ForeverMissed

Dear Friends and Family, this memorial website was created in memory of my dear Mummy, Saroj Bansal. She was born on September 14, 1937 and passed away on September 8, 2013 from complications arising from Congestive Heart Failure. She will live on in our Hearts forever.

Please take a moment to visit with her and share some of your thoughts and memories.

She was born in Mawana, in U.P. State of India to Maaneshwari Devi and Ved Prakash Kaushik. She was the 6th of 8 siblings (3 brothers and 5 sisters). Her mother suffered from High Blood Pressure and became paralyzed because of a stroke. My Mom was only 18. She took care of Naniji for almost 2 years when she passed away. So she knew the meaning of hardship from a very early age. She was married to my father, Sushil on December 25th, 1958 - an arranged marriage. We lived in Meerut with my paternal grand-parents for most of their married life before moving to the United States.

We came to the United States on September 3rd, 1977. My father worked as an Accountant for the Embassy of India. Both of my parents worked very hard to make a place for us here. Without them and their efforts, we would not be enjoying the good life that we have. She mostly managed a Gift shop in Virginia until she was diagnosed with Endometrial Cancer in 1993. Cancer would recur twice again, both times in her lungs. The treatments put cancer in remission but left her with diagnosis of Congestive Heart Failure and Type II Diabetes.

She was last hospitalized in June of 2013 for complications related to her Heart. She spent 12 days in ICU before being sent home with Milrinone to be administered via a Portable IV to keep her heart pumping. It made her heart work so well and she felt good and healthy in a very long time. For the first time in years, she smiled and asked for food and sang! She wrote a long message for the ICU nurses and insisted we go to UW and deliver it. Those few days were the best in ages! She was so proud of the fact that she walked out of hospital on her own two feet rather than in a wheelchair. For me these were a gift. It was such a happy thing to have her ask for more food that the Hospital Staff thought they were allowed to give!

She was very independent minded and did not accept help easily or happily.

But this reprieve was not to last very long. She came home on July 2nd and the medicine slowly stopped working as well within 2-3 weeks.

She knew it was time and she made a call to someone she trusted – to make sure I didn’t fall apart without her. Chris told me later - 'You thought you were taking care of her; she was looking out for you!'

On September 7th she said she wanted to go for a drive with me, came home and later during the morning hours between 4:30 and 5:00am on September 8th, slipped away just when we turned the lights off to let her sleep. My father was next to her on bed and I was at her feet; her son and daughter-in-law close. This is the way she wanted to go, with her family around and in her own bed.

She was a very strong and smart lady. Even her close friends did not know how ill she was until the end. She never talked about it. Whenever I or anyone else talked on phone with her, she always sounded cheerful and well. She was very determined. The only thing that terrified her was the thought that she may end up in a Nursing Home. Even when she was getting Chemo, she would go to her craft class next day and they only realized her problem when they saw the loss of hair. She loved to knit and sew. She used to make all my clothes when I was a child; embroidered her saris and shawls. I remember watching her do that in fascination. She continued that almost until the end. She used to do quilting for the Senior Center. She was very active - never wanting to sit in one place, always on a move. Cooking was her passion. She was a wonderful cook and loved to make all kinds of dishes.

She is survived by her husband, Sushil; her daughter and son-in-law, Sandhia and Christopher; her son Ashish, his wife Gauri and two of their daughters, Priya and Pramita; two brothers, Narendra and Upendra; and one sister, Vimla.

Posted by Sandhia McLeod on January 11, 2021
Dear Mummy

I dreamt that You and I sat somewhere that looked like a crowded room. You were wearing a sari and looked so nice. I pointed to the room on the left and told you that it was where I worked and that I didn't have my own desk. You got up to look. That was nice...

Love you so much.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on January 10, 2021
Dear Mummy
"Forget I ever had Heartache; Remember I had lots of fun.." - I placed this quote on your memorial site because this is so like what you would say. But it is so hard for me to do, especially because of my part in adding to your heartaches. As I laid in bed this morning I thought of the call you made to Chris in July, just weeks before you left us and about a week after I returned from Madison. In a way it is comforting to me that you understood me so well - you understood my anger and understood that it wasn't directed at you - but that my fear of losing you was culminating in that form. It gives me some peace that you knew how much I loved you. And I feel the depth of your love for me because at that time you were at the lowest point of your life and you were worried about me. 

I have been very very lucky in being loved so much. Babaji was the same way - he worried about how I would go on when he was at the lowest point of his life. He was so worried about Ammaji. I have his letter next to my bed and it breaks my heart to read it because he only asked for one thing of us - to take care of Ammaji - and we could not / did not do it.

I guess we all have things we would do differently if we could go back in time - but will we really? But I am going all over the place right now. 

May be I will hear you call my name again in the night... like I did on November 1st - may be you came to wish me happy birthday.

I love you so very much.
Missing you always.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on January 1, 2021
Happy New Year, Mummy -- wherever you are...

You used to be at the end of the phone line when not with me. But now you are in my heart and you know how much I am missing you. Also thinking of Vimla Mausi who went to be with you all just around this time. Papa, then Vimla Mausi and then Taiji - all within less than one and a half month time.

