By | Nathan SV | Partner and Chief Talent Officer at Deloitte India
I was cleaning my Mother’s room, the one that she always wanted to be spick and span. She was a meticulous person and diligent. In her last couple of years, she kept many of her odds and end strewn around the room, on top of the chair, the desk and so on. Even her clothing were on the table, something that she would never do. Neatly folded though. It was difficult for me to see her room full of things that were all over the place.
I even told her one day in a brusque sort of way that it was unacceptable. Her room was close to the living room and easily visible to anyone who came to visit us. It was embarrassing to see the clutter in her room.
She just smiled at me, and in a voice that bordered on pleading, said to me, “Son, these are within easy reach and I forget where I keep things and so I keep them outside and not in any closet of a chest of drawers. Spare this room please.” I was annoyed. What could I respond to a set of moist eyes? I just walked away. In hindsight, I wish I had hugged her.
My mother died within two months of this conversation. It hit me when I started to clean her room a few days later. What if I had just let it be? What if I had just allowed her to keep the things strewn around her? What was I embarrassed about? Perhaps she would have felt a lot more comfortable, I guess.
Today, the room is cleaner, the clutter is gone. What remains is the thought – was it worth it? I could have made it a lot easy on her in her final days. Made her feel at ease for sure. Today, I am a lot clearer. As I cleaned the room, a part of me got cleaned with my the tears. I wish I had hugged her and let her be…..