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 27, 2022
Dear Mummy

I hope that you saw today that the muffler you made for Chris kept him warm today on our walk. He was telling me again about the call you made to him in July ... just before... and he was really sad. Mummy, I miss you so much and look back so much on times that I cannot change. You were not like that - until you were broken. It was such a tough time and no one -- especially no one like you and Papa should ever have to go through it. I had most part on it as I selfishly let you go.

These days especially -- I think of you often and just picture you and me sitting around and talking about things to come.. think about our drives and walks together... I can picture your face and hands and feet as clearly as if I just saw them. When I am in the kitchen and look over the sofa, I can clearly see the back of your head... And I am so lucky that I can.  I feel lucky to be able to remember you vividly, remember your voice and everything about you. Not everyone is blessed with this and this is how I know that you are looking over me from wherever you are.

I feel you close but still since I can't touch you and see you physically, it hurts and it helps to talk about you with Chris.

Love you - as you know already.
Your daughter


Posted by Sandhia McLeod on January 18, 2022
Dear Mummy

I wish you were here today with me... You know why...
I can only try to imagine how it would have been.

Afraid to ask for too much because as you know Babaji Ammaji gave me that one moment I wanted in our house in Vijaynagar - in my room. I will never forget it.  I had promised that I won't ask for anything more. But it is probably okay to wish that you all were here now.

Missed you very much today.
With all my love
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on January 4, 2022
Dear Mummy

There is much to tell you now and time to visit but you are nowhere I can reach. But you know all now, don't you? Still what I wouldn't give to be able to call you and sit with you and just listen to you - all you had to say and tell you - all you want to know.

We never realize and appreciate fully what we have when we have it. I couldn't imagine a life without you - so never really took advantage of the time we had together. Now you are gone and I have so much to talk about.

Milestones come and go - when you were here we celebrated every little thing- at least until things started to take downward turn. I miss doing those things with you - miss going shopping with you; and for the walks and just enjoying the foods you cooked. Can you believe how much cooking I do now? You would be proud of me.... 

Missing you today very much as it is a special day. Wonder what you would have said!! 
Love always
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on December 28, 2021
Dear Mummy

Come and take a walk with me one more time...
I remember that dream I had of you, a while ago now... where you and I were walking down and everything was black-and-white. And then suddenly we came into sunshine and all became so colorful. I felt like you were now better and healthy and happy - wherever you are. It was such a beautiful dream and made me so happy. 

Wish I could have that again. Every time I turn the corner near the house, I always look at that stone you stepped down from and think of you and that time.

Today Papa joined you and I just like to picture it that you came down and took him by the hand. I am sure you did. You were so protective of him and it was time - he had suffered so much.

Missing you today and always
With all my love
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on December 25, 2021
Dear Mummy Pappa

Wishing you a very Happy 63rd Anniversary wherever you are. At this time we would have been going out to lunch somewhere to celebrate your day.

It is a gray kind of day. Wish it was nice and sunny because you liked sunny days. 

You know, what I miss most - or one of the things I miss the most are our trips that we took together. It was so much fun getting in the car, you bringing picnic basket and samosas and bananas and all sorts of things. We didn't have much money but we did travel quite a bit. The fights Papa and I had because even when he wasn't sure of directions, he would say "it should be this way" and point in a direction he could not possibly be sure of being the right way to go in. But at this point all I remember are the good times - us being able to go anywhere we wanted.

And I miss our walks together; shopping together. I rarely go shopping anymore. Miss your smile. And just plain miss you. Whenever I close my eyes and think of you, such a warmth comes over me - a familiar safe and comforting feeling that only parents and grandparents can provide.

Missing you on your day and always.
With all my love
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on December 24, 2021
Dear Mummy

63 years ago today you were preparing for your new life with Papa. You were so beautiful! I woke up thinking about it and wondered what you were doing just at that moment all those years ago.

Now you are all together again - I like to think so.

We would have gone out to lunch tomorrow to celebrate your day. I will make your favorite kofta curry - the way you used to. Just marking the day with something you would have liked.

Thinking of you.
Love
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on December 23, 2021
Dear Mummy

It is another anniversary coming up - another year without you.
Eight years have gone by and four even without Papa. 
Feels so strange to think of it.
And there is so much to talk about now. I am hoping you know it already.

Walk with me once again in my dreams...