I remember last time I saw Vimla Mausi - it was in 1988 at Mawana. I still see her standing in aangan and saying to me 'agli baar Panta jarur aana'. I never saw her again.

I hope you are all together now. I hope there is no pain and tears where you are - hope it is all nice sunshine and warm. This reminds me of those winter days when we used to sit in warm sunshine on the roof and eat peanuts, read magazines and news papers and talk and talk. Ammaji used to make those "Jawai" with both hands moving so quickly. I was telling Chris the other day about those potato chips and papad that you both used to make in winter. I can almost taste those when I think of them. 

Missing all that. Missing all of you.
I have shared pictures of Nanaji, Naniji and Usha Mausi with Rajat. I will leave these to be sent to him after I am gone. I miss Usha Mausi. Some people are born under a bad star = and she was certainly one of those. But still mostly what I remember about her is her BIG smile!

Love you.
Your daughter

Posted by Sandhia McLeod on December 29, 2020
Dear Mummy

Early this morning or last night you came and took Papa away with you. He was my Papa and I am so sad to not know whether he went last night or this morning. After all those years of togetherness, he was all by himself in the end. I just know how much he must have been wishing for you to come and take him away. I think he lost faith in me during those last couple of weeks and I am most certainly to blame. He told you that he would come to you when 'someone' didn't need him anymore. I know he felt I didn't need him anymore. He kept his promise to you.

But I did need him - very much. I was just really really tired and didn't know where to turn for help. I hope he knows how much I need him and miss him. I miss him the most - may be because both he and I co-depended on one another so much after you were gone.

Wish I could see you again - and touch you - just for a moment even.
Love you
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on December 25, 2020
Dear Mummy

This is yours and Papa's day. I have thought about you all day. No place to call you. But I am thinking of you.
Love,
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on December 24, 2020
Dear Mummy

I am thinking of how you must have felt and looked just at this moment 62 years ago! This is the eve of your wedding. I know you must have wished that Naniji was there to hold your hands... You must have missed her a lot. I know that because during your worst moments you said something to me about her that told me the pain you had held in your heart for so long.

But this must have been a very happy time for you - with all the family surrounding you - Narendra mamaji to whom you were very close. What dreams you must have had as you would enter the unknown World starting tomorrow, the 25th of December - your Big Day. While you didn't come into a big home with lots of money, you did join a family where you found another set of Mummy Papa (Ammaji, Bouji as you called them). 

You were do beautiful! I love all of your pictures - young or old. Your wedding picture - one of the colored ones is my best favourite. 

You came... had some fun... and some not so fun times... but most of all, lived your life with dignity and you left this World and us holding on to that. You were, are, the strongest person I know. All four of you, in your own ways were very strong - much more so than I. We always used to go out on your anniversary - even though it was hard to find a restaurant that was open. But we had fun together and few times that were not so much fun. But we were (and will always be) a family. You were always there for me. My biggest regret is that I was not there for you. I will always have the pain in my heart because of my selfishness and that is my punishment for life.

But today I will only try to remember how you must have looked and felt - today, on the eve of your wedding day, all so many years ago that just seem to have flown by. Life is too short but you left us too soon.

"If I had one wish, it would be to hear my mom say my name again..." -- but I did hear it - on November 1st, I suddenly woke up because you called my name from wherever you are. 

I love you and miss you very much - every day - all the time.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on November 27, 2020
Dear Mummy

Today is yours and my day...
I hope you are somewhere close.

Missing you very much
With love always
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on November 15, 2020
Happy Diwali to you and Papa...

I thought of you many times today as I always do. But specially today. I thought I make some samosas. Can't remember when it was the last time but it must have been the time when you, Papa and I took a trip somewhere. You always used to make them. I wouldn't have known then that it was the last time!

Hope you saw and smiled.

Missing you very much.
With Love
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on November 1, 2020
"Gudia..."- you whispered my name this morning and I woke up. It was 2:00am. This was distinctly your voice that called out my name. And just yesterday I was thinking that no one is around anymore who calls me "Gudia". I opened my eyes and wondered if you were somewhere around but of course I could not see you. It was just as real as it was some time ago when I felt your touch when I tried to hug you and same as when papa took my hand when I was afraid in the midst of a fog...

I am happy that we have this connection... It was good to hear your voice. I miss it. Sometimes I listen to few of your audios I have - the recorded phone messages and "Om hai jeewan hamaraa.." the prayer you led at the community center. But this was different. You called out my name...

Missing you so very much.
Love you - Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on October 25, 2020
Dear Mummy

Without you Papa was lost - especially on a day like today when we used to be so happy. Happy Dussehra wherever you are. Hoping that you are all together now and are smiling.

I saw you and Papa in my dream last night - you both looked younger and happier :) You asked me to go somewhere with you but I didn't - as usual :)
It was so good to see you... May be you came to celebrate Dussehra with me.
Wish Babaji Ammaji came as well...
But I know they are always with me... just as you two are.

I thought of you while eating McD's hash... I brought those for you on September 7th - Saturday when I came in the morning but you had the worst night of your life that night and I don't think you could eat it. 

I made kofta with your recipe and it smelt and tasted like yours. Thank you for leaving that recipe for me. You would have been so happy if you could taste it.... Perhaps you saw ?..

