Absolutely amazing coincidence!
I honestly was going to ‘work’ this, so that the person I had to write about would be someone I had a great relationship with.
Turns out that I was on my way home, remembered something I needed to get done, and then sat back to catch up on writing.
Well, guess who the last person I texted and called is? Emma!!!
I have known Emma since she was a baby, lol.
One of my early memories of her was when she had been really young, maybe 1+, slightly chubby, fair skin, and looking on with sad, ‘unable to talk’ eyes when you changed the station from Teletubbies. She just had those sad eyes that just made us (well, me) leave the TV on Teletubbies so she could watch to her heart’s content. Otherwise, it would be like you were maltreating an orphan….
See, Emma is my cousin. Her mum had been my mum’s youngest sister.
Aunt A had come to live with us after having Emma because of some financial issues. And they had stayed on until Emma was about 3.
So there are a whole lot of memories.
The next really clear memory I have of Emma is her, sitting on a chair in a classroom, her young legs swinging, as she prepared to write an entrance exam into Primary 3 in a new school.
Let me mention a slightly less clear memory: all of us at Emma’s mum graveside, and my mum crying and saying ‘they’ should open her casket so Emma could see what her dad had done before lowering her mum into the ground.
Emma’s mum had died from ovarian cancer in July 2008. Her Dad had been absent a lot while her mum was in the hospital, and my mum blamed him for being negligent.
She had been 31 that May.
I remember standing by the grave, looking at Emma and thinking, ‘this girl could be my daughter’. Aunt A had been much younger than my mum, such that she really was like an older sister to me, not my ‘aunt’.
Anyway, Emma became ‘my girl’ after that. Mine.
So, that memory, her sitting with her legs swinging, it was her second Primary 3. She was young, and the new school closer to our home had asked that she re-do Primary 3. I remember taking her to the health center to take blood samples, do her genotype and all of those tests required to enter into school.
It’s been nine years since then. There are so many memories.
I’ll share one of my most recent memories. Baby girl thinks that Kuch Kuch Hota Hai is better than Yeh Vaada Raha. So I spent Saturday night telling her a summarized version of the movie, and then showed her two or three clips from YouTube. And she actually fell on the floor as my mum sang along after I started to. She honestly has no respect.
I hope I do right by her. I hope I am strict enough, but then again, chilled enough that she can tell me anything. I hope that I can sufficiently teach her that she is good enough, and that she can do anything she puts her heart to, and that she is not unworthy by any means.