An Older Brother's Tribute

Hey Sam,

I know you are up there…somewhere….sitting with your Cleveland steak cheese sandwich in one hand and a container full of jeera goli, fatafat and chattar mutter in the other hand. Go ahead, – I won’t stop you from putting on the pounds this time – coz that's a problem for mere mortals like us….

Sam and I grew up together and just like older brothers, I did not shy away from giving free advice to Sam. Our talks mainly revolved around me giving her free advice and Sam pretending to listen to whatever I said…It worked for both of us…As I got the satisfaction of being heard and Sam had me off her back for some time.

However, as most relationships do…things change…I came to the US in 2009 and Sam started her married life in Cleveland in 2011. In the US, we both were in a foreign country and we had similar challenges. We missed our family, friends and everything that made us Indians. Somehow, in this new country, we were on an even platform where good advice and suggestions flowed both ways. From a brother – sister relationship, we had moved on to become friends or buddies. We got to know each other better and had fun trips to Cleveland, NY city and finally Niagara Falls. It was during these trips that I created memories of Sam that I treasure the most. Now, when I sit back and think about her, I feel guilty for not creating more memories. I could have stayed a little longer in Cleveland….or I could have forced her to stay back in New York…However, these thoughts will only remain wishes.

While Sam was battling with Cancer, we talked about everything else but never about her treatment or any updates from the doctors. I think she never wanted me to be troubled or worried about her health. Now, when I think about it…I do not blame her for not sharing, but I admire her for only sharing her happiness and keeping her worries to herself. In a nutshell, that is what Sam was…She was gentle, kind hearted and full of life…She radiated happiness to every one she touched.

Finally, I would like to tell Sam that even though you are breathtakingly quiet; you have made us learn a valuable lesson. Life is short. Spend it with the ones you love and make loads of memories. In the end, it is these memories and moments that we get to hold onto even when our loved ones go away. We miss you and we love you, Sam.


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