The pain passed. Disappointment turned to admiration. I couldn’t take my eyes of him. He was still living in my womb.

In a PH driver’s car, I read a sign, “Ah smiling but ah grinding.”

Passive aggressive, it correctly identified me.

The temper was rising.

‘Twas Divali and not a diya in that house, I broke my back to build.

I thank God I wasn’t at home one more time. Across the seas and missing my ladla bayta, I awakened gratitude to keep the river of love in a steady flow from my heart.

Then I read on Facebook, in an appeal he wrote for the adoption of six pups, the reason why there were no diyas brightening up our home and environs on Divali night, despite a brand new bride in residence. She worships him.

In the pictures, he posted with the baby pups, I saw the expensive tiles on the floor in the section of the house in which I plan to spend my last days.

His silence played havoc on my mind last August when he was getting married. Then it was a female dog he had rescued and kept in a safe place where he worked as a security officer. He didn’t know she was pregnant as he poured himself into her to keep her alive. Off for ten days for the wedding, he brought her home. The night before his wedding and thankfully his bachelor party was canceled, he delivered six pups from that scrawny little dog.

After years of refusing to let him have a dog, fate intervened to give him his wish. Duty called and I was off to American to take up residence.

The Divali darkness resulted from another rescue. A dog was hit by a car. The heartless driver, he said, in a deep sense of outrage, drive off and left the animal to die. Of course, he brought the dog home and yes it turned out to be pregnant. Divali day, he delivered six pups before going to work the night shift.

In New Delhi, where we lived during his childhood days, he once brought home a boy from the slums. He said to me that the boy’s mother was a very poor but kind woman.

“The poor people are much better than the rich ones “ he said.

My son is a regular bleeding heart. Thanksgiving reminds me of myself younger than him breaking the norm. Telling my father I was going to become a writer not a nurse or a teacher. Bringing home a most unsuitable man and marrying him despite disapprovals. Riding airplane like motorcar. Here today, gone tomorrow.

I am thankful for a son with a compassionate heart and a father with a soft spot for this daughter in the countless number of blessings I have received in life.

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Ariti Jankie
Ariti Jankie

Ariti Jankie is a Caribbean author, now settled in the USA. In addition, edited and compiled an anthology titled, WRITE. A retired journalist she also writes poetry and is the winner of the Rabindranath Tagore International Award for Literature (2022).

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