Missing you as always.
With all my love
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on December 10, 2021
Dear Mummy

I had a bad dream last night - saw you and you were not well. You were lying in the shade, got up and sat on a chair in sunshine. You looked at me as I was inside talking to Chris and I indicated to you that I will be out in a minute. I remember your face so clearly from the dream - you were in pain. I remember thinking I would call hospice and see if they can come to help you.

I know it is just a dream but I like it when you are smiling and seem happy. I know you are now in a happier place with all your family around. 

I miss you so much. Your legacy, your funds that you left are now beginning to come to fruition and help people who will come after you. Hopefully new innovations in medical science will make the suffering of others a little less.

I wish you could have been here to see the calendars, the new changes in our lives... we could sit and talk and take walks again. But may be you do walk with me as I carry you in my heart always.

Love you so much and miss you always.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on November 27, 2021
Dear Mummy

You were there when I was born and I was there when you left this World. I keep thinking that you were exactly my age when you went through your Chemo and life just went downhill since then. I can't help wondering what it may have been like if I didn't insist you get Chemo and let you take some less harmful treatment. Would you have been gone much sooner then? But even so, what about the quality of life?

I regret my part in the suffering you went through because of your health. I will never know...

But today I woke up hearing your voice in my head "happy birthday"...
Chris made it a very nice day for me today - you asked him to take good care of me and he does. I think it is because of the love of all four of you that I have what I do now. You took care of me even as you were fading. Chris is right when he says to me "you thought you were taking care of her... but she was looking out for you.". 

I miss the times we had together... I feel sad for the time we never got to have because of so many problems. You two were too simple and unassuming and trusting. I wish I took better care of you.

Missing you so much today. I have your sweater on - just to feel close to you. I love you so much.

With all the memories and love
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on November 24, 2021
Dear Mummy

It is 3000 days today since you and I last sat together...
I have so many things to tell you. I know you know them already since you are always with me. But I wish I could sit with you once again and talk - the way you always wanted to.

Chris loves Pakori very much and every time I make them now I think of you and those midnights when you would make them for us... Those were such happy times. I wish I didn't resist you cooking so much because you would have been so happy to watch Chris consume those Pakori the way he does :)
But in my defense, I just wanted us to sit together and talk rather than you spend all that time in the kitchen... 

I just miss all those times so much. Miss you so very much.

Wonder if I will dream of you tonight or hear you call my name once again - just like a year ago now on November 1st.

Love you
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on November 5, 2021
Dear Mummy

Wishing you a very Happy Diwali wherever you are.
Last few years since you moved to Wisconsin things were so bad in so many ways - mostly your health - that Diwali and Dasharah and so many other occasions we used to celebrate and had such fun and good food - kind of went unnoticed. Now when I look back, I wish I hadn't been so focused on your day-to-day health and tried my best to distract you in other ways that made you happy. Now that I know so many more things than I did before. 

Even things like instead of staying in hotels if we rented an apartment for a week or whatever, that would have been so much more comfortable and nice for you. I remember once when we stayed in one, you said as we were leaving - 'Yeh ghar jaisa laga hai'. It always brings such ache to my heart whenever I think of it. I wish I never let you go to Wisconsin... wish I was not so selfish and didn't take you on your word when you always said - 'sub theek chal raha hai'. I wish... I wish....

Yesterday you and Usha mausi gave me an unexpected gift. I hope Usha mausi knows how much she is missed - by me, of course but by her children. She was an unfinished story - even more than you. I hope you are together with her and that she is happy.. happy because her children have done well.

So much is happening now; many changes and happy ones - I wish I could talk to you all about those. I wish I could get you to come and help me with all the things that need to be done. But I know you will be there - and always are - with me - in spirit - in my heart. That one early morning of Nov 1st last year, you called out my name and I can still so clearly hear it! It woke me up from my sleep and I knew you were just letting me know I am not without my Mummy.


Love always.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on October 1, 2021
Dear Mummy

27 years ago on this day you and Papa said goodbye to Ammaji. I am happy that you two got to be with her and she got to see you before she went to be with Babaji. I know the pain of not being there at the end. I wish I was there. But you were the only one I got to be with when the time came.

Ammaji - I remember her telling Babaji when he was worrying about her "Aap chinta kyon kertai hain? Merai chaar betai hai, woh sub dekh laigai". Babaji wanted us to look after her because we were always together before coming here. It didn't work out that way, did it? 

