Legacy of Love
Happy New Year! 2017 has come and gone in a flash--though I feel like I say that about every year. Personally, I'm glad the new year is here. Not because 2017 was terrible--it challenged me in so many different ways and there were many highs and lows to the year, but because with this new year comes new change and new challenges and new opportunities. The end of the year was bittersweet for a few different reasons but the main reason being family.
My last living grandparent, my baa (dad's mom), passed away. I miss her immensely (as I'm typing this, I'm feeling this burning in my nose and water in my eyes) but am at peace with her passing.
She was in her late eighties, her health was dwindling, and she was having more bad days than good days. What was beautiful about her passing is that she was surrounded by love, both physically as well as virtually. My baa lives in India and all of her kids live in North America. Even though they've all constantly insisted she move to North America where we could get her better care, she refused to leave her home or give up her independence. So they came to her--four of her five kids and two of their spouses were able to make the trip to India. Some were only able to come for a few days while others were there for weeks and even months to be able to love on her and take care of her so she was as comfortable as she could be. I have an insane amount of appreciation and a debt of gratitude to my aunts and uncles who selflessly put their own health needs and family needs aside to make sure she was taken care of; thank you, thank you, thank you.
I was fortunate enough to visit her twice in the last 3 years. I surprised her the first time--and her first order of business after asking me, "Are you lost?","What do you want to eat?","When are you getting married?" The second time, I walked in while she was snacking on something and the fist thing she said was, "Eat some of this, you have teeth so you'll like it." Can you sense the food theme here?
Her 13 (plus 7 spouses) grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren FaceTimed her regularly so she got to see their faces and hear their voices--though she was truly only interested in the great-grandchildren, but can you blame her? They're cute and make her smile. She passed away the way she wanted to: at home, with God's blessings and her family's love.
Her passing brought the family closer as family events tend to do. It also really made me think about legacy and what that means. When we leave this life, we take nothing with us. Our time on earth is precious and limited, what we do with that time, how we spend that time, that's what really matters. My baa created a family who went on to create their own families. She was a devotee who was always praying and finding beauty in God's grace. She loved to laugh. She loved, loved, loved sweets. I wouldn't exist without her. Her legacy continues on within each and every one of us so even though she's physically gone, her spirit, her values, her teachings, her love carry on.
Poetically, a week after her passing, her tenth great-grandchild, an amazing little girl named Ella, was born. Her legacy continues on.