare you for…for yourself.  Since I became a mom, any time I think about dad growing up without you, I am filled to the brim with sadness.  Grief.  I wonder just how much he must have missed you.  And how his two year old self probably wasn’t able to convey his emotions in words to anyone.  That he probably cried rivers for you.  He ached for his mommy.  He must have asked and asked for you.  Those feelings of confusion, those of abandonment.  Oh, the confusion.   But you didn’t come back.  You were never going to come back.  But he didn’t know.  How would he know?  How would he have been able to get it?  I wonder how all of this was handled in a time when everyone just moved on and feelings weren’t as talked about.  My mind turns to my own life, my boys.  My dad.  He never had the chance to really know his mother’s love.  The tears flow.  I’ve cried rivers.

Despite this, I know dad had a good childhood.  He was raised by his grandmother and aunt – you probably saw everything from up above, smiling because he was in good hands.  He has never once complained about his childhood to me – instead painted a picture of a simple, happy time.  But that’s him – simple and happy.  You would have been proud.  So very proud.  I am so very proud.  I love him so much.  I know I am who I am today largely, because of him.  I am so very proud to be his daughter.

So thank you Ba wherever you are…thank you for my dad.

Your granddaughter, Shraddha

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