September is special to me and if there’s one word I’d give it, it’d be Spiritual.
Yesterday, Sep 8 was the Feast of Mother Mary, who’s a big influencer in my spiritual life. My mornings start with the Holy Rosary, whichI first learned at the boarding school founded by late Fr. John Matheiken, my paternal granduncle and Catholic priest. I fondly call him Ichachan.
Today, Sep 9, is his birthday. Over 6ft tall, fair, slim, and handsome, Ichachan rocked the grey hair look even in his seventies. A single child born into a wealthy and affluent family, he knew from young that priesthood was his calling. He left all material possessions to serve the poor and needy and live a chaste Christian life that’s exemplary & inspirational to those fortunate to know him, including me.
Looking back at my time in Kothamangalam, Kerala, it’s been the rock-solid foundation of my Christian life. We woke up every day for the Holy Mass and ended the day with the Rosary with Ichachan.
Call it the privileges of nepotism, I dined with Ichachan and never with the other boarders. He was my father and mother for those two years.
There are so many fond memories. Watching Malayalam movies each weekend with fellow boarders in his room, spending the summer holidays in Devikulam, an idyllic hill station in Kerala for 2-3 months, driving to Ernakulam or Cochin to have lunch at his favourite Chinese restaurant each month and more.
But if I had to pick one memory, it would be our evening time after snacks. We children would play to our heart’s content in the garden while he’d be seated in his cane chair, watching us like a silent guardian angel. My favourite activity was chasing the dragonflies to catch them by the wings. Only to release them back into the air, after admiring them up close.
The biggest miracle though is how Ichchan died while saying his daily Holy Rosary at night. He was seated in his chair, clutching on to the Rosary, and passed away peacefully. He was the biggest believer in Mother Mary. My mother always tells me that it’s a blessing to have a good death.
Today, Sep 9, is also Ryan and my engagement day. I don’t think there’s a more beautiful day that we could have picked to officially announce to the world that we’re a couple.
Like Ichachan, September also happens to be my husband’s birthday month. Talk of Life and its serendipitous ways!
(Author’s Note: Snapshot of the born dancer 😉 with Ichchan. Alexa, please play my favourite Malayalam Christian devotional song about Mother Mary—Ethrayum Dayayulla.)
*This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon 2023