Miss you so much
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on October 16, 2020
Dear Mummy

I held a Shanti paath and Moksha Archana for you two, Babaji Ammaji and Nani Nanaji today on Amavasya. I hope that it reached you somehow and will bring peace to you wherever you are. This was the first Pooja I have had in this house and I tried to hold my tears because I thought about all those times when we all sat together for Dashara, Diwali, Holi pujas and even for you later.  Didn't get to have that puja for Papa as there is no more family left on my side. But I wanted to do this today as I felt I need to carry on the traditions as much as I can. I didn't want to cry because the purpose was to bring you peace, not to make you sad.

While we were having the Puja, I imagined all of you sitting there with us and a thought brought a smile to my face. I thought you and Papa probably are looking at it with a teasing smile on your face - puja... Gudia is doing this... I can imagine you thinking this and laughing... I don't know whether there is a God or not and but I do know that you are somewhere watching over me. What I have now, I could not have it without you all looking out for me. The signs that you send me, I do see them. This belief helps me when missing you becomes too much to bear.

I had a feeling yesterday that I saw you in my dream but it was just a feeling.

Until we meet again.
With lots of love
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on September 26, 2020
Dear Mummy

I saw you in my dream last night and you seemed to be in distress because of certain people. I don't know what to do to bring peace to your soul. Babaji used to tell me that I shouldn't worry myself because of people who don't matter and these people who torture your soul aren't worthy. I think in my dream I was going to bring you with me. 

Mummy, I want you to be at peace - and today of all days because it is Babaji and Ammaji's birthday. Wish we were all together today... wish for so many things but more than anything, I want you to be at peace. Let go of everybody who hurt you... let go of even me because I do distress you, I am sure, by missing you so much. Still can't believe that you are gone for 7 years now... All that worry and pestering and fighting to get you to eat right - all is over and didn't produce any results. You went too soon. 75 was not the age to be gone. Life did rob us all of so much because of your illnesses...

Wish we had more time together.
Send me a sign and hint about what to do to bring you peace. Sometimes you seem happy but not always.

Missing you.
With Love
Your daughter


Posted by Sandhia McLeod on September 25, 2020
Dear Mummy

When I opened your site, it was your wedding picture that came on first - I take these as signs that you are sending your blessings and are here with me - with us. I worry about the strangest things ! :) I was thinking that this morning was the first time you and I got our hair done together! And I worried how you would have gotten the pearls out of your hair later in the evening and did Papa help :) You looked so beautiful! Your hair looks so nice whenever I look at the pictures.

One of my favorite pictures of you and me is the one of us standing at the beach on the sand and you are looking up at the sky. There is another one like that where both of us are facing the ocean and the wind is blowing. What a moment together. At that time we wouldn't have imagined every being separated.

You are still my rock. I lean on you when I need strength. You were the strongest person I know and I hope you know how much your strength and love helps me now.

I miss you so very much - I know you know it. Thanks for the picture this morning :)

Love you and miss you always.
Your daughter


Posted by Sandhia McLeod on September 16, 2020
Dear Mummy

I did the Shradh puja for Babaji, Ammaji, Papa and Nanaji today - however small way I could - but I did want to do something. Hoping that you saw me today and found some peace. Hope you smiled. I miss your smile - it was so beautiful and so reassuring.

I have so much to tell you... And I know what you would say too. Still would want to hear it. 

I made kheer today - hope it is better than the one I made on the 9th for the Shradh for you and Naniji. Miss your kheer. You always used to want to make it and Papa was always happy to go out for groceries if something was missing. Miss the dinners that were there on the table when I came home from work. Miss your cooking. Miss you...

Missed a trip to Wisconsin this year. Hoping for a better year next year so I can go and sit on your bench.

Love you
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on September 14, 2020
Happy Birthday, Mummy...
We will celebrate your birthday with food you liked - some of those. Wish I could call you today... Hoping you know...

Missing you on this day and always.
With love
your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on September 10, 2020
Dear Mummy

I made kheer yesterday - first time I have had since you made it in September of 2012! Wasn't very good but I wanted to make it for Shradh. Your birthday is coming up. May be I will make Pakodi or Samosa...

I remember those nights at midnight when we would be hungry and you would go and make pakodi. Those always tasted better than ever because of the time! That was fun. I was telling Chris about that and it make him smile.

Taco Bell no longer makes Mexican pizza that you and papa loved so much! May be I will make that on your birthday...

I started your old tradition of putting a penny in the box you used to have. So much is going on these days. It is good that you are not here to have to deal with it but I sure do miss you very much. Now that I am not worried about your health, I have many things I want to talk to you about. You always used to say 'kuch aur baatain karo' when you were fed up with my fussing over your heart and diabetes and all the lectures about food. At the time nothing else came to mind because that was most important to me. My focus was misplaced with both you and Papa - or may be just too much on your health and not so much on light side of life. But I know you are listening and that's why I write to you, papa and babaji, ammaji. 

Wish I could see you again. Hoping for some day.

Love you and miss you
Your daughter



Posted by Sandhia McLeod on September 9, 2020
Dear Mummy

Today I did the Shradh for you and Naniji - the best I know how. Never have done it before. I hope that it will bring a smile to your face. Naniji whom I never got to meet - I hope she is there with you. I know you were thinking of her in last few weeks of your life. You shared something with me then... I will always remember that - remember where we sat when you talked to me.

