I held you close in my heart today,
It made me feel complete.
You may have died, but you are not gone,
You will always be a part of me.
As long as the Sun shines...
The Wind blows...
The Rain falls...

Missing you 9 Months and 16 days (290 Days)
  • 84 years old
  • Born on October 6, 1933 in Lawad, India.
  • Passed away on December 29, 2017 in Madison, Wisconsin, United States.

This memorial website was created in memory of my father, Sushil Bansal, 84, born on October 6, 1933 and passed away on December 29, 2017. He will live on in our hearts forever.

My father was suffering from complications due to stroke and since June this year after a surgery he started to have more problems. While he suffered with multiple issues this year, it appears that he went to sleep on the night of December 28th and just didn't wake up and went peacefully. He was at Belmont Nursing Home in Madison, Wisconsin at this time and had been there for little less than a year.

He was born in Meerut, India, the son of Dr. Dhanpat Rai and Smt. Prakash Vati (Goyal) Gupta. He married Saroj Rastogi on December 25, 1958, in Mawana, India. It was an arranged marriage. They saw one-another for the first time after they were married! They were rarely ever apart until my Mom passed away on September 8, 2013. My father was an accountant by profession. He had a Masters in Mathematics. His first job was as a teacher at a school in Meerut but soon he found a position working as an accountant for the Government Of India. He always worked very hard and no matter how difficult the situation became, he never let any of know that there were problems. In 1977 we moved to the United States and he worked with the Embassy of India in Washington DC for four years. Eventually he resigned from the Government Service and stayed on here so that we, the children could have a better life. After living in Maryland for 23 years they moved to Madison, Wisconsin along with his son's family.

He has always been the quiet one; most comfortable with papers, figures, computers but at the same time he did have a witty sense of humor. He always enjoyed a challenge – learning a new skill like web site development, mastering photography, creating projects on Shutterfly. He loved taking walks. My parents used to take regular a mile walk at least once a day, no matter how cold it was. They both loved to travel. We travelled a lot together both in India as well as here in the States. We went on a Cruise many years ago and this became his favorite way of vacationing. He was very actively involved with Indian American Association in Madison. He loved playing Bridge and created a Bridge Group at the Fitchburg Senior Center. He also volunteered there for various activities including exercise program. He was supposed to teach Exercise class there a day after he had his stroke on February 14, 2013. Stroke left his left side weak. He loved working with the therapists and worked very hard to gain his strength back. He joined Adaptive Fitness class at the UW Natatorium offered by Tim Gattenby in Summer of 2013 and attended every session until the Fall of 2017 when he was too ill and weak from several complications due to Stroke. He loved this class; loved working with the students who doted on him; found a wonderful friend in Tim who went out of his way many times to help and work with my Dad. My Dad was very much looking forward to starting this class again on January 30th, 2018, but... He was definitely a fearless and adventureous soul.

His final year was spent at Belmont Nursing Home and Rehab. He was happy there and actually considered it second best place to home. Special thanks to Gail, Jerri, Essa, Pam, Chad, Joan and Katie who went out of their way many times to make his life a bit easier; and to the Activities Staff for discovering an artist in my father who had never before used a paint brush.

He is survived by his Son, Ashish; daughter-in-law, Gauri; grand-daughters, Priya and Pramita; daughter, Sandhia; and son-in-law, Christopher. He was preceded in death by his parents; 3 brothers – two older (Rajendra Kumar Bansal and Sukumar Chandra Bansal) and a younger one (Suboth Kumar Bansal); his wife and my Mom, Saroj Bansal and his older sister-in-law, Bala Bansal.

Posted by Timothy Gattenby on 6th October 2018
We always knew when it was Sushil's birthday. if fact on his first year with us in Adapted fitness I gave him a shirt. It might be the one in the picture on this tribute. He loved the attention and we loved to give it. I still have not pulled his workout file from the cabinet. I am content to just keep it there.
Posted by Navneet Bansal on 6th October 2018
It is almost 10 months that i have not heard your voice. Miss you a lot after you Ma has also gone. remembering you on your birthday today
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 6th October 2018
Happy Birthday, Papa
Last year I was in Williamsburg on this day. I called and talked with Jerri and she told me that you had a BIG smile on your face when you got up. She said you were doing okay. I am sorry I only texted you and sent a card. I was upset with you. I am so sorry, Papa... more sorry than you know. Last 6 months of your life were the most difficult for you and for me. I did not know how and what to do. Nothing was working and I felt very helpless in all ways possible. It is no excuse. I cannot undo anything. Just know that I loved (and love) you very much.
