Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A new chapter

But what do you do, if that last chapter is unforgettable? 

Earlier this summer I was given the chance to reflect on myself as a child. I found one thing that's been with me always is a strong love for writing. This love stems from a part of me I call The Storyteller. 

The girl who has tons to say because she loves to share experiences with others. Sharing stories helps us relate to one another, to realize that we're all really fighting the same battles, despite different faces and different experiences, inwardly our souls are all the same.

We all have a pretty tough time with change, and an even tougher time tackling closure. I've had to do both this summer. 

In my last week in NJ my Nani (mom's mom) passed away. It wasn't a total surprise, but she was healthy just a few weeks/month earlier so it did hit us hard. Why it really hit us all was, because Nani's always been such a central part of our family. Nothing brought her more joy than all her kids and grand kids all in one place, happy together.

My husband shared some simple yet wonderful words with my sisters and me to make us realize how so much is passed on from generation to generation.

'Nana and Nani were the glue that bonded your wonderful khandaan (extended family) together and now you have their memories with which to uphold that bond. Mom is a true embodiment of what Nani has passed down, her nature, her joyous personality and her 'Spartan Warrior' attitude. All of you sisters have a piece of her in you so treasure that and hope to pass on some of that to the next generation.' 

I see it now. One major part of my Nani's personality that anyone can tell you is she made friends effortlessly everywhere she went, never hesitating to help someone even if it was to share tips/stories and fun chatter. Thats just how my mom is, and I suppose thats where my storyteller/extrovert side comes from too.

Thinking of all this, another trait of my mom's that I've inherited is our emotional strength.  A general image of women always shows that we cry easily, that we weakly succumb to our emotions. Not my mom and I. We focus all our energy on what needs to get done and find every means possible to avoid confrontation with how deeply our emotions affect us. I don't like crying publicly, it doesn't mean I'm not scared sad or anxious, I just don't find it productive to spend time crying about something I can't change. Some of my most productive hours are when I'm feeling upset, in fact this entire summer was more productive than many past years have been! 

So the days now when I miss home, mom, Nani, sisters, friends and everything that's familiar to me, I remind myself of the tools my past has given me; a positive upbeat spirit that keeps on keeping on. 

I know I'll make new friends in due time, Nani wouldn't have it any other way. And I know when nostalgia is striking hard I'll find loads of laundry and dirty dishes that need to be tended to. 

The 19 hr drive down from NJ to FL had many moments where I was quiet in my glum thoughts of an amazing past chapter. Most people leave their hometown when they first start college or get married, yet here Iam doing it 5 years into marriage and 2.5 into motherhood. But a part of me was still not ready to let go. Then, we stopped somewhere in Georgia and I got my first real taste of southern sweet tea, it came with some free advice I couldn't help but think my Nani was sharing with me:

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