Mummy, I try to do things in your memory but it isn't the same as having you with me. But it will have to do for now...

I love you and miss you very much.
Your daughter

Posted by Sandhia McLeod on September 8, 2020
Dear Mummy

You used to ask 'hamai baandh ker rakh legi kya?' and I used to say 'rakh loongi'. But kehan rakh paayee. Just about now as we turned the lights out to let you rest, and Papa and I by your side dozed off just momentarily, you slid away. You did never like fuss and I guess you wanted to go quietly. Papa, at your side, and I at your feet - I am thankful for that privilege that we were right there with you as you took your last breath and more for you going in your sleep without pain and sadness in your heart. Wonder what you were dreaming of as you fell in deep sleep that night.

Goodbye for now once again. I don't know where 7 years have gone and it is hard to believe that it has been so long! So long without you and almost 3 without Papa!

Papa was lost without you - I know you know that now. And I know that in his final moments, you came for him and took him away. That would be the only way - I truly believe it.

Be at peace with all our family wherever you all are. Come in my dreams sometimes and let me see that smile again that you forgot for a while, but I am sure you have found it again.

Missing you very much this morning
Love you always.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on September 7, 2020
Dear Mummy

7 years ago today, in about 6 hours, we took our last car ride. You wanted to go for a ride... Thank you for that time. I want to say I wish I had one more day with you but that would have been another painful day for you. So I would say that I wish I had one more day before I let you go to Wisconsin all those years ago. If I had one more day, having been through all this, I would stop you and keep you two with me. Or may be I would say I wish I had one more day to take a walk with you... or to go on travels when you used to bring home made samosas... One more day of those good days, for when you were well those were all good days - even when we had an argument. No matter how many arguments we had, we always knew we loved each other. You knew this - you knew how much I loved you and that makes it little bit more bearable.

At this time 7 years ago Papa and I went to Target to look for some comfortable gowns for you. You never got to wear them - I still use them. I wear most of your clothes and it makes me feel close to you.

I hope you have finally found peace and are happy wherever you are - with Papa and Babaji Ammaji. I like to think you have because this thought too makes your loss a bit more bearable. I guess I shouldn't say 'your loss' because you are always in my heart and so can never be lost to me.

Love you always and missing you forever.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on September 6, 2020
Dear Mummy

I woke up thinking about you this morning and where I was at that moment. At the time when I woke up I was probably getting ready to leave the hotel to come to the house to be with you. This was Friday and the day is a blur now. Those days seem to run into each other. What I do remember distinctly is you saying "itni dawaii lainai sai kya phayda... mein achchi tow ho nehi rehi". You said that at night after throwing up once again as you couldn't hold anything.  
And I remember looking at you helplessly. I should have stayed with you this night because this was the worst night of your life. But I did leave.

They told us you would have less than a year on that portable IV and it made you feel so good initially that we felt we had time. But it ran out too quickly. 

The only thing I am thankful for now is that you went quickly a day later. And your worst nightmare didn't come true. I promised you that I won't let you go to nursing home but I didn't have much say and ours was not a family that would have taken care of you even for a day. I am glad that you were on your feet until the last moment. 

You passed away just as you lived, with dignity and strength. And that surely is something to be grateful for.

I am grateful for that. And grateful for you to have been my mum; grateful for the memories you left for me; and more than anything else, grateful for your love.

I miss you very much all the time.
But missing you specially these days. September is a difficult month.

Love you always.
Your daughter












Posted by Sandhia McLeod on September 3, 2020
Dear Mummy

Today was the day -- you, papa, Shailu and I - on our first journey to foreign shores after leaving Babaji and Ammaji and the home we so loved and would never see again. 43 years! So much has happened and yet time seems to have flown by. I remember that big trunk we brought with Indian spices and all... remember the Fairfax hotel that was our first home here... remember getting letters from Babaji Ammaji and all of us crying together. Remember our walks in DC and marveling at the wide footpaths there were... wonder at why there were so many 'drug' stores and hating the smell as we passed by McDonald. 

This is the month when you came into this World and left it too.

Thank you for all the memories and love you gave me. Thank you for the tears you shed for me when you were worried about me... for those nights when you stood at the window and wait for me to come home from school... for walking me to the university shuttle :); For always letting me come home when things went wrong and never questioning; For the sound of your voice at the other end of the phone that was always reassuring even when you were sad.

Love you always.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on August 19, 2020
Dear Mummy

Today something reminded me of what you used to say - and you were so right about so many things. And your faith in Chris was not misplaced. I don't have to tell you - you know everything as you surround me with your love and smiles. 

You are always in my heart and I can always talk to you - but still wish I could call - the way it always was - at least one call a day. You were always reassuring even with all your problems. If I concentrate enough on you, I will learn to gain some of your strength. 

I found some of yours and Papa's photos from a vacation you took at Wisconsin Dell yesterday on shutterfly. Glad I looked there because I had forgotten about that. It was a nice surprise.