Now I don't know how to call you to wish you Happy Birthday... I brought food you like yesterday. Hope you are somewhere to see it. Give me a sign, Papa... I miss you so very much.
I watched the DVDs you made last night and heard voices of Babaji, Ammaji, Mummy's, Chachaji's, Pappu bhaiya;s and yours. I am so happy that you made those - one of these I had never seen before. It is a best gift you have ever given to me. How did you make all these with one hand? I am so proud of you and all you accomplished until the last minute of your life. So proud that you even learnt to paint. I know you enjoyed it. I have a plan for all your paintings... Will share it with you some day when it is done.
Love you Miss you on your day... Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 29th September 2018
Dear Papa
I thought of you last night around 11:30 my time - that you had probably just got in bed that night 9 months ago and were looking at your cell phone. You probably didn't know that you wouldn't wake up next day... I found the check that you wrote to cash for yourself on the 26th and just hadn't had the chance yet to get it to the bank. I am so sorry that Laura betrayed your trust and that you lost that last person you could call whenever you needed something. I think this and also because I was mad at you, broke your heart.
I know if doesn't do good to harp on things that cannot be undone but I just wish you didn't have to find out about Laura. You trusted her so much and I know she did do a lot for you. May be that was just payment for her services and it is good that now you owe her nothing. I hope that gives you peace wherever you are.
I just miss you so much... more than I can ever say or ever thought I would. I still relied on you lot more than I realized.
I am happy for the time we had together and last 5 years have been pretty concentrated around you and me. I miss that too.
Love you Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 25th September 2018
Dear Papa
Missed your call today. Missed a card from you both. Last card you sent me was in 2012 that both of you signed! It is still sitting where I can see it ever day. I told Chris earlier that 13 years ago today both our parents were around and other than Babaji and Ammaji not being with us, life was pretty complete. Babaji Ammaji would have been so happy to have been here that day. I wonder often now why Ammaji never came to be with us - what prevented her coming. From her letters it sounds like she was very willing to come. I often wonder about things like these. I miss you all so very much.
No one remembers our day anymore. No one cares anymore. Miss your voice but I can still here it on audio - still not the same as 'real' thing.
Did you know I would miss you so much? You knew I would but did you know that I would miss you this much?
I did get a present from you and Mummy today!! I know you are somewhere watching out for me. Got new Endowment portfolio and your pictures that Joann found from your volunteer time at St. Mary's. Dina sent those to me and I happened to have got them today. Mummy has a BIG smile on your face and you are looking happy to be there at the gift shop to start the day. What a present! Thank you both.
Love you Papa - wherever you are.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 23rd September 2018
Dear Papa
Here's a photo of three years ago on September 8, 2015 when we left Mummy at the same spot as you - at least we hope it was close enough.
Because I wasn't there with you in the end, there can never be a closure for me. Still somehow it doesn't quite seem real that you are gone - at least it feels very strange that you are not there. But you are always with me now - in my heart. I know you know how much I needed you still...
I found something on one of your disks - I believe you were leaving a message to me. You knew just as Mummy did that I would have very hard time bearing your loss. Thank you for that...
Will see you some day.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 10th September 2018
Dear Papa
I hope that I have carried out things in a manner that you would approve. Last time for Mummy, you were there and even in your condition, you took care of everything and it was easier for me. But this time it was very difficult. Probably the most difficult thing that I would ever have to do. Now your loss feels really real. Letting go of what remained of you - the physical part - was very hard but had to do it... You would have wanted that. Leaving you at sea and coming back was hard. You wanted so much to go on one more cruise and I could not take you. But this one last time I brought you on a boat - a nice sunny and warm day - and left you at sea forever.
Driving back from there to drop Pandit Sureshji, I thought of you many times and held my cell phone in my hand - somehow hoping that you would call just like last time. Last time my cell was in the trunk and I didn't hear it ring when you called multiple times to find out where we were. And then later on you came to our room and spent couple of hours with me. This time you didn't. I don't know why - even though I know you are not around, I keep expecting a call or a text... And even after 5 whole years for Mummy and 8 months for you - still once in a while just have this momentary feeling to pick up the phone and call you and then I remember that I cannot.
