Saturday, 17 October 2009

Why I hate today.

Then love, love will tear us apart, again…
Joy Division, “Love will tear us apart”.

Today is not a nice day. And even a haircut has not cheered me up. I took my mother or ‘baba’, back to the airport today.

My friends laugh and tell me I am depressed because I will miss all the help around the house. They have no clue. They are lucky, because majority of them have not experienced a separation for months at a time.

I hate today because of tomorrow morning. Tomorrow morning, when we wake up, my daughter is not going to run upstairs, in the attic conversion baba occupies when she visits, to get her portion of cuddles and laughter. She will probably forget she said goodbye the night before, as children do, and shout to baba to hurry up, only to get reminded that she is no longer upstairs, but quite far away now.

When we go downstairs to have some breakfast, nobody is going to have a little chat with me, while putting the kettle on.

I put going upstairs off, for as long as I can.

I walk in, and pick up something she might have accidentally forgotten, like an old magazine or a towel. The bed is stripped off the bedding that baba always remembers to wash and hang the day she leaves. I tidy everything away, and just linger at the window, looking out and thinking about stuff. Windows in that room have the best view, being that high up, and I enjoy looking down at all those pretty houses, the odd roof angles and chimneys, half hidden by mature trees. And I have to remind myself, as tears swell up in my eyes, that I am being unforgivably silly. That she has only gone back home until she can visit again. Most importantly, that she is not gone forever.

There is this old Russian pop song, that actually has quite meaningful words in it. It claims that every parting is like a little death.

And that’s what I hate about days like today. They make me think, however hard I try to bury those thoughts deep inside my mind, that one day it will indeed, be forever. And this is how it will feel. Just an empty room.

Yes, just like this, only a million, billion times worse, because then you know that they really aren't coming back. And you feel lost. Only some short time ago you sat right there, next to them, could touch them, could talk to them, could ask them about something mundane you have forgotten, like an old recipe. And then, all of a sudden, they are gone, and the room is empty, and you can never ask them a question again.

And that is why I hate today.

But tomorrow will be different. Tomorrow, when I get up, husband will take the dog to the forest, and I will not shout up the attic for baba to hurry up and come downstairs so we could have our usual chat and a coffee.

Instead, I will pick up the phone, so I could make sure she is back safe and sound, in the known comfort of her old flat, surrounded by her own things, with my cousin there to share tasty goodies sent by me from England.

I will hear their cheerful voices, and everything will just click right back to normal. And my usual life will resume. Until next time. Inshallah, as they’d say back home.


  1. This post of yours made me shed some tears. Today it's my dad's birthday. It would have been his 73 birthday. And for the whole week I've been thinking about him a lot. And missing him a lot.
    The sense of losing a loved one never leaves. So no, I don't think you are being unforgivably silly for missing your mom. I really hope she got home safe and sound.

  2. hugs. hope she can come back soon.

  3. @Gabriela: I am sorry....what I meant when I said I was being silly, is that I should not get that upset when she goes back to Baku, because I must think of all my friends, and my cousins... whose parents are not coming back. And appreciate what I have while I have it. That's what I meant. Hold on, did I not call this blog "humorous" once? Must go back to the usual stuff. :)

  4. It will be 20 years this December since my Dad passed away. I talk to him in my head almost every day. And I tell my daughter about things he taught me, about his life. I still make decisions based on what Dad would have approved off and I still want him to be proud of me. He is very much alive in my head.
    My Mom is a different story. She is an intelligent, cold, sarcastic Ukrainian woman and my Azeri sentiments are very foreign to her. We don’t agree on 90% of everything and we live together. I appreciate her and love her. But she is a self-proclaimed “baba Yaga” and she is proud of it. She is coming back from her two-month vacation on the 30th just in time for the Halloween. It will be fun I’m sure.

  5. I miss my grandmother and I'm always thinking how happy she would be to play with my daughter. How she would enjoy the fact that I have a cell phone now! So she always could reach me :)) And many many other things. I am still talking to her and miss her wisdom. I am also very close to my parents. And often I ask myself - is it right that we actually never leave our parents home in our mind? And we actually never grow up? The answer is yes. I think we are really lucky to enjoy this relationship and feel that we are somebody's kids a long long after we are not! I hope my daughter will feel the same about us.

  6. Whenever I have my parents or sister around, I start hating and dreading that last day a week before the parting, thinking that soon I won't be able to talk to them, see their smiles, hearing their worries. I still remember the worst time when I felt so lonely and empty when I had my first child and my parents flew from Azerbaijan to be with us for a few weeks and help to adjust to the life with the baby. The morning after they had left was the most awful, I was all alone with my 5 week old crying baby with no one to turn too, indeed it felt like a little death to me. But I do believe that we all meet our loved ones even after we leave this world and our physical existence. I believe that love never perishes and we unite with our loved ones when our days here come to an end. I know you have a different idea about this part though :-)

  7. Scary,

    You made me cry. Everybody, except one Irish girl, in my posh office of Chicago, could not understand why I was so sad after reading your blog.

    I think my day is over after reading this article. I will go back to my Lake front apartment and cuddle with emptiness in my heart. All I want is to see my “ baba” live. Oh Scary, I got to go now.


  8. Oh dear, what have I done....Sorry, Jalee.

    Ptichkinskiy: I miss my grandmother all the time. You are right about not quite leaving home in our minds.

  9. What a great post. My grandmother passed away when I was living in Kazakhstan and I'll always remember the last time I talked to her on the phone. Her voice was a little shaky but it still had the warmth and love that she always exuded. I miss her every day.

  10. I just returned from my country after a three week visit and the hardest thing was to leave my parents behind. The thought of not having them scares me to death.

  11. Do not to think of someone close to you as being dead, it is only a word. They are always with you you just don't see them. Both my parents moved on some years back but I still talk to them every day and if I have some difficult decisions to make or are unsure about something I always as for their advice and somehow they let me know what I should do, and I know that as a family we will eventually be together again.