FRAGILE – HANDLE WITH CARE – VIII

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Atul’s state of mind wasn’t right. He needed to clear his head. Telling their housekeeper he needed to step out for a while, he left the house and began to walk.

He had no particular destination in mind so when he found himself in front of his mother’s home, he was surprised. Seeing the time he knew she would be having tea. Knocking on the door the house boy confirmed his mother was in her usual spot.

She immediately set down her cup and beckoned him closer. He sat next to her, kissing her cheek.

Something is wrong isn’t it? Tell me what has happened.”  He was reluctant at first but she knew to wait patiently. Finally he told her all that had happened thus far. When he was done she shook her head.

Sanika loves you Atul. Just because her old flame has popped up doesn’t mean she has feelings for him even now. She is angry and hurt for how he left things. She thought he loved her enough to defy all odds to be with her. But he gave into his parents’ demands showing that he didn’t love her enough. That kind of rejection leaves a scar and makes a young girl wonder if she is worthy of any man.

He stared at his mother in shock. How could she know this? He had grown up seeing the love and adoration his parents had for each other. She smiled softly at him, brushing his hair back from his forehead.

She made a mistake in getting drunk and the fact she stormed away from that man tells me she is trying her best to deal with the situation. Trust her. If she calls again, do not scold her as you did before. She was hoping for your comfort and love, not you yelling at her. She may have REALLY thought she had dealt with her past. Can you only imagine how she felt when she saw him again and all that had happened came back and hit her like a hammer?” She watched him for a moment as he thought that over. Taking his hand, she smiled gently. “Try to see things from her perspective son.

He nodded slowly. He really hadn’t listened to her when she tried to tell him what she was feeling. Instead he let his own feelings overcome him and had probably hurt her more than what she already was.

Thank you mother. I will head home now and see if I can get a hold of her again.” He rose to his feet, kissing his mother goodbye and headed home.

Reaching home, he let himself in and went to look for his phone. He finally found it on the kitchen table and checked his messages. Of course there were none from Sanika after her call with the children.  Should he call her or wait till later? Sighing, he put his phone in his pocket and went in search of his children.

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RAISED FROM THE PIT – IV

Arnab was less than pleased to come home and find a teen now residing in his house. Granted, he was much cleaner now than when he first arrived and it looked as if his hair had been trimmed as well. He was wearing clean clothing that actually fit him and a pair of new tennis shoes. The boy, Binoy was now nose deep in a book his eyes dancing over the words he was reading.

He went in search of his wife to find her in the kitchen starting dinner and seemingly talking to herself quietly. It took him a moment to realize she was praying.

Father in Heaven,
You taught us to be kind to those less fortunate than ourselves, to show them love and understanding. I see something in this young boy, something good and true. I feel you brought this boy to my attention because he asked You for help. Please guide me in this and help my husband to understand as well. Your will be done.

Arnab left the kitchen without saying a word and went into his small office. He had become so obsessed with work and succeeding at his job that he had forgotten the simple but profound truths that his parents had raised him on. “Show those less fortunate than you, love and understanding Arnab. Always be grateful for the blessing you have and, if it’s within your power to raise up even one person in life, do so with humility.”

Arunima had heard his office door close and went to let him know that dinner was ready. She braced herself for more of her husband’s displeasure but he was unusually quiet as the three of them enjoyed the simple meal she had made.

Binoy, do you have any questions about what you read today in your history book,” she asked, the teacher in her coming out.

No ma’am…not yet anyway,” he said with a sweet smile.

UNIQUE ONLINE FRIENDSHIP

Sits in the quiet of the room, going back in my mind to December 2015.

How do online connections happen? To me it is quite simple, God, our Creator, hears the prayers of His children and begins to move things around in our lives for us to connect to certain people. Sometimes that connection is only for that moment while others could last a lifetime.

His name came up on my Facebook profile one day, as a friend suggestion. Now, usually I ignore such things since we did not have any friends in common. But something about his picture caught my eye and I felt a strong compulsion to send a friend request without even looking over HIS profile. A day or two later he accepted my friend request. We didn’t speak right away as I was working so didn’t get online again until a few days later.

One day, we finally said hello to each other. Something in my heart sparked and I felt an instant connection. For the next few weeks we talked off and on since we were literally on opposite sides of the world. Our bond grew just a bit stronger every time we chatted. We kept the conversations light and happy but something told me deep in my heart that all was not quite as it seemed.