I am missing you all so much today - though I miss you every day. How can someone lose the pain, or even want to, of losing people they loved so much? I would never want to lose it. I smile sometimes when I think of our time together but tears also come.

If you are with Ammaji - and I hope that you are - please give her a BIG hug for me. I have been very fortunate to have had all of you in my life and to have been part of your family.

With love and memories always.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on September 14, 2021
Dear Mummy

Missed you today on your 84th birthday. But then there is nothing new. I miss you every day. On that birthday, your 75th, on cruise - we didn't know that it was the last birthday we would celebrate together. I have a feeling that you would have been happier to celebrate it at home but Papa sure was planning it for a while :)

I hope he gave you a balloon today. I will make Pakodi because it was one of your favorites and hope you will see and smile. 

I am keeping all those happy memories in my heart today because I know you are somewhere and can see me. And because today is supposed to be a happy day...

I will play the Happy Birthday song for you that Papa left for me :)

Love you.
Always in my heart - secure and happy...
Your daughter
Posted by Jan & Dick Lenes on September 9, 2021
We have very fond memories of spending some special time with you. We will always treasure those memories.
Posted by Navneet Bansal on September 8, 2021
Sadar naman . May you rest in peace.
We have a lot of memories with you.
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on September 8, 2021
Dear Mummy

It is 4:52am in Madison - just about the time we turned the lights out. You were breathing deeply and we couldn't wake you up. HeartLand told us to turn the lights out and let you sleep. Papa and I dozed off for just 10 minutes. You took that opportunity to slip away quietly...

I left a candle on for you last night just as I always do.

I will always miss you... your love...and your smile... even your rebukes when I fussed too much. I will remember the touch of your hands and the color on it. You always used to say - look how red they are - I have a lot of blood.

I know you are looking down on me and telling me to not be sad... but how often did I listen to you?

Sending you all my love. Goodbye until we meet again.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on September 7, 2021
Dear Mummy

Here is another year anniversary of that last day of us with you. At this time - just about - I woke up and was getting ready to come and see you. I was totally unaware of the most terrible night you had. I should have stayed with you... 

You went all so quiet. The only four things I remember you saying to me were - "aik cup chai..." and later when we were sitting at the bench - "chal thodi dair gaadi mein chalain". After that as you fell in bed you said "mujhai aik sleeping pill dai do". The very last words were "Jai Shiv Shan..." and without being able to finish it, you fell asleep and never woke up...

My heart aches thinking of all you went through and all that I could have done and didn't. I was thinking yesterday of those few times when three of us got out of the house to go for a walk. You were not able to walk the hills that you normally did - so you would turn left to take a shorter walk and I would, with Papa, turn right for the regular one. I remember turning back to look at you and thinking that one day you would disappear and tried imagining what it would be like to be without you - but never really could... I remember that just like yesterday.

On the 3rd this month, it was 44 years since we left home and all familiar and loving faces to come to the States and I thought of us a lot that day. Remembered saying goodbyes to Babaji Ammaji; remembered JFK airport; remembered Shirodkar Uncle picking us up and that long tunnel he drove through to bring us to the hotel. I wish I could visit that room again.. I remember getting letters from Babaji Ammaji and both of us crying as we read them; remember our walks in DC at nights and marveling at the wide side walks. Everything was new and exciting - happy and sad at the same time.

44 years have passed since then! You both sacrifised so much for us and didn't ask for anything in return. I miss you so much and would give anything for one more walk with you - to see that smile just one more time. But the only thing I can hope for is that you are somewhere with all we have loved and lost and have forgotten all the pain and sorrows - and are just happy - smiling down at me - and frowning that I worry and regret so much about what I can't change.

Missing you as always.
Lots of Love
Your daughter

When tomorrow starts without me,
And I’m not there to see;
If the sun should rise and find your eyes,
All filled with tears for me;
I wish so much you wouldn’t cry,
the way you did today;
While thinking of the many things, we didn’t get to say.
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on August 30, 2021
Dear Mummy

I have the last photo of you and me sitting in my room and this picture here on your memorial - I look at it sometimes and wonder at how dignified and at peace you look. I wonder how you could manage it. That was the worst time of your life in every possible way but yet no one can look at it and tell that you would barely be around for less than a month! No one can look at it and sense any pain or sadness in you. That is something even Papa displayed - with his big smile for all when he was hiding so much pain and sadness. I don't think I can do that. I don't think I have inherited that from you. 

