Before leaving, I told her again to park away from the front of the school.
“Mom, please park away. I don’t want people to see it again,” I said with stern sincerity.
With a smile, “Okay, Beta (term of endearment in Hindi), don’t worry, I’ll remember.”
We had an old beat-up Nissan Sentra that my parents had purchased before I was born. The four-banger, manual transmission, was pushing a buck fifty and wouldn’t relent. From the outside, the car looked like it had its days numbered, but the Japanese are known for building bulletproof engines, and this one was no exception.
It had stains galore, ripped seats, and a smell of Nescafé and burnt toast that seeped its way into every fiber of the cloth upholstery. What was once a radiant red car, now had an off-color pinkish burgundy hue.
A few months ago, I made the decision to leave my job. The factors and series of events were many that led to this calling, and untimely as it may seem to outward eyes, it was a yearning and timed perfectly for the sweet fruit of change was ripe for the picking.
I think much of life is a tug of war between what is within our control and what’s not.
Having a watchful eye on events outside of my control and being mindful to not be vested in their outcome has been important for my sanity.
Perhaps the greatest gift bestowed to each of us is our innocence. In a grief-stricken world driven by calamities and chaos of varying degrees, it is difficult to maintain the innocence of our youth. Where the world was once new, and the peculiar and weird were something of amazement. I am surprised to still carry some of this innocence and bewilderment, even if only an iota.
To see the world every day as new, untamed, and full of possibility is a beautiful thing.
I have promised the self a life of growth, that is it.
That with each new day, I have become a man who can, with all sincerity and honesty, make the bold statement, that I am a better man than yesterday. With this, I take great pride.
It was 7:00 PM. We had just traveled about 6 hours from Phoenix, AZ to San Diego, CA. There, Alicia felt terrible and I was agonizing over yet another emergency room visit. We knew the drill. It would be yet another visit where doctors tell us nothing. Another tedious emergency room bill to deal with. Another visit with no answers, diminishing hope, and continued despair.
I made the decision to drive back to Phoenix, AZ. It’s where she felt good. It was her safe zone. A term we use for locations where the potential of her health being comprised is minimal. She has the nose of a bloodhound and her body responds in accordance with her present environment.