Love you.
Miss you always.
Your daughter

Posted by Sandhia McLeod on July 13, 2020
Dear Mummy

I saw you in my dream. What a strange one and it left me so sad. Perhaps I am making you sad by being sad myself. I saw that yours and Papa's ashes were in a big coffin and someone opened it. Somehow you and Papa came out of the ashes and we were sitting somewhere. You two started to leave and Papa left the room. I said "babaji ammaji bhi chalai gayai". You gave me a hug (though I didn't feel your touch) and said "we have to go now" and you were crying...

Why did you leave me so soon? Wasn't your time yet. 

We have missed out on so much.
I don't want to make you cry...

Love you very much.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on June 20, 2020
Dear Mummy

I still play in my mind that last conversation and when I close my eyes I can go and sit there with you on that bench and see you and feel you with me. That whole last week is as if it happened yesterday...

-- jab thodi taakat aa jayaigi, taw wahan tak chalaigai
   -- < quiet >
-- achcha?
  -- achcha
  -- chal thodi dair gaadi mein chalain?


Posted by Sandhia McLeod on June 20, 2020
Dear Mummy

I guess I mourn for those lost years when I forgot being your daughter and took on the role of - wouldn't say of your mom because that will always be naniji whom I never had the fortune to meet - sort of a care taker... I know that you didn't like it one bit. You were the mother - mummy - who wanted to feel and go on the way we were before your first cancer diagnosis in 1993. I will never forget that day when I cried all the way home after hearing from you that your worst fear had come to fruition. 

Now I wish - and miss - all those years we lost as being Mom and daughter. I stopped telling you if I had any problems because I didn't want to increase your burden and make a fuss. Now so many times I wish you were there so I could talk to you. So many things to say and talk about.  So much to do... so many walks we didn't take.

Sometimes I miss you more than the other days - though I miss you every day. And today is one of those. Miss all of you very very much. 

Lately I have been wondering how you two would have dealt with this pandemic I doubt that you wouldn't have been as careful as I would have liked and we would have fought some more :) For the first time - I wouldn't say that I am glad - but I am relieved that Papa is not there - not if he was going to be at Belmont in that condition - would have been different if he had remained well and I often wonder how it would have been if he hadn't the stroke. But given that everything happened the way it did, it makes me feel pain when I try to imagine him being at Belmont at this time - having to somehow wear masks and all - I can't imagine how he could have dealt with that. How could I not go and see him for so long? This would have been much worse situation than it was. At least until the end he was able to still enjoy his newly found love - painting! 

Love you so very much and always.
Your daughter

Posted by Sandhia McLeod on June 5, 2020
Dear Mummy

I just closed my eyes and was thinking of our last day together. But the picture of you that kept coming in my head was of your smiling face when you were well. You were such a happy sort of person and so strong. 

I know you worried about me a lot - what would happen to me when you were gone and how would I manage to live... I know none of you want to see me sad from wherever you are. Sometimes I can't help you. I miss our family so much - miss those comfortable, lazy afternoons of sitting together listening to radio... But I will try to do better. 

Last night before falling asleep I was thinking of the four of you and remembered how much I was and am loved. It made me smile. I have been lucky, very lucky to be born in your family. Funny that there were times when I used to worry if I died before you, what would happen to you; who would take care of you... I guess while I find it hard to breathe sometimes missing you, it is the best that I am the one who remained. I just wish that I was there for Papa, Babaji and Ammaji in their last moments.

This was 7th Mother's day without you this year! Hard to believe it has been that long. Just always feels like yesterday. I can always see you clearly if I close my eyes and feel your touch; still can feel the way Ammaji's arms used to feel... To me this is a blessing. Without all this, I could hardly imagine being able to live.

Some day...
Love you and miss you
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on May 24, 2020
Dear Mummy

I saw you in my dream last couple of nights. First time you were far away and I told myself that it were you. Next time I left a room where you would be living in. You said that you slept on the sofa and I knew why - I forgot to make the bed before leaving. And I thought you should have said something. But you were very quiet.

At one time you were sad that I didn't talk to you about my life and any issues I may have had. Now I wish you were there to listen. Wish I could talk to you about some of the things. Now I just imagine how it would have been like if you were around - we could do this and that - go to all those place...

I miss you...
Love you
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on May 18, 2020
Dear Mummy

I was just looking and saw that it has been 2,443 days since you and I sat together!!! How can so many days have passed and everything seems like just yesterday? I miss you so much - miss the comfort of knowing I could reach you any time I wanted to. 

We should have had many more years together. You were only 75... The doctors robbed you - robbed us - of so much!

I haven't seen you in my dream in a long time. I just miss our family so much. Now everyone is gone. I guess you were right to worry about me. What would have become of me without Chris? I am sure that Babaji sent him for me. There could be no one else but him...

But I still miss you very much. Every time I put on your top or sweater or the dress I made out of your Saris, I think of you - not that those are needed as reminders of you. You are always on my mind and in my heart.

I hope you are happy wherever you are. I hope you are all together now.
I am glad you were mine...

Love you always.
Your daughter


Posted by Sandhia McLeod on May 10, 2020
Dear Mummy

Wish I could call and wish you a Happy Mother's Day. Hope you can see what's in my heart.

Today, on this 7th Mother's Day without you, I need you to give me a gift - a gift of your strength. Help me be as strong as you; help me be like you...