All the things you gave up for us and never ever said a word to us about any of that... Neither of us will have the life we have now without that but if I could just do it all over again, I wouldn't let you sacrifise so much.

For last couple of days I have been thinking of that last talk you and I had when you were sort of okay and at least your medications were still working. You had just come back from the hospital and were having dinner when I called. You told me that hospital had called and wanted you to come back. Yo said "Mujhai tow theek he lug raha hai; per yai sub keh rahain hain tow chali jaati hoon". I can hear those words as if just yesterday. I wish I stopped you - or had been there to make sure no harm came to you. But you were left alone at the hospital. Had I been there, I would have seen the signs and I know I would have been able to protect you. I never got a straight answer from the hospital as to why they called you back to be admitted. If only I had been there... I am so sorry Mummy - more than I can say. 

I want to think of just the good times we had - because we had many. We travelled so much together and had fun. Miss the samosas we used to make together to take with us on drives. Sometimes I think of those Puri-Aaloo we used to bring that you or Ammaji made when we went on a bus or train in India! But I have so much regret and I don't know how to just smile at your memory - I do sometimes - at your funny ways and all the corkiness - but not always. I remember so much pain you went through and I wish I could take that from you. 

I wonder if I will dream of you tonight.

Love you Mummy.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on August 9, 2021
Dear Mummy

You heard me!

Missing you just as much as you thought I would.
Love always
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on July 20, 2021
Dear Mummy

I heard a story about building a cabinet... long story...but it made me think of the times you wanted so much for me to open up and tell you how things were going with me. I just didn't want to burden you (and have you fuss over me) at the time. But now I wish you were there and we could talk and talk... Not just about problems, but about all the things we used to talk about before you had cancer. Cancer stole everything from us -- the doctors stole the life we could have had. I miss that. I miss that so very much. So much so I can feel a physical pain. What I wouldn't give to be able to go back to our home in India where we were all togther - even if just in a dream.

I miss you every day... all the time.
With all my love.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on July 16, 2021
Dear Mummy

You never wanted to go anywhere alone... especially not without Papa. But I guess you were very tired and needed the rest. Papa missed you much more than you would have imagined. And I miss you as much as you thought I would and some more... 

We heard this poem in "Hope Gap" and it says what I would have wanted to say to all four of you.

Forgive me for needing you
to be strong forever.
Forgive me for fearing
your unhappiness.
As you suffer
so I shall suffer.
As you endure
so I shall endure.
Hold my hands
and walk the old walk
one last time...
- By William Nicholson


Sometimes I just call out for you, Papa and Babaji Ammaji just so I don't forget the sound of it. 

The moment her heart stopped, mine changed forever..

Love you always.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on June 17, 2021
Dear Mummy

Last couple of days I have been looking at photos of Nainital... And when I opened up your memorial, the first photo that showed up was of you and Papa sitting in a boat in Naini jheel. Those are some of my more precious memories of vacations together. I can still see us so clearly up on the China Peak when the clouds surrounded us so suddenly that we couldn't even see each other! Memories of us hiking up the mountain... of sitting in a bus on the way to Badrinath... here in Florida. We did have a good time even though we couldn't afford expansive hotels and luxuries we can now.

And I thought of Papa and how it cannot be a coincidence the way he went and when... I am sure you all can see me from somewhere. This just cannot be the end. Or so I like to believe.

Love you
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on June 4, 2021
Dear Mummy

Today just for a split second I got a glimpse of you in the mirror.  It was such a strange feeling. May be because I was wearing your top and may be I do look like you a little. Little things like these keep me happy and remind me that you are always close...

Still I miss your touch and your smile.
Often I think of you in Mawana with Mami, joking and laughing... and I wish I could go back in time to when we were all together and bring Chris with me.

Love you and thinking of you.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on May 22, 2021
Dear Mummy

I was watching a wedding yesterday and suddenly all the memories of mine came along and brought lots of tears with them. That was a happy day with both of you there on my Big day. I still wonder how it came about that your Sari's color matched with my dress :) That was sure an intervention I credit Babaji Ammaji to - they must have been somewhere around also...

If I could change one thing, I would have you walk me down the aisle along with Papa. You were a major part of it but I know you didn't feel it. I wish so much that I had thought of it. 

