We’re a week into Ramadan, and now more than any other time being away, I feel disconnected. Most of you who know me know that religious is not a word I use to describe myself. Quite removed from a dogma of any kind, I have always felt the need to hover the fringes of the faith I was born into, not because I am convinced of its truth, but because it connected me to my family. And this Ramadan, more than any one prior, I feel particularly disconnected as it’s the first year I’ve decided to fast since my grandmother passed.
Religious is definitely a word that we could use to describe my gran, and because of that, one could say we were not close. Actually, more than one could say that. I often visited her out of obligation, and many of our visits were somewhat tedious and full of awkward silences. We may not have had much to talk about, but she kept me connected. If I struggled with Gujarati, or if I was uncertain about anything regarding Islam, she would calmly explain the logic, and never judge me for my lack of knowledge. She was so proud of me the first year I decided to fast, and praised me for my choice.
The last day I spent with her was probably my favourite. Bed ridden, she still could use that clicker so I spent the day in her room watching the news and other mindless television. We didn’t speak too much and I think she felt bad that I was just sitting there watching tv with her, but that was the day that I realized that she had grown to respect the person I had become. Mind you, I learned that only because she was trying to set me up (even on her deathbed! Seriously Mama!), but props to her for recommending someone that actually sounded like a decent match, even if it’s never going to happen.
Whether or not you are religious, perhaps you could keep her in your prayers or send some positive thoughts into the universe this Ramadan. She was proof that no matter how different we are, blood is thicker than water. Personally, I couldn’t care less who you pray to. Family is family, and in the end that’s all we’ve got. And I got a whole lotta family thanks to her!