So today is the first anniversary of Ammaji’s death. It has been one year but we all remember the night and day of her passing as if it was just yesterday. A full year has passed but still we are thinking of her daily and are missing her very much.
For a long time, the pain was too fresh for us to put up any picture of Ammaji. I even avoided looking at her photos on the computer, especially when Apra was close-by. Apra was missing her and we had the feeling that whenever she saw a picture, she was sad as well, not able to understand why Ammaji is no more with her. On this Diwali however, we had a big picture developed and hung it on the wall in Babbaji’s room.
Babbaji tells that now he says good morning to her and good night to her by looking at her picture. Her place on his bed remains empty and we all can just imagine his grief for losing the woman he loved and had by his side for fifty years.
All our lives have changed after the 10th December 2012. The whole Ashram has changed. The kitchen was her empire and it lost its empress. Many of our staff members are the same and they have been trained by her but we still notice that things are not going as smoothly as they should. Everything is going on, nothing stops but there are these two hands missing. Food tastes good but it doesn’t have Ammaji’s love in it.
It cannot be the same taste and that’s how the memories of her loving preparation and the pride of presenting a new dish or one of her specialties have often brought tears during food time. At the same time however we are cooking, mixing spices, trying new recipes and thinking of her joy in the kitchen, imagining how it would be if she was still there. How she would have ideas and transform them into delicious creations. How she would give us ideas of putting more of one or the other spice. How she would teach our little Apra to roll rotis or stir the vegetables.
Ammaji’s vegetable garden has gone with her. None of us has the patience or dedication that she had for growing those plants and nobody wants to step into this small fenced area of our garden, remembering her pride with which she brought out fenugreek, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplants and so much more.
There are so many more memories, thoughts, feelings and emotions and it all just comes to this conclusion: we are missing our mother, wife, daughter, mother-in-law and grandmother. But with the joy of raising Apra, also our world continues to turn as we think of Ammaji with love every single day.