I think this was also around the same time I witnessed the first death in our family. It was my aunt. She was my mom's youngest sister and anyways, she fell off the scooter in India. There was something about an internal hemorrhage in her brain. Something about being inoperable. Death from a child's perspective is very different, I feel. I remember my aunt's body being laid out in the main living room area of Karba's mansion. I remember the 2 giant blocks of ice set on a canvas sack on either side of the body. I remember my other aunt crying her eyes out. For me, I don't think I ever had a super strong bond with my aunt other than knowing that she was my aunt, so her death was just that. Someone in our family died. Today, I look back and it hits me. I guess, a child just doesn't appreciate some things? Or maybe I couldn't process it? I don't know. I think about my other aunt who was so distraught. It was her cousin who had passed away. I do not want to know what that feels like. For me today, if God forbid, I lost a cousin, that would be the most miserable feeling ever.
Tradition for birthdays involved buying a box of chocolates and distributing it to the kids in the class. You felt so special because the kids had to be nice to you so they got the good pieces of candy or more candy. Other kid's birthday parties had an excitement that I can't explain. We would get a small card with a cute hat as the picture on top. On the inside would be handwritten over the printed lines of time and place for the party. To get a card meant you had friends and you were not a loner. I don't think I ever had a party for my own birthday. I don't recall. Although now that I think about it, my birthday was in the summer. We were off school. I really don't know. Or maybe I was so awkward I did not have too many friends.
Childhood memories slip from one to another. I still remember there was a little girl at school wearing a brace on her leg like Forest Gump had. No one really played with her. I told my friends that we should go and see if she needed help. I don't know why. I guess as a kid, you don't know what to do, or how to talk to other children with handicaps. Or you automatically assume they need help. Anyways, she was insulted and said she didn't need any help. I guess looking back, I don't think I had any malicious intentions. Kids are not cruel. They are just curious.
But what bugs me is that the girl's driver dropped me off at my brother's school and left. Shouldn't he have checked to make sure this 8 year old was fine? Make sure that I met who I needed to meet. Well, that was a long time ago, but I still think about it. It wasn't frightening then. Now, when I’m older, I am still in awe. It's still very creepy and scary to me. I am still terrified at the “what if.” I am still angry that the possibility for me to not be alive or be trafficked was so real. I guess when schools fail and when a kid's brain fails and when adults fail, that’s when you say that God is always watching.
That's the first 10 years of my life in a nutshell. Well, I'm sure there's more if I think about it. I wanted to put in little snippets but I think I'm going to stop now, at 10. Do you really want to read more about me?
Best to you all,