Fell sick on the last day of my exams.
Falling sick makes me feel like a kid all over again. I lie in bed and complain that nose is blocked, my throat’s sore, my head’s throbbing, my tummy hurts and I feel feverish. My family will check in on me and make sure I’m as comfortable as can be. You realise that in the eyes of your parents and grandparents, you never really grow up. Etched in their minds, I’m just a kid that still needs to be taken care of. Amidst the rush to grow up—especially since I’m just about 6 months shy of graduating—being at home with my family relieves me of the need to act like a ‘grown-up’.
Since I was young, I always had this occasional pain in my tummy. It’ll come out of nowhere and it’ll hurt too much to walk. Everytime I got it, my grandma would make me lie down and rub ointment on my tummy. I’d feel better almost immediately, though I don’t know if it was because of the ointment or the love and care of the act itself. As I grew older, whenever I had the usual pain, my grandma would offer to rub ointment on my tummy, but I would decline, giving reasons like: it’ll get better on its own; I don’t like the smell; so troublesome.
Yesterday, I got up early and complained of a tummy ache. Again, grandma asked me if I wanted to put ointment on my tummy. I declined, yet again. But she insisted that it’ll make me feel better. After much persuasion, I finally relented.
As I lay down and she rubbed my tummy with ointment, I looked my my grandma’s hands, and realised just how much she’s aged. These were the very hands that prepared so many meals, carried me when I was a child, soothed me when I cried and caned me when I was disobedient. These were also the hands that shaped me into the person I am today. Over and above all the things these hands have done, there you find love. Being at the receiving end of these hands is a blessing and privilege, and I thank God everyday for the gift of my grandma.
The scent of the ointment was familiar, soothing, and no longer ‘smelly’ like I used to think it was.
These hands He made, for love, not hate.