Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Hajurbaa in the Window

He sits there gazing out. Sometimes smiling, sometimes nodding his head or raising his hand in greeting to whomever passes by. He is Hajarbaa, my Nepali Father/Grandpa, sitting by the window.

In his time he has seen many things. Experienced life from many places and perspectives. He has lived in three countries. Bhutan, the country of his birth, where he farmed, married and started his family. Nepal, the place of refuge, where his family fled after he was persecuted in his homeland. The United States, the land where his family has settled and the place where they now call home. After six years in Michigan, Hajarbaa made the decision to move to Pennsylvania to be closer to his daughters. It was not a decision that was made lightly as he left other loved ones behind. Even so, on a sunny day in February they moved, my Nepali family. Six in total.

I have missed them dearly. Phone calls are nice but I wanted more. I longed for more. I needed to see for myself. Where are they living? Are they happy? Is Hajarbaa and Hajurama happy? Are they surrounded by a community that will care for them? Will they have a piece of land to grow a garden? So for spring break we decided to hop in a car, drive the 9 hours to their new home and visit. While our time was short it was filled with many happy moments. Memories I will cherish. Answers to my questions. They have a cute home. They are happy, missing Michigan and those they left behind but also settling in and making a go of their new environment. Hajarbaa and Hajurama are definitely happy. They are surrounded by a beautiful community. While the community garden is full and there were no spots available (we drove by and he will register next year) my Nepali brother will help his sister in her garden. There will be potatoes, tomatoes, African eggplant, beans, spinach, mustard and more. This makes my heart happy.

As our time was drawing to an end, others were laughing and enjoying charpati in the kitchen, I slipped into Hajurbaa's room where he sat looking out the window. He smiled at me as I entered and pat the bed for me to sit with him. Hajurbaa speaks only Nepali but he knows exactly what words I understand. He is a man of few words, but his few words are purposeful. I asked him if he was happy in Pennsylvania. He smiled and then spoke. He spoke simply to make sure I understood and this is what he told me. I sit in the window and I look out. From the window I can see my second daughter's home. Nearby is my youngest daughter's home. I am with my son. I sit and watch the people. I watch as the train goes by. I sit in the sunshine as the sun rises and falls each day. I asked again if Pennsylvania was good. He said, "Romro cha." meaning good. "family good." His heart knew what it needed and that was to be near his daughters. Sitting in a sunny window watching as those he loves come and go each day. Watching. Loving. Sharing family moments. Before I left he smiled at me and blessed my travel home. Until we meet again. I will always cherish this sweet moment alone with grandpa. I know now that he is exactly where he needs to be in this season of his life. It brings me happiness knowing he has found his place, be it sitting in the window and that he is happy.

As we drove away, Hajurbaa and Hajurama were both there, smiling and waving at the window.  The rest of the family on the porch sending us off. I now have family in Pennsylvania. A place I will always be welcome. A place I will visit often. I am grateful.

Dhanyabad my Nepali family! I love you! I miss you! See you soon!
Your Nepali sister/daughter,