Yesterday was not an easy day. It’s been over 8 months since Papa has been going, yet it still feels so raw. Mostly because I haven’t allowed myself to process my grief. It’s just easier to look at the unfairness of things, to be snippy at others at their “luck” of having dads still.
My selfishness knows no bounds when it comes to my emotions and thoughts. I buried myself in feeling sad and sorry for myself, yet it hit me as I hiked Hellman Trail yesterday that my father would have hated me this way. He was a happy-go-lucky guy who would try anything to make his loved ones smile. So not was I dishonoring his memory, I upset others with my crappy attitude.
Then a beautiful message from my wife hit me to my core, and I lived yesterday with a new sense of urgency: to not waste time and energy on things I cannot change. Then I also noticed how so many had reached out, and the most I could muster was a lame thank you. It is in times of need that I sometimes truly forget that I am never alone. I just make myself feel that way which only serves the selfish need inside me to dwell rather than take responsibility.
So each day will be a focus on less feeling sorry for myself, and then finding way to be in service to others. It’s what my father would have wanted.
This past week, my family found out about a betrayal that really shook us up. I wish I go into details for those of you who love gossip (and the betrayers), but I also know that will just make things worse. All week, I have watched the hurt on my parents face’s. I know my best friend doesn’t understand what the big deal is. At first, I was annoyed with him but yesterday I watched Soul Connection 34 by BK Shivani which happened to be on Betrayal and Forgiveness (no such as coincidence as Sumita would say). In a nutshell, the episode states that when we say someone has betrayed our trust, what we really mean is that they have behaved differently from how we want them to be. And all we are doing is creating negative emotions and energy that hurt us not the other person. What we really need to do is forgive ourselves.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that what the betrayers did was right, but our negative feelings only make us feel lower. They make us less calm. They make us drift from the present. They make me want to yell, shout and really wonder what family means. To me, it has become quite clear who my family is, and while there are some in my life who feel like they will never be family, what they don’t know is that they are even closer. As if I breathe them with each thought and feeling in my life. I almost wish they could read my soul, but I digress.
And to the ones who picked money over family, they just don’t exist in my life anymore. They cut the cord, and instead of me hanging on or around, I am letting them go. I wish I was big enough to wish them luck, but they have made it clear that they want nothing from me or my family. So Goodbye it is. May you find what you are looking for.
As I did the Japji Sahib today in the morning, I couldn’t help smiling inwardly at some of the funny, and loving things I have seen with my family this week. As I kept reading under a gloomy sky, I felt completely lit up inside. For the first time, I was reading the prayer without halting ( I don’t have it memorized). It struck me that I have a lot cousins and their children in town. At last count, 43 all together counting everyone living here. Yes! 43 which includes, kids of all ages from a 6 month old to 21 years. That’s still only gets us to perhaps 1/2 of my family as half didn’t come. Yes, half.
To say my family is big is an understatement, but really to say that they are loved is an even bigger understatement. I wish I could say that it was due to a special occasion such as a big birthday or wedding that the family is here but in reality this regularly happens in my family. My cousins have been coming to visit us for as long as we have been in California. What’s really striking is that how much fun we have as a family. I don’t think I have laughed this much, well since, the last time they were here which was my wedding. Preeti joked that it felt like we are getting married all over again which made our 2nd anniversary even more memorable. What really warmed my heart was to see how much fun she has with my family too.
I realize now that although many have big families, what makes this more pleasurable for me is to see how close my parents were to their siblings. It is their love for each other that has made us close to our cousins. My mom’s 5 sisters and 4 brothers are so deeply committed to each other that it’s breathtaking to see them get together. I have only seen laughing, praying, crying together. NEVER, and I mean NEVER have I seen them fight or argue with each other.Then there is also my father’s side of 5 brothers and 1 sister where my sisters and I are the oldest cousins, and the level of respect accorded to us is truly humbling. My father is the head of the family, and his love and caring has made us care and love our cousins naturally. I can say all my cousins make me feel truly loved, and when they do come over, it is NEVER a chore. I do admit that friends and work tend to suffer a bit since we all are so keen to be around for hours.
