I stayed by the window giving directions over the phone still I spied the shiny black SUV turn around the bend leading to our home. I was excited. Gathering Kay and Cee, K and I threw open the door and waited patiently for the group of four to walk up the stairs to inside. Tall, dressed in a full hand shirt and pants, my great-uncle looked every bit the way I remembered him. Right down to the crimson kumkumam at the center of his forehead. Accompanied by his son-in-law and other relatives, he soon got introduced to my daughters. The evening flew past. The house was full. Three very active kids can fill up a home like no other.
On my drive to work today, I went back and rehashed why I felt so happy. It mattered to me that my daughters get to meet him. It mattered to me that he liked the coffee I made and the food I served. In the grand scheme of things his visit should have been like any other guest visiting us for a couple of hours. It was not.
In my convoluted head, his visit was the closest to having my own grandfather visit. My grandfather grew up with him and his family. My father and him played cricket together some years in the past. He probably remembered my grandfather and my father in a way none of us could. It was important to me that the intangible bonds that tied him to my past should also tie him to my future. As he told tales of my great-grandfather or his dad, I imagined a black and white world that only existed in my head.
I regret not taking any pictures but I know these treasured memories will lie nestled, carefully cherished in the recesses of my heart.