On the Bonds that Bind us to the Beyond

She firmly believed that I never ate or rested enough.
She didn’t worry as much about other things in my life…she knew I would survive.

When y’all ask me how I am doing without her, I don’t know quite how to answer that question.
Yes, in the worldy sense, she is gone.
But, to me, she is never gone.

I see her in everything.

When that sun rises in the morning and peeks through the clouds, I know she is out there looking out for me and asking me to lead a purposeful life that day and everyday.
When that speedy car came so close to ramming me on 183, I know it is her mysterious hand that added that inch worth of buffer space to save my life.
When that strong stench of vadavam emanates from the pantry, I know it is her reminding me to add that vadavam to spice up the sambar.
When that light breeze caresses my face and runs past my hair, I know it is her coming to soothe all my pains and worries away.
When y’all tell me about how I walk fast with an upright body, my head held straight and with my piercing gaze, I know it is her decades of encouraging me to be confident and strong…even during the rough days.
When y’all embrace me with all your soulful love, I know it is her way of making sure I am surrounded by never ending love, care and support.

I am not delusional. I just KNOW it with my gut.

Today, as I made rasam for the boys, I thougth of her.
I thought of how she would make the best rasam on this planet.
I thought of how she would filter the hot rasam and pour it in a tumbler.
I thought of how she would walk over slowly with her arthritis legs and place the tumbler on my work desk.
I thought of how she would nag me to drink up the rasam right away or else she was going to smack me.
I thought of all the things she would say to threaten me to eat on time and laughed and cried all at the same time.

To me, she is never gone.

I see her in almost everything…every day.

On (Un) Conditional Love

I am very transactional with the boys.

Finish your homework.
Get dessert.

Practice your music.
Get something special from the snack drawer.

Keep your desk clean.
Get a sip out of my nice smelling coffee.

Show tenacity through the week.
Get out to dinner at a place of your choice.

Do chores around the house.
Get a hug from me.

Give and take.
You do. I do.

Yep. I admit it.

Although I love them with all my heart, I try to be very transactional with the boys.

Rainbow, on the other hand, showers them with unconditional love.

No rules.
No give and take.

Just. Unconditional. Love.

How can I feel jealous when the boys return (notice the pun on transaction?!) that unconditional love to Rainbow?

So, I observe. As always, I observe from the sidelines.
And, marvel at how life and love plays out.

Exchanging Notes

The house is unusually quite because 1 is down.

Adi is out of town.

Ari and I are having a fun game that he started about 1/2 hr back.
We are exchanging notes on lil post it notes.
He is using my desk as the postbox to deliver notes to me.
He has asked me to use one of the stair railings as the postbox to deliver notes to him.

I love this game of exchanging jokes, puzzles and love notes.
These are the kind of games that keep me young.

Kumar is yelling for us to “stop it” and focus on our work.

Meanwhile, I have this big pile of notes that Ari would like me to continue writing back and forth on.

I wonder what he will say in the next note, and the one after that and one after that…..

5 Love Languages

We think everybody is like us.
We want everybody to be like us.

Not everybody is like us.
Each person is different.
Each person is unique.
Everybody wants to be loved in their own unique way.

I realized several years ago that I was using motivating “terms” that worked on me with Kumar and Adi. Didn’t work. It backfired so badly. It was very frustrating.

After several years of trying to figure it out..I hit a brick wall. That is when one of my friends pointed me to “5 Love Languages”. It was a Eureka moment.

I did the “5 Love Languages” quiz. I also had Adi and Kumar do the quiz. It lead the three of us to understand how each of us wants to be loved. We discussed and laughed about it.

For several months, we worked on using the “love language” that was needed by the other person and not the one we wanted for ourselves. Initially, it was hard work…because we were changing our auto-pilot natural way of being and doing. But, like building muscle or adapting a habit, it eventually came to us. We still lapse. But, we know now how to get back on track.

You would think it is common sense to love as somebody wants to be loved. But, alas, as you know, common sense is not so common.

Do yourself a favor. Take the quiz. Have the family take the quiz. Have a discussion afterwards. Laugh about it and promise to each other to honor them and love them as they want to be loved.

And, tell me how it goes.

Even if you don’t believe in this, go through the exercise to see things from a different perspective than you would normally see.

Trust me. It will be one of the best things you did for yourself and for your relationship with the ones that truly matter in your life.

Rainbow Days –Unconditional Love

I practically do nothing for Rainbow…except remember to give her food and water.
I don’t play with her.
I don’t rub her belly.
I don’t take her for a walk.
I don’t put her on my lap and spoil her silly like the boys do.

I don’t do anything of that.

I think she missed me quite a bit when I was gone for most of this week.
Perhaps, that is why she has been camping out under my chair ever since I returned home.

It is kind of sad that she can’t speak and use words to tell me how she feels.
I can only wonder what goes on under those beautiful brown eyes.

unconditional-love-ambal-balakrishnan