I spent so much time in UK as a kid that everyone (except me) seems to remember all my childhood antics and habits. Yes – I really did eat food from the altar whilst grandma was praying. And yes – I really did spit out my pacifier whenever it was dinnertime. I see the look of confusion on my relatives’ faces as they walk through the door – a look that morphs into familiar recognition once I utter my name and remind them whose kid I am. After a good 13 years, I am back in England. Although it’s been that long – it feels like I never left.
Can’t say that anything here feels particularly different. Heathrow still bloody sucks. All this time has passed and border control is still ridiculously inefficient. I queued for close to two hours so that the customs officer could ask me three super short questions before stamping my passport and sending me on my way.
I had no plans to come to the UK – especially since I was en route to my new mystery destination. And then I got that phone call on that Sunday morning. My uncle had passed away. I hadn’t seen, heard, or spoken to him in years; but I was very close to him as a kid. It’s strange – being back in the old family home and seeing the vigil that they’re keeping for him in the living room.
I haven’t seen everyone in so long and there’s so much to catch up on – but it must wait till the funeral rites are over. For now – we are in a state of mourning. I’m not eating meat or wearing colour. We must take this time to slow down and grieve.
I would not have come to the UK if tragedy had not struck. Why must it always take a crisis to bring us back to our loved ones?