I am missing you very much.
Love you.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on May 9, 2021
Dear Mummy

No place to send you flowers and no phone to reach you. I thought about those times I called to wish you Happy Mother's Day and could hear your voice in my head - the smiling voice saying - Thank you... Thank you for being my Mummy and for the understanding and love that you gave me. You gave so much so quietly that I didn't know at the time. I keep thinking of Chris's words - "You thought you were taking care of your mother, all the time she was looking after you"... 

I am missing you so much today. Can you see me? I feel your love all around me but one always wants more... I wish I dreamt of you and Ammaji last night. I haven't seen you in my dream for a while now and I miss it.

I want to think of all those happy days and your smiles and laughter and vacations taken together... eating samosas you made... and of all that comfort of having you all around me. I know you don't want me to be sad or think about the bad times. You always said -" Jo ho gaya wo ho gaya... ab aagai ka socho... " I try... sometimes I succeed but mostly I don't. I want to hurt those who hurt you but then I remember Babaji saying to me "why do you care about people who don't matter?" - and I try to just think of those happy times at home in India and smile.

I just miss you so very much.
Papa always wanted to send a balloon to you and it was fun to do it with him but I haven't done it since him...

Sending all my love to you and Ammaji and all the other "moms" in my life who are not with me anymore. Hope a butterfly lingers where you are and you know I send my love through her.

Missing you and love you always.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on April 18, 2021
Dear Mummy

Chris reminded me of a promise he made to you - something you asked of him. He will keep his but we didn't keep ours to Babaji - did we? My heart breaks every time I read Ammaji's letters. Wish I could somehow reach you and talk about what actually happened because I don't remember. The only thing I am glad about that you and Papa got there to see her one last time and may be it gave her some peace to see you and freed her to pass on. I know Papa's heart would have broken if he didn't get to see her.

How strange all this seems when I think of it sometimes. All that time we had together in India seems like a dream...

To that dream...
and to you...
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on April 18, 2021
Dear Mummy

You waved at me and I could see you both from across the street...
And I thought I wish you and I could spend couple of days together... Then I woke up.

Something we were watching last night brought back so many memories of that last night... and of you asking for a sleeping pill... that was the last thing you asked for. 

Missing you so very much
Love you
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on April 15, 2021
Dear Mummy

You waved at me and I could see you both from across the street...
And I thought I wish you and I could spend couple of days together... Then I woke up.

Something we were watching last night brought back so many memories of that last night... and of you asking for a sleeping pill... that was the last thing you asked for. 

Missing you so very much
Love you
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on March 30, 2021
Dear Mummy

Today Chris told me about two special times when you did something that told him how much you loved him. Once was before we were married; papa and I had gone out and you were alone in the house. You called him and asked him to come over because you felt unwell. He said that he came over and you sat with your head on his shoulder. He said he felt so happy that you were so comfortable with him and that it made him feel so close to you.

And the second time was when you called him just before... and asked him to look after me because you were worried that I wouldn't be able to bear your loss.

It was so good to hear that from him and to talk about you. We were talking about your cashews last night that you used to fry for him.

He and I remember you and that is enough - I know you were watching from somewhere and I am sure you smiled.

Love you very much. Miss you always.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on March 20, 2021
Dear Mummy

This morning while making breakfast, suddenly it felt so strange that you were not here... I was thinking of when you used to make breakfast. It was such a strange feeling. Sometimes when I am in the kitchen and look over the window, I can see you sitting there - your hair shining just as ever. 

I can picture all of you the way you were so clearly - whenever I want. I am lucky in that I have at least this. 

Love you always.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on March 19, 2021
Dear Mummy

I was thinking about a letter you wrote to me long ago. You said "aaj mun bada ajeeb sa ho raha hai, kehi tumhai koi pareshani tow nehi"... You are not there to worry about me or may be you are somewhere just sitting next to me and wondering why I don't stop missing you - like in the movie Ghost. I hope you are sitting somewhere close and watching over me - hope you all are. I can feel it sometimes and sometimes something happens that tells me that you are here... smiling...

I was talking with an old friend yesterday and realized that I don't want this pain of losing you to go away. I worry about the day when I think of you and can't picture your face clearly. You missed naniji much, I came to know that much later when we were sitting in the hospital talking and I knew then that you held a pain in your heart for her all these years but never let it be seen. 