I miss you more today if it is possible.
With all my love
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on May 9, 2020
Dear Mummy

I had a dream last night and I had a feeling that you were there. It was bee or something that sort of looked like a butterfly. I was, for some reason, trying to touch it and you were telling me not to that as it would sting. I don't think I actually saw you.. just felt your presence...

Sometimes I have this strong feeling that I want to sit down with you and talk and tell you all about my thoughts. But I can only talk to you through these letters... Hope you know how much I miss you -- miss you all. 

Tomorrow is Mother's Day. Hope you know that I am thinking of you and wishing that you were here. We lost so much time. Wish I tried harder and kept you from moving to Wisconsin. 

Love you always.
Your daughter

Posted by Sandhia McLeod on April 19, 2020
Dear Mummy

Wish you were here...

It will soon be 40 years without Babaji. I feel blessed that I can still picture him just the way he was and feel his presence... 

Wish you were all here...

Love you and miss you very much.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on March 29, 2020
Dear Mummy

I was thinking of our last evening together sitting on the bench and suddenly the memory made me smile for a moment. When I said "Jab taakat aa jayaigi to wahan tak chalaigai", at first you didn't respond (because you knew different) but then you said "achcha, chal thodi dair gaadi mein chalain". That was so like you... you wanted to get out of the house every single day, even if for just a few minutes. You had been cooped up in the house for two days... 

I don't know why but thinking of this made me smile because it was so characteristic of you...

We had our last drive and it used up all your energy...

It all seems like yesterday and Papa's absence doesn't seem real even now. May be I miss his presence the most since he was the last of the four pillars in my life and one who still made me feel rooted. I think I depended on him much more than he did on me - after you were gone. I clung to him and made him miserable because I was willing him to do what he did not want to do. He did miss you much more than you would have known in life. After you, he too lost everything.

I feel pain in my heart but it is one I don't want ever to go away. It connects me to you all. I know you want me to be happy and I can hear your annoyed voice "hamein baandh kai rakh legi kya?"... I tried...


Love you so much
Miss you more every day.
Your daughter

Posted by Sandhia McLeod on March 6, 2020
Dear Mummy

If you were here, you would fuss over me and I would probably get mad at you. But as it now I wish you could call me just once! No matter how old one is, they never lose the need for their mother. And I need you so very much.

Are you somewhere safe and happy? I hope so. I am hoping to be reunited with you some day... hoping that you all will come for me when it is my time.

Just wish I could hear from you one more time... May be tonight in my dream...

Love you and Miss you
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on February 23, 2020
Dear Papa Mummy

I saw you in my dream last night. We were travelling somewhere and stopped at a restaurant. The samosa was cold :-) So we went some place else. Even though I feel like, Papa, that you had had a stroke but you were walking very fast!

I was just looking at a picture of the three of us in Adelphi apartment - sitting on a sofa. You have left me all alone... Still I am content to see you in my dreams - until we meet again...

Love you and miss you very much. Miss our walks together. Miss drinking cappuccino together.

Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on February 17, 2020
Dear Mummy

I had very bad dreams a night before last. I kept waking up and then another came. In first one you were lying in bed, sick and sad. I looked at you and thought that may be I should let you go to India - then at least you would be happy even if you don't live long. I woke up and dozed off again to see that you, Papa, Shailu and I were in a house together. The house had large high windows and you were saying that you wanted curtains for those. But both you and Papa were not well. And then the third dream was something like where we were walking in snow or something and while Papa could stand but he was not well; neither were you. Usually I forget my dreams but these were so vivid and I remember them so well...

Am I not letting you be at peace by missing you so much? I want you to be smiling wherever you are. You never did like me fussing over you and worrying. I will try my best but sometimes when I think of you all, I just can't help that my eyes fill up with tears.

You went so soon... I just think about what if you hadn't been so ill; what if the Dr. Kurashi had done her job and diagnosed your cancer in time. How our lives would have turned out differently...

Oh, I do miss you. I know you are around when I am missing you too much. Like the other day in the bus... I had such a strong feeling of your khushboo as you just quickly passed by... I woke up so suddenly as I had dozed off...

I do hope that I will see you all again. I want to see you well in my dreams.

Love you and miss you.
Your daughter.


Posted by Sandhia McLeod on February 13, 2020
Dear Mummy

When I close my eyes and think of you, I can see you sitting with me... smiling and little annoyed "hamai baandh ker rakh legi kiya?" - you used to say when I fussed over you and Papa. 

I tried...

Missing you always and Love you very much
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on February 2, 2020
Dear Mummy

I was just thinking of the last car ride you and I took - just around the house. I am glad that I was there with you at the end. Wasn't there for Papa and that hurts me the most - just like I wasn't there at the time of Babaji and Ammaji. 

That night was so hard and yet my heart didn't know it.

I miss you so very much. 

Love you
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on January 12, 2020
Dear Mummy

2nd of January this month I dozed off in the bus. Suddenly I awoke with a very strong feeling as if you just passed by; as if there was a wif and I could smell you... It was very strong and stayed with me for long.

It was the same kind of sense as I did one night when I awoke from a dream of you crying and just as I was about you give you a hug, I woke up. But I had a strong sense that we touched...

