8 July 2022

A sense of Deja Vu

It was eight summers back. My in laws were visiting us from India. I had the best time with my father in law. We used to sit outside by the pool with the Tiki torches around us and listen to music or talk about his early childhood and how he grew up. The pool was a special favorite of his. Many a day, I would come back from my work and find him in the pool swimming all by himself. He would even try to clean the pool and do maintenance of it by himself.

There was a very poignant moment during his last minutes in our house that trip. I was going to accompany them all the way to India to make sure they had a safe passage. The car was being loaded up in the driveway and everybody was saying their byes. Just before getting in, my father in law came around the car and took one last long look at the pool. I distinctly heard him softly say “Bye, Bye Pool”.

During the flight later, I remembered that moment and realized what that pool had meant to him.

This week, going around the house one last time to make sure everything was as they were supposed to be, I stopped at every room. It was less of I stopped out of my own volition and more of I could not move. It was like all the walls, rooms, closets, patios had taken lives of their own. I started having silent, mental conversations with them. “Remember how I used to play soccer with baby Nikita here?”… “This is where Natasha and I had put up her whiteboard”…

Looking at the trees, the bird feeder, the rocks outside triggered a lot of memories to flood by and I took as much time as I could to take all that in.

And before finally closing the yard fence, I too – like my father in law – had to take a long look at the family’s favorite spot and sigh under my breath – “Bye, bye pool!”

Posted July 8, 2022 by Rajib Roy in category "My Family

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