But then you are in my heart and I can just talk to you whenever I want. I know all four of you are with me and will be always.
Still I miss you... miss you very much.
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 7th September 2018
Dear Papa
Here you go off to Clearwater - exactly 3 years since Mummy's time. You were there then to take care of things. Hadn't thought about at that time that this day will come so soon.
I want to keep you with me - or what physical remains are left - but I know you want to be with Mummy and too that I need to let you go. Not really letting you go though. You are a part of me or rather I am a part of you and you will live on as long as I do.
Will be seeing you in my dreams...
Give Babaji, Ammaji and Mummy a big hug for me and tell them I miss them very much.
Will be seeing you...
Love
Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 19th August 2018
Dear Papa
For some reason I thought of that song you used to love and even sing in the good old days "Jane wo kaisai log thai jinkai pyar ko pyar mila... humnai to jab kaliyan maangi, katon ka haar mila...".
Oh, it has been ages since I heard you sing it!
Like you wrote on October 11, 2016 on Dashara - "All has changed"...
Will see you some day. I know all four of you will come for me when it is time.
Love you and miss you so terribly. Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 19th August 2018
Dear Papa
I was just looking at the last card you sent me on my birthday last year and the photos that you printed on your printer from our October visit to the Botanical Gardens. I sent you photo paper to print those but I guess you never got the chance to do that. I wish I got a picture of me taken with you at the time but...
So many things remained unsaid and undone. So much regret. But yet I hope that you can now look down on us from wherever you are and see that both you and mummy live on in me and my memory and will live on forever in your legacy that will benefit so many.
Love you so very much. Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 3rd August 2018
Dear Papa
I saw you in my dream Monday morning. You seemed younger and happier - though you still needed some kind of assistance - or at least I had a feeling that I needed to help you. But you seemed to be able to get around on your own and somehow you were sitting in Dad's chair and since he saw you sit there, he sat opposite you. Then you and he went out somewhere!
I saw you last night too - but it seemed like you were not able to see and you were trying to hide that from me. I woke up very worried about your eyes!
Papa, I miss you so much and keep thinking about the last time I saw you - only I didn't know it then that I would not see you again. We had plans to go to Botanical Garden again! I am so happy that we were able to take you there that one time and that you enjoyed it. I was surprised and in awe of the fact that you immediately took out your camera and started taking pictures even when you weren't feeling so well. But that were you!
Wish I could see you and talk to you one more time. I hope you can see how your book for Senior Center is coming along so well. Are you smiling?
Love you and Miss you Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 24th July 2018
Dear Papa
I thought I didn't have time for myself during last few days of your life (how could I have known that they were your last?). Now I have all the time and wish you would call me for something. Who would call me on my birthday this year and sing 'Happy Birthday... happy birthday...'. How your voice changed over the last few years. Even after Mummy, your voice was strong and you sounded well but as I listen to your messages on phone, I can tell that you were getting weaker and more and more sad...
Hope you can see how well your book is coming along for Sr. Center... I think you are smiling down...
Love you and miss you Your daughter.
