The Patels came to visit. December was a busy month and very memorable month. A few days after returning from the South, I spent time with our family friends in Ahmedabad for Manan’s wedding. I had a good time, we had nightly dance practices and cousins from the US. After the weeklong wedding, it was back to MS for a few days before my brother and sister arrived. Then it was Patel family reunion.
The first night Sejal came, bhai and Sej spent the night at the ashram. They saw a little of MS, went to Bhikhabhai’s house with Pari and then the three of us went to dinner. Last year, at graduation, Bhai and Sej came a few days early and it was the first time really that all three of us, since we have gotten older, had the chance to hang out with just each other. We had a such a great time, just sharing and being in each others’ company. At one point, my sister or I mentioned something that Mom does and my brother turns around and goes, “yo, my mom does that too!” He was not used to kicking it with his sisters. We rode bikes across the Golden Gate Bridge, they met my friends and we just hung out. It was rare because we usually see each other in Toronto for a few days, but are hanging out with friends, etc. We became a lot closer that week. This time it was the same. We just talked over dinner, sharing our experiences, our worries and our triumphs. It was beautiful.
The next week flew by in a blur. Up and down to Nadiad every night from wherever we were. This time was a little different though, we were just visiting family. I had the opportunity to share my world with them. They spent a day seeing MS, ESI, Seva Café and shopping at Gramshree, they came to the Christmas show at the community center. It was so moving to see my siblings in particular just soak every detail in. I took Bhai and Sej on a mini-service walk where we interacted with all sorts of people. The desire to serve is within all three of us, after all we learned from our parents, so I wasn’t surprised to see them in action, my heart overflowed.
In Mumbai, we just hung out. Sitting around reading, doing Sudoku and watching movies, it was the perfect break and just what I needed. By the time my siblings and dad left, I was refreshed and ready for the new year. Spending time with my family, being able to connect even more with Bhai and Sej was just what I needed. We haven’t been very good with keeping in touch over phone or email, but in a few days, few hours really, everything was shared.
On new years, we spent a good 3 hours with friends playing taboo around the kitchen table. It was perfect. It was the perfect way to end the year and begin the new one. I can tell this year is going to be different, in a very positive way, I await each day and only ask that I can live each moment of it for what it is.