Tag Archives: birthday

DADDY | 12/40 or HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PRIYA

Today marks Day 12. 12 days since my Daddy left the physical world. Hinduism is incredibly ritualistic. I’ll leave it at that. But in essence, our family is using the next few days as a way to help my father’s soul find peace as it rises to the universal soul, while also slowly bringing an end to the mourning period at which point the family is supposed to more formally transition back to normal life.

Yeah. Thanks for the roadmap, Hinduism.

What I do love about the way we celebrate someone’s death is one key point: danam, which literally translates to gift or offering, but in the context of mourning and death rituals, it more spiritually means charity. Our family will travel to a local school for children facing physical and mental difficulties, and bring them a fun, healthy and indulgent lunch. 200 kids. My father spent his life serving people (family, friends, the community at large). For all the pujas, prayers, moments of silence, and fantastically colorful and sense overwhelming procedures, this is the single greatest thing we are doing to honor Daddy’s legacy and soul. This is the single greatest thing we can do to help him achieve universality (though he’s done more, with plenty leftover, to cover his journey and credit a world with what he has left over).

12. That’s the 12.

The 40? That’s my wife. She turns 40 today. You’ve heard me write, over and over again, that Daddy said out loud and often, that Priya is the single greatest thing to happen to me and to our family.

He knew his sh*t.

Today’s her birthday. A big milestone birthday. On the day that the celebration of my Daddy’s life moves from the inauspicious (mourning) toward the more auspicious (celebratory), I don’t find it to be any coincidence that we’re sharing this day with Priya’s 40th.

DADDY | 2-14 5

She’s spent the past two weeks dealing with two kids, bouts of the flu, kids with nightmares, kids with 4am fevers, all while facing an incredibly demanding stretch at work, all while mourning and grieving for her Daddy too. And she’s done it with grace, dignity, huge smiles, and without missing a beat.

She spoke at an impromptu religious ceremony held by our community in South Jersey (what an amazing extended family, those friends we’ve known for 50 years in South Jersey) and carried the full thoughts and weight of our family on her shoulders, and delivered the kind of thank you that my Daddy would have raved about for years.

She made him proud. As she always did.

This is the woman whose vows to me during our legal ceremony 7+ years ago anchored in her promise that we will always be there for our family (collective). We didn’t know how soon or how often. But she’s never wavered.

The way she has handled the past 12 days is evidence and validation of Daddy’s earliest words to me about her: she’s the best thing.

12 days.
40 years.

12|40. Priya, you and Daddy are bonded together in eternity, in service and in the most celebratory and auspicious of ways. I smile wide today for that reason.

Hey, best thing. Happy Birthday. You make all life and love possible. Udabes. #iamgrateful and #iamthankful for you. We all are.

Note: I’ve collected all the posts and thoughts I’ve shared about my Daddy’s death in one place. Some people have found it helpful as they’ve navigated through their own experiences, or, as they’ve had to step in to support others. This is one in a series, and you can find the full list of posts here.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under daddy

TYMMPB… | You’ll Take Care of Them

There are two people in your life you have absolute, undeniable responsibility for, from the moment you’re born. Your Mumma. And your sister.

I don’t want this to sound overly dramatic; I simply want to make clear the role you play in their lives. (Note: I have the same conversation with your sis lest you think there’s some slant or bias here.)

There’s a one month period every year where this will be more important than ever: January 12 – February 15. Why? Because you’ve got Anaiya’s birthday, Valentine’s Day, and your Mumma’s birthday coming at you faster than you’ll know what to do with.

Keep calm. Give hugs. Sit in laps as long as you can; and when you can’t any longer, sleep in them. That last one lasts forever; I know, because I still sleep in my Mumma’s lap.

You did a bang up job of it this year. You let them get whacky while you just smiled, and chilled, and hugged, and loved.

Sometimes, it can really be that simple. You found a way to make their day about them, but making sure you never made it about you. So young, and already, so wise. Keep it going, Jaanu.