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 18th July 2018
Dear Papa Going to Belmont later today. You haven't called me yet and its almost 8! I left you sitting in the lounge on the night of October 21st and told you that I would see you next time... Wish I knew then... You had tears in your eyes and I didn't want to leave. And I never saw you again. I miss you so much; much more than I thought I would. Your legacy is all set - yours and mummy's and will go on and carry on your name to help so many. I hope that you approve. Love you and miss you. Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 16th July 2018
Dear Papa
I missed you a lot this morning. You used to call me at 7am and ask where I was and when I will get to Belmont. I used to get up very early and try to get there as soon as I could - so we could fight again :)... But you didn't call. For some reason I expected you to... You didn't come to pick me up yesterday. I used to wonder how Babaji could have gone away when he used to worry about me so much... But then Ammaji went, Mummy did and finally you. All gone... but not gone from my heart and never will - as long as I live. Both yours and Mummy's name will live on even after I am gone - we have made sure of it. Your legacy will make a difference. I hope that you both can see it from wherever you are. I will also make sure that Babaji and Ammaji's names also live on and help the cause that was closest to their hearts. Love you... Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 12th July 2018
Dear Papa
I called Belmont earlier and talked with Jerri. While waiting for her on phone listening to same music as before, I missed you a lot. I so badly wanted to ask her 'how is he doing today?' as I used to. But I knew... Toward the middle of December, there was a week when she almost always told me in answer to my question 'Today is not a good day...'. Papa, I really thought we still had at least couple of more years together. Now looking back, I wish I had taken some leave and stayed with you for a while. But we don't get to do it all over again, do we? If you knew that Babaji had so little time left when we left him in September of 1977 - seemingly healthy, you probably wouldn't have moved to US. Still when I think of these things sometimes, I have trouble breathing! I am thinking of those two times when you came to pick me up at the airport after you got your driver's license back. It felt like then that at least some part of old days was back again. But that was short-lived. I need your help... your hand... to do some of the things that I need to do now. I am missing you so much right now. I hope you knew that behind my anger and frustration was this sadness and helplessness of not being able to help you and make you happy again. You were very much needed. I need you still... Love you Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 30th June 2018
Dear Papa Someone gave me Laddoo and Chamcham and Cazu burfi. I thought of you and how much you loved sweets! The entire year you never tasted food! But you never complained - at least not to me. Now I find so many things about you that I am amazed at and admire... Not that I didn't before - there were many and you were never a complainer about your problems - rarely you let us know what was bothering you, but now I have time to think about some of the things you could do and would not be able to! I miss you every day. Love you Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 17th June 2018
Dear Papa
Didn't know that last year was the last I could call you to wish you Happy Father's Day. I think at this time last year, things were looking a bit better even though so much was wrong. You were in Nursing Home where you should not have been... you could not eat anymore all those things you loved to eat. But you did make lemonade from the lemons that life gave you. You still found happiness in what you 'could' do without pining so much for what you (at least thought) 'could not' do.
Papa, I hope wherever you and Mummy are, you are happy for this Father's Day (and a belated Mother's Day) gift that Shailu and I are able to give you. It saddened me that there wouldn't be anyone to remember you once I stopped breathing. But now your name will live on for a very long time and will benefit many. I hope that you both approve of how we have made use of your legacy.
You are forever in my heart and always on my mind. I dreamed of you last night. While your voice was strong, it seemed that you were not well. Papa, I hope you are much better and are happy to be reunited with Mummy, Babaji, Ammaji and rest of the family. The dream disturbs me but I hope it wasn't true. I want to see you the way I saw Mummy once on 19th of April, 2015 when she and I took a walk in my dream. It started out with grey sky and trees without leaves but soon as we walked, the trees became full and there was sunshine. I took that to mean that she was telling me that she was now in much better place and was healthy again. That is what I want for you. I want to remember the picture I have in my head of her coming down in the early hours of December 29th last year and taking you by the hand and saying to you 'aab aa jao, chalo merai saath... Gudiya will be okay' - and you smiled a happy smile and slowly rose above.
Come and tell me that you are okay now and are happy.
Missing you very much Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 5th June 2018
Dear Papa
What would you like for Father's Day this year? May be you will inspire me with something that you would want... Please tell me...
Love you and Miss you Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 29th May 2018
Dear Papa
Missing you so much today on your 5 month anniversary - more than yesterdays... I wish you weren't alone and wish I knew what exactly happened that night. Wish we talked more...
Love you Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 28th May 2018
Dear Papa
Today my loss in complete - with all four sets of parents one can possibly have being gone now. I hope you are all together somewhere and happy. Not an hour goes by when I don't think of you. Especially last few days I have thought of you often. I don't have a closure as far as you are concerned. I will never really know what happened. First Father's day is coming and what should I do? I used to ask you what you would want but now I can't call you. May be you can come and whisper in my ear when I am asleep how you want me to celebrate your day. I hope you will inspire me once again with what it is that you would want. I miss you more than I ever imagined I will and I love you more than I thought I did. The time has gone by so quickly... just flown by... We were together just the last moment and now... Was it all a dream?
Love you and Miss you Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 19th May 2018
Dear Papa
This morning in my dream you, Mummy and I were at a restaurant somewhere and we ordered what looked like fried potatoes (may be tikki?)? -- your favorite.
I am just looking at the last birthday card you sent for me and another one that said 'hur beti kai bhagya mein pita hota hai; Hur pita kai bhagya mein beti nehi hoti' and you wrote after that 'So, I am lucky...'! Papa, I don't know whether you were lucky or not but I sure was. I hope that I was not a total failure at being your 'beti'. I tried Papa but I did not OR could not try harder. I should have... I MISS YOU!