One morning, he came online and said his usual hello but I knew instantly something was very wrong. It took a little time but he finally opened up about what was going on in his life.

At first he was a bit uncomfortable and that is when I opened up my own heart completely. Now I don’t know how it happens but I could actually FEEL the pain and heartache he was going through. I have always been able to feel another person’s emotions and pain as my own but for it to happen with someone on the other side of the world? And over an internet connection??  How could that be??  I was a little shocked but then I saw God’s hand in it all and I smiled and said “Ok God, as you will.”

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As I look back over these last 2 years and 4 months, I am so very grateful to have someone like him in my life. We have cried together, prayed together, teased and picked on each other. We have helped each other get through some difficult times. He was the first one I called, after the ambulance came, the day my mom had her first seizure in May of 2016. He prayed for me and my family right in that moment and the bond between us grew even stronger. We don’t talk daily like we use to but he knows that he can reach out to me at anytime and I can do the same.

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The love we share seems to go beyond any other I have experienced in my 52 years of life. He and I are soulmates, not in the husband and wife sense, but as friends but even that seems like an inadequate description. Whatever this connection is, I am so very thankful that it exists.

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THE ROAD TO HOME – IV

The following morning, Samar woke up before the alarm went off. He took a quick shower to help revive himself then dressed for another day at the office. On his way, he picked up a strong cup of coffee along with a sweet bread. He had left a note for Harsh, wishing him luck in an interview he was scheduled for to move up in the company.

Samar finally made it to work and went through the stack of files left in his box. He worked diligently until it was time for lunch. Looking at his phone to see if there were any messages from his friend on how the interview went, he shut down his computer and locked the files away. Taking the elevator to the ground floor, he stepped out.  Umbrella in hand, he headed to a nearby cafe.

He was shown a seat inside by the window and gazed out at the people walking past, all intent on their own errands. He pulled the photo of the family out of his inner pocket and stared at it. He could feel his eyes burning but didn’t shed a tear. He wondered how is parents were, wondered if Sagar had stayed to take care of his parents. He had made some inquiries and knew that his parents still lived in the neighborhood but had moved to a different home. Ten years…ten long years of no contact.

The waitress brought him his sandwich and cup of coffee, asking if there was anything else she could get him. With a shake of his head, he began to eat but again was lost in thought. Over and over again he saw the look on Sagar’s face. The looks on his parents faces. Maybe he should try contacting them, send them a card at least. Their wedding anniversary was coming up, maybe he could send them a gift of some kind…the moment the idea popped into his head it wouldn’t let go.

He would search for their address when he got back to the office. Finishing his lunch, he paid his bill and made his way back to the office. Just as he settled back down into his seat his phone vibrated. It was a text message from Harsh. :: Interview went well.  They will call when a decision is made.  Did you have lunch ? ::

He couldn’t help the smile that showed on his face.  Leave it to him to ask that question. Harsh was worse than a mother hen at times.

Setting his phone down, he looked at  the files stacked neatly on his desk and took a deep breath. First things first.  He did a quick search of his parents names and found their current address. Writing it down carefully he placed the paper into his inner pocket along with the photo.

That done, he turned his attention to the files on the desk, working until it was time to go home.

MOM – III

He looked at her, realizing why she had looked vaguely familiar.  He remembered her from the time she had come to collect her husbands dues and he had been the one to sign that check.

He listened to her pleas with a slightly irritated look.  He had other meetings to attend to but something in her demeanour gave him pause.

“Mrs. Gupta, I am sorry for your struggles and would like to help but I can’t just loan out company money with the snap of a finger.  There are protocols in place that must be observed,” he said with some regret.

Her shoulders slumped and she began to sob even more. “Then I have truly lost everything,” she mumbled between sobs and stumbled from the office, no longer caring who saw her. In her grief, she headed down the wrong corridor and ended up at another office door. As she was about to turn around,  the door opened, and an elderly looking woman stood there.

“My dear child, what is wrong,” she asked placing her arm around Sapna’s shoulder’s and ushered her into the office.  It looked professional but at the same time, comfortable. The older woman helped Sapna to a couch and handed her some tissue. Moments later she was giving her a hot cup of tea and waited sitting down next to her.