I assumed that was normal until I saw others who don’t speak to family members for months or years. I think the longest I have gone without speaking to my sisters has been a week. It just has never occurred to us to not resolve what’s wrong. We fight, we yell, we argue, we are mean to each other, but it has NEVER affected our relationship as brother and sister. I see now that with time we have gotten even closer. I guess what I really mean to say is that I truly grateful for who I have in life, and I want others to have the same too. That is my public service announcement for the day 🙂
I know the above song is your current favorite, but it truly expresses how I feel about you. You and I have come a long way. It’s hard to believe that ,today, we celebrate our second anniversary. I still remember our first kiss under the stars on New Years Eve outside of Suman‘s house 7 plus years ago. I knew at that moment that I would marry you. You were the first person in my life who I fell in love with unknowingly as we became friends. Our friendship was so unlikely especially the fact that we were in different social circles, and I remembered you at our family parties as the girl with pretty eyes. Sigh. Those green eyes. I got lost in your eyes when we first kissed, and I felt I had met my soul mate. Each time you look at me with those piercing eyes. I fall a bit deeper in love with you. I don’t know what I did right to deserve the right to look at you endlessly, but I am grateful for the chance to see those eyes open first thing in the morning.
You and I have had it rough. The ride has been bumpy, I admit, with all that we have both gone through, but I truly believe that they were intended to teach us how to better with each other. I know that you were ready to take on world for me, and I know what a strong and amazing human being you are. The strength and belief you have in yourself motivates me to be a better person. Not many would be standing with what you have already experienced at your age. Yes, we are opposites in many ways, and we both have a lot of different interests. Yet, somehow they have become complementary for us as we settle into each for the long ride called life.
You and I are different personalities. Yet your kindness, love for my family, and all the people in my life constantly reminds me how lucky I am to be with someone who accepts me for who I am. There aren’t many people who I can share everything with, and there definitely aren’t many people who can put up with my stubbornness on a daily basis. You somehow you have managed to make me the person I imagined to be just by allowing me to be myself with you.
You and I are meant to be together. You and I will always get through the good and the bad times. That much I know.
2 down, and a lifetime to go. I love you, Preeti Sabarwal.
Mom. I just don’t have the words to describe what you mean to me. That’s what I wrote in my scrawl on your birthday card, but here I am going to try. I was going to do a status update on Facebook, but something about that just did not feel complete. I don’t tell you enough I love you. I don’t tell you that you are my friend. I don’t tell you that your opinion means the world to me. I don’t tell you that your love of books is the one bond that makes me feel we are in an exclusive book club. I don’t tell you that my moral center came from you.
So much of me is you that I wonder what I did right to be your son. You have supported (and financed) most of my dreams, and not once complained. I love that you text, and Facebook. I love that you make lunch almost everyday with the expectation that we will come, and call if we don’t come for a few days. Your love for all is abundant, yet you make me feel like the favorite (yes, I know I am). There is not much you don’t know about me, and even then you have accepted me. I have failed numerous times, but not once have you made me like a failure.
I know I am quiet most of the time around you, but I hope you know that you are in my life and heart all the time. I already know that these words are not enough, but you know what, they are a start. You are one of my guides, and I hope that I become like you. Kind, spiritual, loving, thoughtful, intelligent, honest, and accepting. The list has just begun, but really I just wanted you to know that I love you and I am sorry for the late post. Even though this is just a sliver of what I feel for you, it seemed to be right that I shared them. I wanted the words to be just right, and even if they are not, I hope you see how much you mean to me. Love you, Mom.
I talk too much. I post too much. I tend to do everything too much that pleases me, and when I do something that pleases me, I like to share it. I never thought much about how it affects other people. I just know how I feel, and when something moves me, I like to forward it to people who I think would benefit from me. A friend of mine advised that perhaps of just blindly forwarding, I explain why I am forwarding to that particular person, because to some it may just look like over sharing. I know I am struggling with things personally, and I have an inkling that others are too. I just read something that hit me, we are all bozos on a bus. We all pretend that we are OK when we talk to each other, saving our real feelings only for a few or none. I lived that life, and it got me an unhappy life.
Yet, my friend has a point. If I quietly forward an email or share on Facebook, what will that person get out of it? I guess I am afraid of offending them. “Does he really think I need help with exercise?” or “Who does he think he is telling me about depression.” I create their response in my head and so I forward in silence because I am too afraid to really tell the person what I feel. It’s also because I am afraid of being rejected if I reach out to the person. Or it could be that I have this tendency to want to tell people how to live their lives.
I don’t know when I became so afraid when before I would blurt out whatever came to my head. That also got me in trouble because I usually ended up revealing something about someone that probably shouldn’t have been shared. That’s been my problem my whole life. I either over share, don’t share enough, or not at all. I am struggling with my own thoughts and feelings on a constant basis. I realize how whiny this post may seem to some, but I’d rather share than err on the side of not really being myself. So you’re gonna have to bear with me while I share because I’d rather been seen as a oversharer” than someone who did nothing.
That does not mean I will forward blindly, but if you do happen to get a forward from me that’s not a joke, perhaps, just perhaps I am trying to say something to you politely, or just reach out to you in my way. If its unwelcome, tell me, but no matter what, tell me something, anything rather than the deafening silence I continually face in my forwarding marathons.