Love you Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 13th May 2018
Dear Papa I forgot to mention in yesterday's tribute the most important thing I remember when I think of you now - a man who gave so much more than anyone else would and sacrificed everything for his children and never ever reminded them of it when things went badly; a proud man who didn't like asking for things and even when his body wasn't cooperating, he tried his best to keep his independence and dignity. If ever I am in the situation you were in, Papa, I hope to take inspiration from you but I am not as strong as you and Mummy were. I need you - the four of you - more than I can say. I miss you very much today - on Mother's Day - you used to take pictures of the flowers I sent for mummy and email me. Love you Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 12th May 2018
Dear Papa On the Indian Head Bike Trail I thought of you many times. The last time I was on that trail last October you had called me multiple times and sent texts - "Call back"... "Please call back". I waited until I got home to call... I thought there was still time... And there wasn't. Hope you know how much I miss you and how much I loved you. I felt your pain even when I was mad at you. I wished I could take your pain away but I couldn't. I did what I could to make you walk again... but I was wrong. I should have honored what you wished because you were a very smart man - until the end... and you were stronger than I gave you credit for. Now when I look back, I see a man who made lemonade out of the lemon that life gave him... a man who did his best to enjoy his life as much as was possible... a man who laughed freely and had a big smile that everyone I talk to now remembers. If I am ever in your condition, I doubt very much that I would have the courage to ever smile again. I miss you. I wish you could come back just once so that I could give you a hug and tell you how much I love you. I believe you know now. I hope so... Love you Your daughter
Posted by Carly Wunrow on 7th May 2018
Words from Tim Gattenby: One happy memory about having known Sushil was that when he first signed up for the Adapted Fitness program, he actually either called me every week or actually showed up well before his programming ever started simply because he was so excited and so adamant about not missing the first day. Sushil was a hard worker, fun to work with and helped to train easily a hundred UW students about adapting exercise. At first glance Sushil would appear as being a smaller framed and fragile man. But this was far from the truth. In one class session I took a 20 lb weighted vest and I set it on Sushil's shoulders while he did his squats, gait training and balance exercises. The students working with Sushil were rather shocked that I would inflict this type of added weight on him. At the end of the session Sushil walked over with his cane, still having the weighted vest on and said to me, " put my name on that vest." In the next week's session on his return he came up to me first thing, and said "where's my vest!" We will all miss him.
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 29th April 2018
Dear Papa Its been 4 months and a day since we last talked! We used to talk almost every day... I had a very vivid dream Friday night/Saturday morning. It is interesting that I remember it so well. Most of the times I can't recall them as clearly. You, Mummy and I were in some ship. I was talking with some people. You and Mummy got off the ship. By the time I noticed, the ship had already sailed and I hadn't gotten off!!! I tried to call you but my cell phone wouldn't work! I was so upset because I knew it will be a long distance before the ship will stop and that you would worry about me and that I didn't know how I would get back to you... Will I? Missing you very much Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 26th April 2018
Dear Papa Today is Babaji's day. Don't worry - I remember him and love him just as I ever did. He is always in my heart. I also keep his memorial site up to date. I am glad that you started it. If you are with Babaji - give him a BIG hug for me and tell him how much I miss him. He has been gone for 38 years! But never ever away from my heart and my memories... Love you and miss you Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 19th April 2018
Dear Papa When I think of you, often I go back to that evening on October 21st last year when I turned around to look at you once before leaving Belmont. Somehow it is still not real to me that you are not there. What if you didn't have stroke? I often think about that. Wonder if that would have kept mummy around longer and whether she would have suffered more? I was thinking about lunch at Woodland the other day and was reminded of you wanting to eat there. But it was such a hot day and that place was overcrowded with lots of people standing in line outside the restaurant. I told you we would do it next time... for at that moment there was going to be a 'next time'... I hope you look down on me from wherever you are now and know my heart. I hope you saw Tim's comments in his newsletter and were happy and smiled to see you are still remembered and still are in so many hearts. Love you and Miss you. Your daughter
Posted by Chris Whelley on 5th April 2018
Dear Sushil and Family, I was so sad to hear of your passing. I remember you well from stroke camp. You were so kind and smart, interesting in all things. It was a pleasure to meet you and to be able to share time with you and Ashish. Thank you for your participation, it was a great inspiration to us all. Rest in peace my friend.