You will always be in my heart.
Love you
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on March 7, 2021
Dear Mummy

Old songs remind me of you and our days together that are now long gone. But they bring back fresh memories. I was telling Chris the other day of the first cassette we bought of Mukesh's songs when we first came here. That was such a treat! Remember we went to see Manna Day's program? 

Everything reminds me of you. When I see someone sitting with their Mom, I am almost jealous for a moment and then I hope that they will have that togetherness for a long time to come. The pain of losing one's Mum - or any loved one indeed, is forever painful.

I dreamt of you last night - but it didn't seem like a happy dream. You had that look you have had for a long time - of not belonging. I woke up sad from it. You belong... you always belonged with me and now you belong in my heart - always. I know you know it.

I sometimes do question yours and Papa's judgement about moving to US and leaving Babaji Ammaji alone at their age. They were used to of us and we of them. May be all that pain you two suffered was because of that? But then why did Babaji Ammaji suffered so much? We, as your children, who didn't take care of you well must suffer too in the end. I am sure of it. I don't regret not having children - at least I won't suffer at their hands as you did at our's. You brought us up well and all four of you taught us to be kind and loving. But something in our own being undid some of it.

But once again I digress. I know that you are smiling and saying - there she goes again -- 'Forget I ever had heartache, remember I had lots of fun' -- I know there is a reason why I found this little quote - this is exactly what you would say.

I still talk with Jan and they remember you two well - so does Jill. And Dina, while she never met you, she listens to me talk of you with much sincerity. She did visit Papa several times. She lost her Mom too - on same date as you but 6 years and 11 months later. I don't know if I could bear it if you were gone so suddenly.

Well, missing you as always. Talking of the move makes me sad to think that you won't be here to enjoy it. You would have been only 83 now and could have been here to join in our new adventures and happiness. I hope you can see it from wherever you are. you are certainly in my heart.

I love you, Mummy... Sometimes I just say your name so I don't forget how it sounds.
Until next time...
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on February 23, 2021
Dear Mummy

I dreamt of being somewhere in a theatre with Papa and Taiji. Somehow when it ended it was just you and me and so many people were leaving. Finally we found Papa outside. You were upset with him and told him that Gudia was worried about you. He said there were some fireworks going on around and he wanted to go and see those :) It was funny to see you two talk. It was a happy dream.

But then I woke up. 

Thanks for the dream... Those are all I have of you and the memories. I try to remember only the good and happy ones because that is what you would want, but I am not successful most of the times.

Missing you very much.
With love always
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on February 21, 2021
Dear Mummy

Strange how the dreams work... I saw last night that you were having a baby and were in hospital. Papa and I were in an elevator and I told him that I didn't want to be in the room when it happens because I didn't think I could bear the pain you would be in!

Wonder where dreams come from?  Wonder where you are. Papa was sure that you would be born somewhere and that eventually he would find you in next life. I hope that you are all somewhere safe and that there is a heaven. I hope we see each other again.

But for now I can always feel close to you when I close my eyes and think of us together and feel your touch... feel the touch of Ammaji Babaji. That and the dreams - these have to suffice for now. 

Wish you were here.

Missing you.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on February 14, 2021
Dear Mummy

I woke up this morning - it would have been around 5:22 am your time 8 years ago today and wondered... Papa was in the hospital by then with a major stroke. You must have felt such fear and anxiety - so much more added to your own problems - and so alone. I am sorry that I was not there on the worst day of your life. This day brings back all those memories and I try hard to take me to a happier time. One of those happier times were the walks you and I took; holidays we went on. I remember you making samosas and snacks and having picnics. I was telling Chris just yesterday that even without having much money, you two managed to take us on many vacations and while we may not have stayed in all those expansive places, we had tremendous fun. I never felt deprived and now when I look back a my childhood, it was the best. 

That's what I will think of today - and of you smiling - and of you telling me when I was sad - ' jo ho gaya wo ho gaya.. aagai ka dekho '. 

Thinking of you today, and always.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on February 13, 2021
Dear Mummy

I can't send you flowers this Valentine's day but I can send you all my love. Remember, once I sent you those multi-color roses - you liked those. Now the love has to be enough - for both you and me.

Yesterday we watched a movie. There was a Mom who was in hospital bed and her daughter came and laid down in the small bed with her - both holding one another tightly. It brought back the memory of that terrible night when you were in hospital bed and, not sure why - may be you were afraid or just really sad, you asked me to lie down with you. I held you so tight but it was a bad night. 

