Remembering my grampa, on his one year death anniversary

Every morning, I think of you.
It fills my heart with so much love.
I am so lucky that I could come see you,
I had my chance, to touch you, and say goodbye.

You left a void in our lives
When you crossed over to the other side
But I know you’re watching over us,
Blessing us, wishing us all the good things in life.

There is so much I want to say,
So, every night I sit and pray,
Knowing that you are there
And you can hear me say…

I love you and I miss you!

What 2013 taught me – the customary lessons learned post

I can’t believe 2013 is already over (I say this every year don’t I?!). This year has been a heck of a ride – the good, the bad, the great and the ugly – all packed into one little package called the year 2013. I learned some pretty darn deep lessons this year and I think they’re worth sharing.

lessons-learned

  1. Embrace change. Change is life. Things you have today will be gone tomorrow. People you are with today won’t be there in the future. Situation that you are in today, will not exist tomorrow. Remember – This too shall pass.
  2. Be patient. Things don’t always work out the way you expect them to. But in the end they work out for the highest good of everyone.
  3. Living out of a suitcase can sound adventurous, but you can only do it for so long.
  4. Listen to your body. Our bodies talk to us, and more often than not we ignore the signs. At least until it breaks down, gets fatigued or sick. Listen to what your body is trying to tell you and give it what it wants – exercise, rest, nutrition whatever it is. That’s the only true instrument you will ever really own. Take care of it.
  5. This moment is your life – Enjoy it. If you’re not having fun, don’t do it. Spend time with friends and family. Make time for yourself, your hobbies and things that matter to you. Memories are made by people, not things. Read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
  6. What you do every day is what matters. Long term goals are great. But if you don’t act on them a little every day, they don’t really matter. Take a small step everyday that will take you just a little bit closer to your goal. And most importantly, enjoy the journey.
  7. Stop trying to be in control. You can’t control the traffic. You can’t control who your family is. You can’t control how your coworkers act. Stop getting annoyed by the things that you have no control over. The only thing you have full control over is you – your responses, your attitude, your thoughts.
  8. Be grateful for everything you have today.
  9. Love and forgive unconditionally with all your heart.
  10. Your attitude is what defines the situation. We all have heard this one before. I heard this story somewhere – You walk into your patio and see a little bee humming around minding its own business. There are two ways you can look at this situation:
    1. You look at the bee and you freak out about how it can sting you and you can have a swollen face because of that and how that will make you look weird at the party you are going to next week. You are terrified and your moment is ruined. OR
    2. You can be reminded of the gorgeous garden the bee might have come from, the beautiful flowers and the chirping birds; and the moment turns into a peaceful one.

While you dealt with your thoughts (option i or ii), the bee is still humming and floating around unaware of what you think about it. That’s how the situations are – they are just events – you choose to define them as good or bad.

What were some of the things you learned in 2013?

I will not mourn your death; I will instead celebrate your life!

My grandfather, my dad’s dad, was a strong, confident, self-made man. He lost his father when he was still in school; and lost everything else he had, the house, money etc., during the India-Pakistan partition in 1947. He was forced to move to India, empty-handed, only with the responsibility to take care of his sick mother. And when he passed away, he was a lawyer, had a full family, a house and a lot of fans; including me. He was my coffee buddy, a foodie and my friend.

Over the past few years, he had been fading. He was diagnosed with the Parkinson’s disease, which not only took over his brain, but his entire body. His organs started to shut down one by one and he had multiple tubes in his body to breathe, take in food and take the wastes out. Slowly he had lost the ability to do even his daily tasks and was completely bed-ridden. Among other things, he also lost his speech. We all could see that he was suffering and was in a lot of pain.

On Feb 20th this year, I met him after year and a half and I was in shock to see him like that. But I was overwhelmed that he still recognized me. He looked right in my eyes, held my hand, so tight, and we both teared-up. The night I was leaving, it happened again. Except this time when I looked into his eyes, I had a feeling that this might be the last time I was doing this. I had a feeling that we might never meet again, at least in this lifetime. I took his blessings and said the final goodbye.

I reached home safely, and the very next day I got a call from my mom telling me that my grandfather, my dada, passed away. In that moment, I felt a deep connection with him. I felt that maybe he was hanging in there, dealing with all the pain and suffering just to see me for one last time. I can’t be grateful enough to have a chance to spend the last three weeks of his life with him.

This phone call changed my life; it changed the person I was; and it changed the way I looked at life. My grandfather taught me many things when I was a child, but what he taught me when he died, I will never forget.

He taught me that taking care of your body is important. Because your body is the only thing that you really own. And it decides how happy (or sad) your life will be when you get old.

That living simply gives you more time to focus on things that really matter to you, like family, friends and yourself.

That every action you do or every word you say affects people around you. So why not live a loving life; people will remember you for who you were and how you made them feel.

That you should never give up.

That you should never take anything for granted. Enjoy and be mindful of every little action of yours, breathing, eating, sitting, talking, and be grateful for it, you don’t know what tomorrow will bring with it.

Don’t complain about the difficulties in life, they don’t really matter at all in the big picture.

That if you are alive, your purpose is not over yet.

That death is inevitable; appreciate the people who are here whilst they are here. Spend more time with them. Talk to them more often. Make good memories while you still can.

I miss my grandfather greatly. I remember him when I sip my first coffee every morning. I am very proud of him for his love, for being a great man and for fighting so bravely till his last breath.  And for the same reasons, today I decide that I will not mourn his death; I will instead, celebrate his life!

RIP Grandfather. I love you, always.

 

30 Days of Giving Thanks – Day 12 – Travel

Today… I’m thankful for the means to travel. I am so blessed to be able to take some time off and travel, meet interesting people from different walks of life, see new places, gather memories and learn lessons of life; basically live my dream life for a few days. Thank you lord.

30 Days of Giving Thanks – Day 11 – Laughter

Today… I am thankful for the laughter in my life. I want to thank every person, thing and situation that brought me happiness and laughter. The ability to laugh at trivial things is truly a gift; it makes life more content and enjoyable. Laughter shakes stress off and gets all the negativity out of the human system, at least for the moment.