I know you are with me always - in my heart.
I know Babaji Ammaji and Papa are too but I don't see them in my dreams much. Wonder why... I think of them and you almost all the time.

Miss our vacations together; miss sitting around on the deck sipping Papa's cappucino; miss listening to 'behno ka program' on radio with you and Ammaji; miss Babaji teaching me how to count...

I had so much... and that's why loss of it all hurts so much. But I am happy that I had so much love in my life. And now Chris is here. I am sure Babaji sent him to me because he certainly looks out for me and loves me to make me believe that.

Love you and miss you always.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on January 1, 2020
Chal thodi dair Gadi mein chalain - this was the last thing you ever asked me to do. I am so glad that I was there in the end, Mummy. Wasn't there for Papa. 

You went too soon.. Wasn't your time yet. You should have been around longer. I should have listened more and better and talked less. Should have hugged you more. May be some day...

Happy New Year Mummy.
Love you - Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on January 1, 2020
Dear Mummy

Another year without you has passed...
But I know wherever you are you are looking out for me. I feel your presence and feel your hand in some of the things that happen.

Your love carries me forward and makes me very thankful to have been part of your life. I wish so much I could call you and talk to you about things but I just try to follow what you used to say and what I think you may say...

Missing you very much.
Love you.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on December 28, 2019
Dear Mummy

Yesterday on my way home I was thinking that we would have gone to a restaurant to celebrate... We always celebrated every little win we had in life. But you didn't leave a way to reach out to you. I haven't even seen you in my dreams in so long!

This is the day - tonight - when you came for Papa and took him away by the hand. You were always so protective of him - even when you were unhappy with him - so this was just very characteristic of you. I can just picture it - he would have smiled at you when he saw you finally. He did look very peaceful in the end.

Oh but I miss you all so very much! You knew how hard it would be for me and I know you wouldn't have left me if you could choose. I want you to be at peace now. Even though I miss you very much, I am glad that you are all together at last and hope that some day I will see you again.

Loving you and Missing you.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on December 25, 2019
Happy 61st Marriage Anniversary - Papa Mummy -- wherever you are.

Thinking of you today and always.

Love you very much and miss you even more.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on December 24, 2019
Dear Mummy Papa

61 years ago today you were both preparing for your big day tomorrow at this time. So much of your life ahead of you. You were both so young. Looking back now life seems so short. But your story is not over - not until I am gone. Even then you will be remembered by those who will benefit from your legacy - I have made sure of that.

Yesterday morning I woke up and had such a strong wish to call you. But I don't know how. Can you see me and hear my voice when I talk to you? Will you come for me when it is my time?

Tomorrow is your day and I will make pakori. Both of you liked it. I miss those days when in the middle of the night we would feel hungry and you would make pakori. Those were happy times.

I miss you always. But will miss you more tomorrow. Our last time together on your anniversary was in 2012 when I came to Madison. We made pizza!
Miss those days... miss the cappuccino... miss so many things.

Love you very much
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on November 27, 2019
Missing you today very much...


Love
Gudia
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on November 6, 2019
Dear Mummy

I feel like I saw you in my dream last night but couldn't quite remember. I hope you are not fading from my dreams too - I need you still... Few weeks ago I saw that you and I got on the bus together. That was so lovely. You had such a broad smile on your face! 

I miss your smile... miss your face... miss your voice... And miss arguing with you!

Love you
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on October 24, 2019
Dear Mummy

That last evening sitting with you on the bench, with both you and Papa slowly slipping away, my heart refused to accept what the brain knew - and what you knew. That's why you hesitated before saying 'achcha' when I said 'jab thodi taakat aa jayaigi taw wahan tak chalaingai' and pointed to the curb around the house. 

I miss you so much Mummy. Often think about what life would have been like if you had stayed healthy or even if that stupid / negligent doctor had done her job. I wish so much to find her one more time so that I can ask her the question that has been on my mind forever - 'Why???'.

But I don't know how to find her.

I thought about that little doll house we all made together before trouble came to our family. Whatever happened to it? When you all left that house in Temple Hills, did it get thrown away? We built it with so much care and love! Wonder why I didn't think about it all these years. And so much of my stuff that was in that house - obviously got thrown away!

Another Diwali without you and Papa - without Babaji Ammaji and without a family gathering. I will try to do something that day - want to at least make some effort to carry out the traditions - no matter in however small way. May be you all will see and smile...

Wish you could see all the beautiful colors the trees leaves are turning into. You would have loved it. I can just picture your smile. I wonder some times and try to picture if Ammaji (and even Babaji) could have come here and what fun it would have been to show them around! 

I need you so much!
Missing you and love you
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on October 16, 2019
Dear Mummy

I saw you in my dream few nights ago. You were sleeping and I touched your hair and it felt so soft. Your hair, when it grew back, was so baby soft. I can still feel the softness on my finger and it made me so happy. Papa was there too somewhere - I had the feeling he was around...

Wish I could touch you one more time and give you a BIG hug!

Love you and miss you.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on October 9, 2019
Happy Dasharah Mummy...