But enough of that... As you would have said yourself - "forget I ever had heartache, remember I had lots of fun". This used to be a happy day for us. I loved to send you flowers and surprise you and loved hearing your voice on the phone. May be some day we will see each other again. At least I like to think so. May be I use it as a crutch so I can go on; or may be not. Like the lady said "there will be signs and it is up to you to recognize those".

Happy Valentine's Day, Mum.
Love you always
Your daughter



Posted by Sandhia McLeod on February 3, 2021
Dear Mummy

You were playing Harmonium in my dream couple of nights ago. I woke up thinking how you could play so well after not touching it for so long! Though it looked more like a piano but in my dream I was thinking that you were playing harmonium which is what you used to play.

I have a good news. Your endowment will make its first distribution this year toward one of the projects it is set to support - either cancer or stroke patients. I am so glad for your inspiration so that it will make a difference for long time to come. I hope you are smiling.

Love you and miss you always.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on January 31, 2021
Dear Mummy

I was talking with Chris today and so many painful memories came back. You crying at night when Papa was at the hospital with no one to hug you and hold you or even to say few kind words; and even all those years ago just after you and papa gave away your home... I start wishing that people who hurt you would greatly suffer but then I remember that I wasn't there for you - not in the real sense because I was thinking of myself. What will be my punishment? Whatever it will be, I won't - or try not to - complain about it. Wish I could go back and make things better. I think of that alternate reality and wish it could have happened that way.

Missing you so very much today. For so long you, Papa and I were bonded together by so many things and now I find myself disconnected. I tried thinking how it will be when you were both gone - before you were gone - but I don't think one can really imagine that. It hurts more than I thought it would - that is all I know.

Still I am blessed that you understood me. You worried about me so much. Now you are gone.

Love you very much
Your daughter
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


Page 1 of 8

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on January 27, 2022
Dear Mummy

I hope that you saw today that the muffler you made for Chris kept him warm today on our walk. He was telling me again about the call you made to him in July ... just before... and he was really sad. Mummy, I miss you so much and look back so much on times that I cannot change. You were not like that - until you were broken. It was such a tough time and no one -- especially no one like you and Papa should ever have to go through it. I had most part on it as I selfishly let you go.

These days especially -- I think of you often and just picture you and me sitting around and talking about things to come.. think about our drives and walks together... I can picture your face and hands and feet as clearly as if I just saw them. When I am in the kitchen and look over the sofa, I can clearly see the back of your head... And I am so lucky that I can.  I feel lucky to be able to remember you vividly, remember your voice and everything about you. Not everyone is blessed with this and this is how I know that you are looking over me from wherever you are.

I feel you close but still since I can't touch you and see you physically, it hurts and it helps to talk about you with Chris.

Love you - as you know already.
Your daughter


Posted by Sandhia McLeod on January 18, 2022
Dear Mummy

I wish you were here today with me... You know why...
I can only try to imagine how it would have been.

Afraid to ask for too much because as you know Babaji Ammaji gave me that one moment I wanted in our house in Vijaynagar - in my room. I will never forget it.  I had promised that I won't ask for anything more. But it is probably okay to wish that you all were here now.

Missed you very much today.
With all my love
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on January 4, 2022
Dear Mummy

There is much to tell you now and time to visit but you are nowhere I can reach. But you know all now, don't you? Still what I wouldn't give to be able to call you and sit with you and just listen to you - all you had to say and tell you - all you want to know.

We never realize and appreciate fully what we have when we have it. I couldn't imagine a life without you - so never really took advantage of the time we had together. Now you are gone and I have so much to talk about.

Milestones come and go - when you were here we celebrated every little thing- at least until things started to take downward turn. I miss doing those things with you - miss going shopping with you; and for the walks and just enjoying the foods you cooked. Can you believe how much cooking I do now? You would be proud of me.... 

Missing you today very much as it is a special day. Wonder what you would have said!! 
Love always
Your daughter
Recent stories

One with the Sea

Shared by Sandhia McLeod on September 8, 2021
Alone I will not be
My comfort will come from the sea
The stillness of calm waves will gently drift by
I will be as one with the sea.
When the sun sets on the ocean blue,
Remember me as I will always remember you.
As the sun rises…go live life as full as can be
Apart…you and me… but at peace for I am free
                 -- By Andrea Jackon

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.
"