For you, Mother of an Angel: by Karuna Pataudi

Jules. Thinking of you and Joseph. I know how hard this month is for you. I can’t find the right words to bring comfort. Because there are none. But know how proud I am of you. You made it! You wrote the book . You did it for him. Major accomplishment. I cannot imagine him not looking down at you proud of his mommy for doing this to honor him. I’m seriously amazed right now.Apart from the 10 million other things you do for the world. There are just no words to respect your strength. You’re love inside and out. This book will soothe, will change lives, I have no doubt. I do not know what to say except there must be a higher purpose to this. With you with all my heart and spirit. Every step of the way. In everything you do. I love you

Julianne and Joseph as one…

For you, Mother of an Angel:

Since my child has been gone, I have biked hundreds of miles. I have spoken to myself a million times asking God: “Why him? Why me? Why this?” Since my child has been gone , I have fought a thousand battles so that others don’t have to spend those sleepless nights I did… Asking these same questions

For a while after he was gone, I forgot what my face looked like. I stopped waving to my neighbors. Or to kids playing on the block. I was no longer the friendly blond girl living in the house next door with the white picket fence. I stopped smiling at the elderly couple at the park making small talk . When walking on a narrow sidewalk, I was no longer the one to graciously give way. I stopped meeting people’s eyes on crowded streets. In case they smiled at me. Too drained to smile. I stopped asking cashiers at grocery stores how their day was going. I ate alone when I had to drive whole nights staying in motel rooms. I did not want to be around people having a good time

I stayed away from proud parents with cute pumpkins in their Halloween costumes, I avoided those summer barbecues with people all fussing at the same time over the little things that happened at their kids’ elementary schools, high schools or universities or talking about how their kid is all grown up now and planning a wedding. I got wary when I saw pictures of people vacationing or people at diners having a Mac and Cheese with their young sons or daughters and watch them wipe the corners of their mouths with a napkin. I got tired of seeing life in motion. I got mad and sad at the same time. Everything else in everybody’s lives had not changed. But my son was gone

For a while, after he was gone, I let the laundry pile. I let the clothes fall wherever they did. I left the bed unmade. I left uneaten cans of soup under couches. I let the steaks sit in the fridge. I let the coffee spill on the table. I did not worry much where I last saw coasters in the living room. I left cigarette stubs everywhere. I didn’t like the fresh scent of lavender on my furniture anymore

For a while I looked for signs every day. I thought I heard voices in my head. I heard it in the ticks of the clock. At 3 am, at 6.14 am, at midnight. I saw his face on movie tickets, on the shoehorn at Pottery Barn, on a piece of paper on the floor , on the knob of my dresser, on a Super Cut receipt, in a strawberry pie, through the dew covered windows of a moving train, on the scarf of a Snowman, on the thermostat, in my own face, my nose, my eyes

Since my child died, I have found a voice I didn’t know I had. I cannot stand obtuse people. I hate silly and wrong opinions about things people know nothing about. I can’t stand politicians cracking jokes about allergies. I do not always need to be the conciliatory one anymore. I am not bothered what others think of me. I guess my heart has calcified and I do not know yet how it continues to beat. But it’s strange ….I’ve become stronger than I ever was

Yes I have hardened. But I have softened too. I can feel your pain. I can feel it like it’s my very own. I literally feel you. When I see you sitting alone in a darkened downtown restaurant somewhere, looking down at your hands and not making eye contact with anyone. Possibly even wearing the darkest glasses you could buy. Just so you can sit there. I understand you. I know you don’t want to be alone. But you need to be alone in a crowd for a moment. The silence at home is a killer. You just need the chaos of the place so you can numb the pain. I know. I understand. I want to buy you a lemon-scented blueberry cupcake. I want to tell you, it’s ok. You’ll be ok. My son is gone and you see I am still breathing. I’m still here….

I’ve become attuned to things I never saw before. I understand what the koels say to me when I wake, I can hear the mountains and ridges and groves. I can hear the way clouds laugh. Up and down, round and about when they play with each other. Sometimes on their blue sides, sometimes turning white. Down in the river, I can hear fishes cry when they are hooked by the gut. I can see the water become their tears. Sometimes I listen to the moon speak to me on nights when I am all alone talking to my Angel. Just me and him. And I wonder: Does grief ever lessen?

And when I feel the tears well in my tired eyes and my heart is about to burst with pain, I get a sign from him. All the way from his Kingdom. An unexpected message from a friend when I am struggling to paint a cover picture for my book. A picture he drew himself. A pumpkin with his favorite colors. Trying to send me the message that this is the picture he wants for his first book. So be it. It is done. Or the clock by the fireplace mantel stopping just at the time he left for his heavenly abode to be in the arms of the Lord. And I wake up and feel his presence. So near. Yet so far

And he lulls me gently, gently, gently to sleep. Perhaps he is touching my hair. Perhaps his head is on my lap. I do not know. But I feel his Peace. I pull the covers over me and I bask in his memory deeply cherished. Carefully folded. In the cupboards of my heart…..

Since my child has been gone, this cupboard is opened only for Love’s sake. His love. Not grief, not grief and I behold life. I must. I must. For him. Because my Angel wants me to live. I have his legacy to leave to this world before I go………

Karuna Pataudi Joseph and Julianne. Angel and mother of one. How you have touched my life in more ways than you know. Before he got his wings from the Father, he was the wind beneath yours. Remember that. That is not ever going to change. I am certain you are meant to do what it is written for you to do. For him. On this earth. And you’ve just started….

To Karuna,

I love you…   Karuna..  as I bike, or go into the depths of seeing this world as a Mother of an Angel, I have a light.  That light, that opened the door a little to allowing me to step out, to getting on my bike, or just facing a new day in heart to keeping that fire to helping the next…. That is the love and support from all of you! Even in my weakest moments, without. You become my voice. To explain me… to all  I love you…