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 31st March 2018
Dear Papa Just came back from biking. Thought of you often. This was the first one since when I could call you or you could call me. I often either called or texted you or talked to someone at Belmont about you... It is too hard being on my own now. Mummy always used to worry and from what Chris told me you too were worried about me... I know this is the way it is supposed to be but it is too hard. I miss you so much. Not being able to call you anymore is hard. Thinking of you not being at Belmont is hard... Thinking of having abandoned you at Belmont is too hard and hardest of all is not being able to be there for Mummy when she needed me the most... not being able to protect her. I can never ever forgive myself for failing her. You take care of her now. Love you Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 31st March 2018
Dear Papa First day of outdoor biking today - I am thinking of that day not so long ago in October when we were on bike trail and you called so many times on both of my phones and texts. This was after the Turp and you were a bit confused/anxious? You were worrying about the doctor's appointment. You suffered so much and yet whomever I talked to who knew you for any length of time always remembers your 'big smile' as the first thing they remember! I miss you and love you Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 28th March 2018
Dear Papa I talked to you just about at this time via text exactly three months ago - for the last time! Who knew? I miss you so much that it hurts. I see your photograph and it almost doesn't seem real. I don't think it will ever be real for me, not totally, that you are not there anymore. I didn't see you off. Miss you so very much. Love you, Papa Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 23rd March 2018
Dear Papa Missing you a lot today, don't know why - but... Where have you gone??? You were my last link to my roots and you are gone without a word to me. All these years... were you really here with me, with us? I was just looking at your picture I took at the airport when you and Mummy dropped me off in December 2012 after Christmas. You look so real! Just about 5 years from that date you went away. Will I see you again? I want to believe it. Want to believe in anything that promises that I will see you, Mummy, Babaji and Ammaji again. Without the four of you I am at a loss. For some reason this was not something I could have imagined! Love you Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 17th March 2018
Dear Papa I repeated once again in frustration on December 27th, 2 days before you went away with Mummy that "I don't know how to do this. I have no time for myself. I spend all my time talking / fixing things about you with doctors, CGs..."... Now I have all the time to myself and wish you were here to claim some of it. You were angry with me, I know... That's why you just went away without so much as a phone call or text... But I did do my best and I did love you very much... just as I do today. I hope you know now... Love you and Miss you Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 11th March 2018
Dear Papa I saw you in my dream on the night of 9th - two days ago. First time you were the way you were before you were gone. You were at home and I was trying to give you a bell so that you could ring it if you needed someone to help. You were arguing with me just as you used to, telling me how you didn't need the bell. Then little later what I thought was a continuation of that dream, I thought I heard some noise in your room. Thinking that you had fallen, I ran in but when I got there, I saw Mummy... and I saw you! You were dressed in your blue suit and tie and were standing there smiling a happy smile! It gave me some peace. May be you are letting me know that you are okay now. That evening when I came home, I called out for you - 'Papa... papa...' as I do sometimes when no one is listening - to make sure I don't forget the sound of this beloved word. May be you heard me. Some times my cell phone beeps and when I look, there is nothing - no email, text, phone call... May be you reach out to me sometimes. I don't know, I just want to believe it because it makes me feel better. Papa, when you were around even though I tried to imagine but really couldn't imagine how it will be when you are gone - just as in Mummy's time. But now I am left all alone without anyone with whom I grew up. In my imagination, I go back to that home in Vijaynagar and wander around - all by myself; all four of you gone! It makes me very sad. But what really makes me most sad is the thought that after me, there won't be anyone who will remember and think of Babaji, Ammaji or Mummy. When you were here, I could talk to you about them; I could be with you when we sent off a balloon for Mummy together. But now I am all alone in remembering them. How someone who was 13+ at the time cannot remember two people who would die for them, is beyond me - but that is the way it is. You - Shailu will probably remember you but that is where it will end. We were such a close family - whatever has happened to it? I am not afraid of dying and I hope and wish to die before Chris. The only thing that makes me sad about me dying is that after me at least three of the four of you will be forgotten. My only hope is that some day some strangers will come across these pages and will see how much you were all loved; and how lucky I was to have been born in this family that gave me so much love. Babaji and Ammaji gave me so much and loved me so much that no amount of riches could make me want to have been born elsewhere. Remember when