8th August 1994. I remember it like it was yesterday. My aunt had been battling against lung cancer when we got the dreaded call… they were switching off the life support machine.
My aunt was the eldest of mum’s siblings, and I can say without doubt that I got the most love from her than from any of my other aunts or uncles, and that’s not to say I didn’t get a lot of love from the others. My aunt was so sweet and funny, and so protective of her loved ones. I was always small as a child and clothes never quite fit me right, so my aunt would sew clothes for me whenever she got the opportunity. I remember one time she made me a kameez (Indian tunic) and asked me to try it on… it was too big, so she reluctantly gave it to my sister and made another one for me, with matching salwar (trousers). My sister’s kameez never had a salwar to go with it. I remember feeling so special.
Another thing about my aunt was that she used to wear the prettiest earrings. It’s probably because she was beautiful, everything looked good on her, but all I had to say was “they’re so nice” and she’d take them off and give them to me. It wasn’t long before my mum clocked on and told me not to say it anymore but my aunt told her off and said she shouldn’t stop me.
It’s been twenty-two years since my aunt passed away. It pains me that I’ve lived more years without her than with her. It breaks my heart that my children never got to meet her. My eyes fill with tears as I try so hard to hold on to all the memories of her. May she be granted a place in Jannat-ul Firdous (the highest level of paradise). Ameen.
I love you, Boro Khalamoni xx