Shortly before our trip to Bangladesh, my husband suggested moving the wall mounted TV to another place on the wall, a couple of feet away. I was rather resistant to the idea. I couldn’t see the point or going through the trouble.
At least in terms of our surroundings, my husband really seems to embrace change for change’s sake. I think I’m one of those people who’s stuck in her ways. I find something that seems to work, and I pretty much stick to it. Once the furniture is set in a comfortable way, it doesn’t even really occur to me to move it. My husband, on the other hand, wants to move the furniture just about every month. I used to get anxious about this, but I’ve pretty much learned to go with the flow, after all, it’s not as if it’s going to stay that way.
When we arrived at our home in Bangladesh, my father-in-law had made some “improvements” to the house. To me they weren’t all necessarily improvements, but just accept the change. They installed another Western style toilet in our “Bangladeshi” bathroom. There was already one in the “master suite” because of my mother-in-law’s arthritis, but she never used the other bathroom, and I liked the squat style toilet. A western toilet in a Bangladeshi style bathroom doesn’t really feel that great to me, but this is because I don’t like to get wet. When you squat on a squat toilet, it doesn’t matter that the whole bathroom is wet from the shower. When you sit on a Western style toilet that is already wet because,… well, everything’s wet, you get wet. The 2nd change was that they replaced plain white tiles in the kitchen with tiles that were made to look like bamboo and big pictures of fruit, and a sign over the door that said “Bismillah.” Ok. I can’t complain about bismillah, and whatever they like, it’s their house. They also replaced a stone railing with a metal one. The 3rd change, they built a balcony off the kitchen where the stairs used to go straight down to the garden. In a way I have to be grateful for this 3rd change because it made it safer for Baby as the door to the stairs could be closed to keep her away. But I had so many happy memories of sitting on those stairs, looking down at the garden! The balcony doesn’t have the same view, it doesn’t feel the same. Sitting in a chair there doesn’t feel the same as sitting in the kitchen doorway, with my legs down the stairs. At least 3 or 4 times during our stay, I walked around the corner of the kitchen and went to sit down only to abruptly realize the stairs were no longer there. All the same, glad I didn’t have to worry about Baby on the stairs.
My parents have told a story about a woman who was so resistant to change she got upset when her son replaced a mattress that was so old that anyone who slept/sat on it ended up in a big lump in the middle. Part of me understands. When people make changes, sometimes they are for the better, but they are still changes, still not the place of your memories.
Family friends made many improvements to a summer cottage. It’s nice. I’m sure it’s more comfortable for them. But it isn’t really the same as the cottage I used to be invited to as a child.
When we returned from Bangladesh, I looked at my Baby, growing up on me. I thought she won’t be a baby forever. She won’t want my hugs and kisses and snuggles forever. Someday, far too soon for me, she’s going to be a grown woman, inshallah. And that’s what I want for her, and yet… I love her just as she is, and I’ll miss that.
I can’t hold onto the memories and the feelings. I think this resistance to change, this desire to preserve things as they are, to hold onto the past, is all an insecurity. Fear of losing the present happiness. Fear of change is fear of the unknown, ultimately fear of death because we cannot hold life still.