Babaji brought samosas for me at St. Thomas when the practicals lasted much longer. Everyone talked about it! But in the end we weren't there for them. Both of them needed us and would have felt easier if we were there since we were together all our lives. Wish I did better by Mummy's side. Wish I knew how much she needed me before it was too late. And you, I tried my best... I did. I love you but you were very hard-headed and you didn't make good use of the help I tried to provide. I don't know why... I am still asking that question - 'why?' I know I made you miserable with my constant pestering about exercises but I did what I thought was best. It didn't turn out to be that way but I wasn't to know it then. Would you have been happier if I left you alone? I don't know. I am grateful that you went in your sleep and didn't suffer more than you already did. I am glad that you were able to do things that you enjoyed - at least some of them - until the end. I am glad that you didn't end up on some machine support to wait for the end to come. But I miss you so very much... Love you Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 6th March 2018
Dear Papa Because I wasn't there with you to say goodbye, it will always be unreal to me - you not being there. I see you as I left you around 7pm on October 21st sitting in Belmont Lobby. You teared up and I tried to make a joke. But my heart broke every time I left you there at Belmont. It didn't hurt as much when I left you at the house but once you went to Belmont, I always felt like we sort of threw you away once you needed our help. I did my best - I think - to keep you from moving toward a nursing home but... The stroke stole your life and also Mummy's and some of ours too. Wish I could have you back once again. Love you Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 28th February 2018
Dear Papa Two months today since we last talked. You were going around doing whatever, planning things, looking forward to beginning of next session of class and then... just left - no goodbyes, no nothing.. How does such an important person in ones life just disappear? All of a sudden all alone.... Love you Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 25th February 2018
Dear Papa I had a dream yesterday that you were pushing mummy on a wheelchair. Your legs were weak and you were struggling and eventually you fell. I don't know what happened after that. I was hoping to see you in better health when I first dreamt of you. I am missing you so very much. Even now when I am preparing dinner, I almost expect to hear from you or am tempted to call. That's when I often called you and/or Belmont to see how you were doing. I renewed your phone today; so it is back again. Jill and I will work on that Sr. Center Photo book for you this year and hope to complete it before September 8th. May be you will inspire me about how to do it as I don't have much idea - not being very imaginative! At St. Mary's now your/Mummy's candle is sitting at the gift shop where you found happiness for all volunteers to see. Your name is now being added to the "In Memory Of..." on that board where you saw Mummy's name once. I have told Jill that we have some money left over from your/Mummy's time that we would like to donate to Sr. Center and she is thinking about a project where it can be best used. I hope that you can see all this and find some peace in the fact that so many people remember you and speak of you with love and fondness. Miss you. Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 18th February 2018
Dear Papa Two months ago yesterday you returned from the hospital for the last time. It is all so strange even now because my heart just refuses to believe what my brain knows - that I will never see you again - at least not until I too die. I haven't seen you in my dream yet; but did you ping me? I wonder... Missing you and feeling a little lost still. Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 16th February 2018
Dear Papa Missed you in Madison this time around. But while you weren't there in body, you were definitely there in spirit - in people's heart. Lauren who worked with you for short time at Natatorium had tears in her eyes as we talked about you; there was Mike; of course Tim; Dr. Eastman, Dina, Essa, Jerri - so many who miss you and remember you and smile when they think of your stubbornness! Do you know that they are dedicating a computer station to you at Belmont? Your table is all set up there along with the printers and the residents will be able to use the computers when they buy them soon. You have brought about a change, a good change in so many people's lives. They smile when they say at Belmont 'he was interesting fellow... different!'. They are right! Now looking back I see how much you accomplished even in this condition. More than anything else, I marvel at that big smile you had and wonder how you can possibly manage to look that happy. I don't think I will have that strength. I haven't laughed like that in a long time now. I don't know whether I was right or wrong and whether I caused you more unhappiness. I do know that I tried so hard to keep you from going to nursing home; to have you be able to walk again. I haven't wanted anything else more in my life as much as I wanted that. I am sorry that I wasn't able to keep you at home. I know how desperately you wanted to go home in Dec 2016 when you were in hospital! I know how sad you were then. But I hope that you were relatively happy at Belmont. Still I did not take care of it the way I should have. You should not have been at nursing home. And I was frustrated with you; angry with myself for the way things went. Still I hope you know now how much I loved you and will love you as long as I live. Missing you so very much! Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 6th February 2018