TYMMPB | Feb

And Happy Birthday, Mumma. Also, the house didn’t always look like that mess behind you. We’re moving soon.

Leave a comment

Filed under #TYMMPB...

TMLFYI… | Mamu

Hi Mamu,

What a great weekend. And thanks for spending your birthday with me. I know you don’t like to talk about your birthday, so let’s make it our little secret? I know we’ll have plenty of those. I also think it’s good for you to start embracing the fact that you won’t be able to say no to me when I want to find a new way to celebrate your birthday. I mean, go ahead and try. Really. It’s going to be adorable to watch.

You are a man of few words, except when you have a lot of them to share, at which point, you become a man of many powerful and interesting words. I learn a lot from your words, so please keep telling me your stories. I’ll always listen. I’m promising you that now in advance of a future Mami (Nani and Nana made me write that!)

There are a lot of great memories formed from this weekend and many more to come (are we going to see fireworks at some point? What ARE those but they sound loud so I plan on crying, and I know everyone’s going to be ok with it.) But the picture below, well, that’s probably my favorite.

Happy Birthday, Mamu. Thanks for bathing me. Thanks for hanging out with me. And thanks for being my Mamu. I’ll cherish this picture for the rest of my life. Maybe we can talk about it that day when you’re walking me down the aisle (that’s what Mamu’s do, right?)

Love you,

Munchkin

PS – What’s an aisle, by the way?

PPS – I know that Nana, Nani, Mom and Dad are going to put this in a frame for you so you can put it at your desk at work. We want to make sure it’s a good frame though and the stuff they found in Martha’s Vineyard was the opposite of classy. And we know you have high standards.

Mamu

 

Leave a comment

Filed under #TMLFYI...

TMLFYI… | Inked

Tattoo 1“MOM” your arm read. This is how we ink in our family, with the ultimate tribute to your favorite person.Tattoo 2 Given your general sense of calm, I’m fairly certain you would sleep through an actual tattoo just as easily as you did this, temporary kind.

Though let’s not get in any rush to figure that out.

Today my love for you is straight up inked. I also couldn’t be happier with your choice of tribute.

Happy Birthday to Blaise, who was kind enough to throw a party where tattoos were an option. And thanks to your Rosemary Masi for not yelling at us for leaving the party before we got to see their new house. In due time. You needed to let your tattoo heal … it was an exhausting day for you as the picture indicates.

Leave a comment

Filed under #TMLFYI...

TMLFYI … | Laughter

Tomorrow I leave for San Francisco. I am going to miss you guys like hell. But thankfully, you took some of the sting out of my trip. How? By deciding that you were going to laugh out loud tonight.

I’ll smile on my flight, throughout the day, and in my sleep … for days thinking about this laugh.

Today my love for you is all laughter. This is the greatest sound I’ve ever heard in my life.

Leave a comment

Filed under #TMLFYI...

TMLFYI… | Stretching

Today My Love for you is Stretching. It’s all about stretching.

I could watch you do this for hours. And the interesting thing is, I have. There is no more adorable moment than watching you unfurl yourself and extend to the most far off points of your bassinet. You’ll turn. You’ll stretch. You’ll simultaneously shrink and compress your parts of your body while extending others — like your body is competing with itself. Everything will fluctuate. Side-to-side. Out and to the right, down and to the left. Straight as an arrow to crescent shaped.

I love it. At 7am before work, at 8pm after dinner, or at 2am when it’s usually just you, me and the TV (or the past few nights, Kindle and a book on getting you to sleep healthy.) I absolutely love it.Anaiya Running

I do not shy away from facts. And all evidence points to the fact that you are the greatest thing the world has ever seen (and the most adorable.) Happy one month birthday, munchkin. You’re stretching and expanding our definition of love in ways we could have never imagined before.

Leave a comment

Filed under #TMLFYI...