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life of bliss

i wanted to type out something while awaiting the Citibank Rep who's avoiding me these days (i may not be the easiest customer with whom he works). i've been thinking a lot about the emotional highs & lows that humans experience, based upon their outward experiences. For example, I leave for India after four weeks in North America and I have the "post-US blues." Or money's tight, work's slow in coming, and the world feels like it's crumbling. the interesting part is that faith pulls (or drags) us through these experiences but it seems that God fights for us in those moments. i surely didn't feel like a fighter, sobbing while checking FB updates in the middle of the night while missing the folks i'd just left in the US. but somehow God pulled me out of the literal night and into a new day.
i write this because it's important to recognize that you are not the only one who feels like this sometimes. i've felt this and most people reading this have probably experienced low points when it felt like nothing was happening yet everything was falling apart. "this isn't the life i imagined," we exclaim & yet, from outward appearances, it probably IS pretty darn close. india, running a company, amazing boyfriend, supportive family, more than making ends meet, trying to change the world, interacting with like-minded people. wow, it's just about EXACTLY what i imagined!
while i'm @ it, i'll note that i think going through the emotions is imperative. we can't differentiate the highlights of the peaks without the shadows of the valleys. the canvas would be nondescript and uninspiring without challenges. we're not bad or wrong for feeling down and out. these times provide impetus for God to be strong on my behalf & i'm grateful for such grace.

funny old people

Poppi to me: Do you know any posses in India?
Me to Poppi: Hmm, we don't really have those in India.
Poppi: Really, no posses?
Me: No, no posses . . . oh, oh, Parsis. No, I don't know any Parsis in India but I know there are many there.

We went to visit Grandma Supple during the annual family reunion. When we arrived at the old folk's home, Grandma was telling the nurses about some terrible tragedy. We wheeled her into a sitting room and offered to sing her favorite song. We collapsed in hysterics as we sang, "White Christmas." That was her favorite song last time Aunt Amy visited. This time, Grandma was worried about missing the movies and said, "I'm not trying to be rude but I really need to get going," as she tried to rise from her wheelchair.
We opted to wheel her down the hall to the "movies," aka the community room playing a movie conveniently set in the 1950's. Then Grandma wanted to pay for her movie ticket and began pulling her pockets out of her pants, pockets empty. Then Lisa handed Aunt Amy $5 which Aunt Amy deposited in Grandma's pocket. Grandma protested that it was Aunt Amy's money but we convinced her otherwise. Unfortunately, $5 wasn't enough to pay for ALL of us so Lisa passed a $20 to Aunt Amy who again deposited it into Grandma's pocket. Mom joked that this might be a convenient way for Grandma to fleece us of some spending cash. Grandma was unconvinced she had enough but Lisa created a receipt to show Grandma that she had paid for us all.
Grandma began asking where the baby was. After 22-year old Jackie tried crying like a baby (which Grandma didn't buy), Jackie found a toy doll in a bin in the corner. Grandma asked, "where are its clothes?" Jackie found a blanket and wrapped the "baby" in its new found clothes. We were told dinner was being served. Grandma was concerned we were leaving the baby behind so Mom carried it along. Grandma told us to be careful to not get caught; "they don't allow babies here," she said.
Grandma was convinced she had already eaten and grew increasingly concerned that her (long since deceased) husband would worry about where she was. We wheeled her out of the dining hall. She refused to go in her bedroom so we settled around her in the hallway. She began whimpering about Grandpa Supple. All our soothing couldn't calm her, not even telling her "Jesus is coming for you" helped. We began singing Amazing Grace; she continued whimpering. Aunt Amy said she couldn't leave Grandma like this. I said, "she doesn't even know whom we are and she'll be like this whether we're here or not." I'm not known for my compassion. Grandma actually did remember Aunt Amy as we said our goodbyes, though Grandma told Lisa to send greetings to Lisa's mother (who was standing right next to Lisa). Grandma's parting words: "We should do this again sometime."

lost lady

I returned to Delhi after a month's absence and was saddened to not see the little old lady that used to sit on her terrace, head covered, reading through her prayers in the morning sun. She religiously sat there every morning from 7:30 to 9:00 AM. She had a dedicated folding chair that she sat in as her hair dried after her morning bath. Following a time of peaceful rest, she would cover her head with a white cloth and read her book. Perhaps they weren't prayers. Perhaps I imagined that.
She wasn't on the balcony when I returned. A few days later, her folding chair was removed. Life at the home across the alley seems to go on, from all outward appearances. Clothes still dry on the lines, the house helper takes a moment to lean over the balcony railing and sip her tea as she gazes down the alley below. I want to know what happened. Maybe they sent her to another relatives home for the cold winter months. Maybe she was too frail to travel and she is no more.