May be one day I will be with you again and we will celebrate these days. I found the old book we used to write Dasharah and news of the year! And last one that Papa wrote in 2016 when he was by himself at Artisan. That broke my heart. I had not expected him to be alone on that day. Who can I blame but myself? I hope that all those sorrows and heartaches are now long forgotten - now that you are all together once again. I won't ever ask for forgiveness because I don't deserve it. Papa depended on me much - he knew he could ask me for anything but I let him down.

Well, on this day I think of the old days when we were together in Meerut and feel lucky to have been part of that life - and to have been part of yours.

Love you very much.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on October 2, 2019
Dear Mummy

25 years ago today we lost Ammaji. You and Papa we there and may be she was just waiting for you. I am glad that you both got to be there - specially Papa. It is very important to be able to say goodbye to special people in one's life. Not being able to be there for Papa when his time comes will haunt me forever. I am also glad that she went while in her bed at home. It still scares me when I think that she may have been in a car...

I love and miss you all very much. But specially today I have been thinking of Ammaji and Babaji all day. Where is that life gone?

Missing you.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on September 26, 2019
Celebrating 121st and 113th Happy Birthday of Babaji and Ammaji today and thinking of all of you being together on this day. I hope you are happy wherever you are. 

Love you
Your daughter
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Recent Tributes
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on January 11, 2021
Dear Mummy

I dreamt that You and I sat somewhere that looked like a crowded room. You were wearing a sari and looked so nice. I pointed to the room on the left and told you that it was where I worked and that I didn't have my own desk. You got up to look. That was nice...

Love you so much.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on January 10, 2021
Dear Mummy
"Forget I ever had Heartache; Remember I had lots of fun.." - I placed this quote on your memorial site because this is so like what you would say. But it is so hard for me to do, especially because of my part in adding to your heartaches. As I laid in bed this morning I thought of the call you made to Chris in July, just weeks before you left us and about a week after I returned from Madison. In a way it is comforting to me that you understood me so well - you understood my anger and understood that it wasn't directed at you - but that my fear of losing you was culminating in that form. It gives me some peace that you knew how much I loved you. And I feel the depth of your love for me because at that time you were at the lowest point of your life and you were worried about me. 

I have been very very lucky in being loved so much. Babaji was the same way - he worried about how I would go on when he was at the lowest point of his life. He was so worried about Ammaji. I have his letter next to my bed and it breaks my heart to read it because he only asked for one thing of us - to take care of Ammaji - and we could not / did not do it.

I guess we all have things we would do differently if we could go back in time - but will we really? But I am going all over the place right now. 

May be I will hear you call my name again in the night... like I did on November 1st - may be you came to wish me happy birthday.

I love you so very much.
Missing you always.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on January 1, 2021
Happy New Year, Mummy -- wherever you are...

You used to be at the end of the phone line when not with me. But now you are in my heart and you know how much I am missing you. Also thinking of Vimla Mausi who went to be with you all just around this time. Papa, then Vimla Mausi and then Taiji - all within less than one and a half month time.

I remember last time I saw Vimla Mausi - it was in 1988 at Mawana. I still see her standing in aangan and saying to me 'agli baar Panta jarur aana'. I never saw her again.

I hope you are all together now. I hope there is no pain and tears where you are - hope it is all nice sunshine and warm. This reminds me of those winter days when we used to sit in warm sunshine on the roof and eat peanuts, read magazines and news papers and talk and talk. Ammaji used to make those "Jawai" with both hands moving so quickly. I was telling Chris the other day about those potato chips and papad that you both used to make in winter. I can almost taste those when I think of them. 

Missing all that. Missing all of you.
I have shared pictures of Nanaji, Naniji and Usha Mausi with Rajat. I will leave these to be sent to him after I am gone. I miss Usha Mausi. Some people are born under a bad star = and she was certainly one of those. But still mostly what I remember about her is her BIG smile!

Love you.
Your daughter

Recent stories

Your favorite mala

Shared by Sandhia McLeod on January 23, 2021
Dear Mummy
Today I gave your favorite mala to Tammy.  She will take good care of it.  I hope that this made you smile.  You always wanted to share your things with us.  I miss you more than I thought I would but probably as much as you did.  You knew how hard it will be for me and it is.  Whenever I dream of you - that is a good day...
Miss you always.
With Love
Your daughter

Happy 80th Birthday

Shared by Sandhia McLeod on September 20, 2017

We celebrated the birthday at Fitchburg Senior Center where both Mummy and Papa used to go for exercises, Bridge, Craft etc.  Mummy made several quilts and knitted things for the Senior Center.

Papa could not go to celebrate it with Jill, Sarah and Laura to Swan Creek Park where Mummy's Memorial Bench is this year.  He was in Hospital, waiting to be released.  He always takes a balloon and rose to the Bench.  I was in Maryland but I sent the cake to the Sr. Center so that people there could enjoy it.  Mummy liked to have lots of people around.  Laura brought a rose to the Bench for her and placed it on her bench.

The Center posted the following on their Facebook page --
"
A big thank you to the Bansal family for the amazing cake they offered today in remembrance of Saroj's birthday. We miss Saroj's sweetness at the Senior Center, and are honored to remember her on this special day.
"

Playing in snow

Shared by Sandhia McLeod on February 19, 2017

1977, Our First Snow in United States.

Mummy, then barely 40 years old, playing in snow in Parking Lot of our Apartments.