or you can smile because she has lived...

“You can shed tears that she is gone,
or you can smile because she has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that she'll come back,
or you can open your eyes and see all she's left.
Your heart can be empty because you can't see her,
or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember her only that she is gone,
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind,
be empty and turn your back.
Or you can do what she'd want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.”
David Harkins

We just heard about the passing away of our dear friend Mylene Chossat. We are stunned beyond words. Mylene was life itself and to think that she is no more is difficult to believe, let alone accept. Memories of her rush to my shocked mind. I remember the day she first came, impeccably dressed and said in her gentle voice that she wanted to help us. In those days we were housed in a small jhuggi that you reached after weaving your way across overflowing drains and mud paths and I wondered how this beautiful and well groomed lady in her high heels would survive the ordeal. But nothing could stop or deter this extraordinary lady.

At that time we had just begun our creche and she being a specialist in the field decided that she would help us set it up. And boy she did! She adopted us and became our dear Mylene Ma'am. For the next four years, she came regularly and took on the task of setting up our timetable, teaching the staff new activities and helping us face every crisis. She established incredible bonds with our creche staff. Language was no barrier. One talked with the heart. And when she was leaving she invited the creche staff to tea to her home. It was mind boggling to see the bunch of slum ladies in their best clothes sharing blueberry cheese cake with their firnd Mylene. Everyone was to the manor born and all differences had been cast away, at least for that precious afternoon.

I could go in writing volumes about the wonderful moments we shared with her. But, I will simply ask you to look at the picture above as it shows truly the woman we admired and loved. I know that from the heavens above she must be happy to see that Kiran and Utpal are now in big schools and little Manoj has finally learnt to walk.

Yes we we cherish her memory that lives on in each of the children touched by her and smile, open our eyes, love and go on. That is what she would have wanted us to do.

May she rest in peace.