I had my cast removed today, exactly one month to the day I fell and injured myself. My troubles are not over yet though. There is still the wound underneath, which hasn't healed yet, to be taken care of. It has to be dressed every other day till it heals. The ugly wound and the thought of having to endure the pain during the dressing brought back painful memories.. Those of my grandmother who developed bedsores despite our best efforts during her long illness. Towards the end of her days, mom and I would clean and dress her wounds twice a day. Being an Alzheimer's patient, though she never could express her pain in words, we could clearly perceive her pain and discomfort. She would groan and make animal noises but there was nothing we could do. The wounds had to be dressed, painful though the process was and we would come out of her room feeling guilty and tortured for having caused her pain.
In contrast was the set of memories that washed over me yesterday when I watched my mom perform a task, watching which forms an indelible part of my childhood memories. Funnily, it was watching mom perform the simple task of cleaning fish that made me so nostalgic. When we get fish, mom always likes to clean and cut it outside the house; maybe she finds it easier to dispose off the wastes or maybe she likes to feed the stray tabbies who sniff their way into our yard. Either ways, as far back as I can remember mom has always cleaned the fish outside with me and during the school holidays, my cousins watching curiously. We would discuss the fish and its freshness, the sweetness or evilness of whichever tabby came to keep us company and learn how to clean fish too! As I grew up, the excitement over this ritual wore off and I stopped keeping mom company. Yesterday, I joined her for some reason and found that the ritual was still strangely comforting to me. It brought back happy memories of my childhood when I had no computer or video games or cable television. It was a world of my own, a world I created and somewhere along the way, left behind.. Perhaps that world still lives in that old house of ours.. waiting for someone new to come and live in it..
Image from here.