Finally, getting herself under control and with gentle encouragement from the older woman, Sapna told her the whole story though leaving out the small part about how Mr Parmar had made her feel uncomfortable the day she came to collect Harsh’s last paycheck.

“I remember your husband Mrs Gupta.  He was a good and loyal employee and was so very proud of you and your precious little girl.  He had a picture of the 3 of you in his wallet all looking so happy and from the look on his face as he looked at you both,  very much in love with his ladies.”

Sapna gasped as it dawned on her who this woman was…Mrs. Parmar.

“Oh,  please forgive me, ma’am!  I just realized who you were!”

Mrs Parmar patted her shoulder.  “Do not worry about it, my dear. Though our son is managing the office,  I am the owner of the business along with Mr Parmar.  Now, let’s get you cleaned up and go and see your little girl.  I’d like to meet her. ”

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DAY AT THE BEACH

When I was about 7 years old, my family and I went to spend the week on a beach in California. We had a camper that we would sleep in and my mom would cook in most of the time.

My younger brother and I collected so many seashells my mom made us leave a lot of them behind.

I remember the last night we were there. There were fire pits on the beach back then so people could have a fire and cook hot dogs or marshmallows.

It wasn’t quite dark yet but it was getting cold. Dad started the fire and we sat around just watching it.

We heard what sounded like a scuffle just a little way up the beach and my dad got up to go see what it was. I followed him, much to my mom’s dismay and I saw two guys pushing around another one. He had really long hair and was really thin. I didn’t learn, til years later, that he was a Vietnam vet and back then, those soldiers were treated very badly. I am not sure what my dad said or did but the two that were beating up that man took off running and my dad helped him to his feet, gathering up his things.The look on that man’s face when my dad stepped in is something I will always remember. At first he looked scared but when my dad started talking to him, one vet to another, he looked like he was going to cry. I remember that my dad brought him back to our camp fire and we cooked hot dogs over the open flames. My brother and I fell asleep there on the beach while he and my dad talked. The next morning that man was gone and my dad was really quiet.

My mom was a bit upset that my dad brought a “hippie” to our campfire but he just reminded her about who Jesus ministered to while here on earth.

Not only did my dad help out a fellow vet get out of a bad situation but I am pretty sure he told that man about God. 🙂

MY “HIDDEN” TALENT

For as long as I can remember, I have always had the gift of feeling what others do. Whether it is an emotion or something physical, I can sense it. At least that is how it use to be. Now, even through the medium of social networking, chats and such, my “talent” or gift seems to have gotten even stronger.

Where this comes from or why this was given to me, I have no idea but it has helped me and a few others over the years, get through some very difficult times. I could meet someone for the very first time and just by looking into their eyes, I can tell how their life has been.

With Social Media it is a bit more difficult since most of the time we cannot see the person on the other side of the monitor, unless you do video chats. But I rarely use that form of communication.

When I first met one person in particular, I immediately got the feeling that here was a good man but who’s life had not been easy in the least. It was just the “vibe” I got. It wasn’t until some months later that I learned of some of the things he had gone through and was still going through in his life. I think I scared him a bit when I just blurted out one day, “I know that something is wrong in your life, in spite of the cheerfulness you are showing in our chats.” He got very quiet and then asked me to explain what I meant. All I could say is that it was a “feeling” I was getting that all was not well in his life. It took a few more chats before he finally opened up to me and admitted a few things that I had guessed at. In that moment the connection between he and I grew even stronger and is still very strong to this day. I have established this connection with many on Facebook in the last few years.

I also have used this talent with people at work and a few get a bit uncomfortable when I walk up and ask if all is ok. I get the “fine” answer and the “why do you ask”. I look into their eyes and tell them gently that I know everything is not fine. If we have time, I will take them off to the side and encourage them to talk. I listen quietly until they are done. The whole time they are talking, I will place my hand on their arm or shoulder and just listen. Many times that is all that is needed to help them get their thoughts in order and they always feel “lighter” after talking with me. Sometimes they will ask my opinion. With a short prayer to the Creator, asking for the right words, I will tell them what they NEED to hear not what they want to hear.

Not too many people know just how strong this “talent” of mine really is. Many get uncomfortable with the subject as they do not understand it. Not understanding leads to fear and suspicion so I usually keep it to myself.