Dear Papa Life goes on, doesn't it? It's been 37 years, 9 months and 12 days since Babaji was reachable. I used to wake up in the nights when I was little, look at him and breathe a sigh of relief when I could see him breathing. I didn't think then that I could live one day without him! And yet... My Christmas gifts from Chris are sitting locked because I haven't broken the code. I feel like if I work on it or even do so many of other things that I used to do then I am leaving you behind - leaving all of the four of you behind. If I leave all of you behind, then what is left of my childhood? I am not ready yet to move on. May be you will give me a sign that you are somewhere... Love you Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 4th February 2018
Dear Papa A month today since your service... Since I am a part of you and you are of me, you will never be gone as long as I live. Missing you so very much. You and I never got to go back to Mummy's bench since after 2015 birthday. I will go and sit there for a bit this time I go and think of you. I hope you will see me and smile at me and know truly how much you are missed. Love you Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 1st February 2018
Dear Papa This morning as I drove to the bus stop and walked to catch the bus, I had this strong feeling to check my phone for your text or to call Belmont to see how your night went. Looking at your picture just now it is so hard to believe that you are not there in your room! I miss you so very much. Love you Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 31st January 2018
Dear Papa I just talked with Jerri. She says it is not the same without you; the room is not the same without you. You are missed very much by many; by me. I am coming to Madison soon and for the first time you won't be there at all! You used to be in different places most times I came but I always could find you. Not any more... Love you Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 29th January 2018
Always in my heart... Forever in my memories... Why didn't you sit down with me and helped me to learn how to go on without you? Help me, papa... Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 28th January 2018
Dear Papa Days have turned into 'a month' today... It has been 4 years, 4 months and 21 days since I last sat with Mummy! How does a heart go on after so much loss? Give me a sign that you are with Mummy now somewhere, taking a happy walk... Miss you so much that its hard to breathe some times. Love you Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 27th January 2018
God called your name so gently that only you could hear, No one heard the footsteps of the Angel drawing near. Softly from the shadows there came a gentle call You closed your eyes and went to sleep and quietly left us all. - Unknown
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 27th January 2018
Dear Papa It is one day short of the month when we last texted. I miss you so very much. Thinking of you. Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 25th January 2018
Dear Papa I am sorry that I lost the picture I took of your last card to Mummy. You took the original with you. "September for Happy Birthday September for Missing you Forever" -- This is what you wrote. I didn't know you were a poet too! But it will be on your (for it is now yours and Mummy's together) bench soon. Love you Your daughter
Posted by Sandhia McLeod on 25th January 2018
Dear Papa One month today since Christmas and your Anniversary. You didn't get to send her a balloon and I am so sorry that I didn't help you and forgot that you would want that. I am sorry that you were alone on that important day. But now I hope you sit and talk to her and take walks with her. There is probably no laptop or iPad there :-) If only you didn't have the stroke... If only... It took away all that was left from both you and Mummy. Mummy lost her shield; her room; her will to live. There was such sadness in her after your stroke that I hadn't seen before. She did perk up after she came home with IV for her heart because it made her heart work much better and she felt hungry after a very long time. I will never forget all that food she ordered after she was moved from ICU to regular room. "we can have pancake, toast, egg and juice and tea" - she said and cafeteria refused to send all that food for her until Dr. Swietzer told them to! That was one of the best day I had in a long time with her and it was a gift to me I will always treasure. She came home and wrote a long note for the nurse on the card and wanted to go to UW to deliver it. She was happy that week and I am glad that she got that time - glad for her and for me. I always thought that you would be okay after she was gone - because she was expected to be gone first. I knew you would travel a lot and enjoy yourself because you were a happy kind of person. But Stroke took all that away. Still you did a lot even in your condition and now that I look back, you were fairly active until the end. But in last couple of weeks of your life - too much happened that made you feel defeated; and you felt that I didn't need you anymore. How could you feel that? After all I said and did for last 5 years! I miss you so very much. And as with Mummy, there is lot left unsaid between us. I hope now that you live in my heart, you know how I miss you. Love you Your daughter
Posted by Chhavi & Maitrie Bansal on 23rd January 2018
Respected baba, We really miss you!!

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