Nani Pt. 5
Over the next few years, my relationship with nani grew even stronger. We watched movies together, went for walks; I used to joke that she was my best friend.
Being a third generation immigrant, my Punjabi was never very good. Through our friendship, she helped me work on my Punjabi and I would teach her some phrases in English. I taught her how to say “I love you.” Every time I left for university, I would tell her I loved her and she would respond, “Lub ju.” It started out as just something cute, but as our relationship grew, I knew she meant it.
Fast forward to my last year in university; nani was suffering from a cold during that winter and it got progressively worse over the holidays, as the doctors could not figure out what was wrong with her.
At the age of 89, seeing nani in pain and hooked up to machines was the hardest thing; I wanted her to be her happy go-lucky self. Unfortunately we were told by the doctors that once the machines were turned off, nani would only have 15 minutes to live. This came out of nowhere, I remember thinking ‘but it’s just a cough’. I sat with her in her hospital room and I showed her pictures as she nodded when I pointed to family members.
Once our family had arrived, we said a prayer, and the nurses turned off the machines. I remember standing next to her bed, crying. I couldn’t speak or think, all I could do was cry. Part of me could not even conceptualize what was happening around me.
This was the end I thought, nani is leaving us.