Manu Jessawala is known to many of you. You may have seen her at Meherazad and some of you may know her from when she lived in Bindra House in Pune. She is Eruch and Meherwan Jessawala's sister and my aunt. She is 93 going on 94 and she is on her way to Baba.
For a long time now Manu has been very frail. She has slowly gone from sitting in Mandali Hall to staying in her room but walking on the Meherazad verandah on the men's side, to being in her room and only coming out a couple of times a day. Over the last month and half her health has started going downhill very rapidly. Her condition would change from week to week, and now it changes from day to day, taking her slowly but surely closer and closer to her Beloved. Manu is counting the days and hours until He calls her to Him.
Though she had been declining for a while, on the 4th of August she almost got away!! She was in heart failure, respiratory distress and could barely breathe. Prompt medication and oxygen helped her go through the night. The next day she was still very weak and we didn't know which way it would go, but then she rallied and was much brighter. The thing to remember about the Jessawalas is that they don't every live up to (or die according to) the expectations of their medical carers.
However, she was not able to sit up, let alone leave her bed and slowly sank into a state where she was confused, possibly hallucinating. She talked about strange things and rambled on. Through all the delirium was strung the repetition of Baba's name. She kept on changing "Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai". But the strain on her mind is great and the doctors have prescribed a drug that combats the hallucinations. Unfortunately, it keeps her in a sleep-like state and she is not able to take Baba's name as she did before. Maybe she is able to focus on Him inwardly, but she has been practicing her whole life so that she may take His name with her last breath. I wish that she can.
The above picture was taken on 8 August when my sister Dolly came to visit her. Before that my parents had come on Sunday because Meherwan felt that it was time for the family to see Manu for what may be their final time. She always said to me, "If I am not conscious and cannot take Baba's name, take His name for me. Say it in my ear so that it is the last sound I hear." I feel very strongly that this time is coming soon. Manu's other wish is that she not be bathed with water after she passes. She wants to be washed with eau de cologne. We have our bottles ready for that final wash too. And some of the logs that came from the trees felled when the JCB went through Meherazad property for the new road may well be part of her funeral pyre. A new road for Manu too..her journey to her Beloved Baba's arms.
The family prays that Baba take her gently and not let her suffer much more than she already has. Please keep Manu in your prayers and remember her with love. She has had a long, long life in Baba's Love and service. When she goes to her rest, it will be truly well deserved. Manu complained whenever one of the others - her companions from Baba's time, including the mandali, went. We used to tease her and say, "Manufui, you just have to wait. Your visa has come but your ticket is not ready yet." Those of you who read my post on Meheru's last day will recall that when Manu went to see Meheru the morning of 21 April she told Meheru, "You go on ahead and call me. I will come." I guess Meheru is calling, and Manu is going.
Avatar Meher Baba Ki Jai. Mehera.