This past week was ripe with all kinds of emotions, from a potential rehoming of the puppy to a visit to my parents’. I am putting all of it down, hoping to string it all together in some cohesive way but it might just be a disjointed mess.
Earlier in the week I thought I was going to have to give up my puppy. There is a long back story that isn’t worth getting into now but I’ll just say this – I will never abandon someone, NEVER, especially an animal who cannot understand the complex world of humans, because of inconvenience. If we make a commitment to love someone or care for them, we must follow through with it and any decision we make should have their best interest at its heart. I also believe that if we really want to do something we can always find a way. But sometimes loving someone becomes difficult, even impossible. Or the love itself becomes insufficient. So instead of holding on to them to ease our conscience it is better to let them go so they may find love once again. Something like that happened in case of Birthday too.
When I decided to give up Birthday, it wasn’t because it is inconvenient for me to have him but because it would be better for him to have more space and attention. And there were two homes that were seemingly keen on taking him. Huge houses with large, private yards, other pets and retired humans who stay home all day – I thought this was ideal for my baby. By Wednesday I was a wreak, crying incessantly, knowing that my little boy was going to be separated from me within a matter of few hours – I just had to take him to the two places and pick one.
When love is meant to stay, it finds a way. I had decided to keep my personal interest aside and do what’s best for Birth. But sometimes what we may perceive as “the best” based on our confined logic and reasoning, isn’t necessarily the best at all. One of the two families backed out last minute for reasons unknown to me. The other gentleman called me and said there had been some miscommunication and he was looking to adopt a female puppy of a small breed (Birthday is a boy, and already quite big for his age). Suddenly Birthday wasn’t going anywhere and I cannot express how ecstatic I was! Call me a weird one (although by now this shouldn’t come as a surprise really) but I took that as a sign from the Universe that Birthday and I are meant to be together. However “perfect” these other homes may seem, only I can give him the love he needs; I AM him perfect home. So once and for all, I have decided that Birthday is mine, and although I may not be able to give him everything, I will make up for it with love because that is something I have unlimited supply of.
Sometimes I wonder if Izzie and Milo could talk, would they say that I abandoned them? I think that had I surrendered them to a shelter in the US that would’ve been abandonment. I have only left them with my parents because it’s better for them. The love, care and attention that they are getting there is something I am incapable of providing right now.
Izzie will be 8 this year, Milo 6, and I am anxious to be back with them. It saddens me deeply to be away, especially when I see how happy Milo still gets when he sees me, how he still remembers all the little routines we had, how I’m still the only one who can trim his nails, or who can hold him for his vaccination. Like Birthday, Milo is also a scared boy. He was abandoned by his first family, and I just hope he doesn’t think his new mum has abandoned him too. My only consolation in all of this is that they are well. Love, as I have said many times before, doesn’t always mean being physically close. We can love someone from a distance if it means they will be better off being away.
Each time I visit home and see my parents a little more aged than the previous time I saw them, I wonder if it is worth running after a job at the expense of the time I could be spending with them. It would be easy if only I had a money tree, or if money wasn’t as important as it is. The latter is a sad reality we live in. Money is more important than family, more important than friends, more important than everything else. And ironically, the reason money is so important is so we can take better care of family, enjoy with friends, and do the things we want to. Somewhere along the way, money has become more important than the very people we want to earn it for, and what’s worse, most people don’t even realize it.
I hadn’t been home in almost 5 months now because I had work deadlines. It may not seem like a long time to many but I want to see my parents everyday if I can help it. I want to be there for day-to-day stuff, to help them with small things. I couldn’t go home for my dad’s birthday, nor my mom’s; I want to celebrate their birthdays with them. Because as they say, when kids grow up, parents assume the role of children and vice versa, and my parents were always there for all of my birthdays and now it’s my turn. I simply want to be there, I want to show up.
There was a time I couldn’t wait to get out of the small town I grew up in, out of India and into the great, big world. I did all that and learnt the hard way that all we really need in life is our family and those we love. But I had to take this exact journey to reach this point. Even now, I remember my last visit to India when I was still in the US. It was that trip that set the ball rolling for my eventual return and decision to stay. For the first time, I was heartbroken when I had to leave. Once back in Buffalo, I couldn’t stop thinking about home and crying. That is when I finally knew what I wanted in life – to be close to those I love and care for the most. I was back in India within few months of that trip, and within few more months of that I had made up my mind to stay.
Now the only dream I have is to have everyone I love under one roof. Every time I’m with my parents, and Izzie-Milo, I feel that life is passing me by very quickly and I’m not moving fast enough to keep up. I must find a way to keep my family together, and find it fast. I am not in any unusual circumstance. On the contrary, this is the norm today – people grow up and move away from their parents. In India, aging parents move in with their children when they can no longer be independent. I don’t want to wait for the day when one or both my parents need looking after, or when Izzie and Milo are sick. I want to spend as many good years with them as I can before the inevitable happens. I lost my grandma unexpectedly last year and sometimes I do feel a pang of guilt that I didn’t spend enough time with her. There is no saying when life will be over for any one of us, and I don’t want to have guilt when my time is up.
Sometimes I feel like I have a plan and if only I can get a little help I can turn my dream into a reality. My father is the one person I have turned to for support multiple times, including during this visit, and each time his response is a negative. I doubt it’s his lack of trust in my plan – I am already proving at my own level that it is a good plan – but it’s his long held, deeply rooted notion that I should be married now, and by extension not have these “silly thoughts” about “keeping the family together”. I am not averse to the idea of getting married. But I cannot put my life on hold waiting for the right person to show up. I think that the right person will show up as I live and work towards my dream, because he has to fit into my plan. Getting married, for me, cannot be the opposite of keeping my family together, it must be the same thing. He must share the same values as me. He must put our family on top – his parents and mine – OUR family. And he must believe in me.
On certain days I miss my lost love a lot more than usual because he would have supported me and my plan. He believed in me. But he’s gone and now I have no one I can turn to. I feel lonely, not for lack of love or companionship, but for lack of support to turn my dream into a reality. I feel helpless, leaving my family behind with no clear idea about when I’ll see them next time. I feel restless, to live a life of love and abundance.