Friday, June 10, 2005

I am Blessed

There are people who come into our lives, sometimes for a brief period of time, who make an impact.
Children have the profound gift of bringing people together who might never cross paths otherwise, and teach us something about ourselves and the little corner of the world we live in.

People we think back on and remember.

This evening, I had the opportunity to reconnect with a family who did just that for me. I had The Jegathesan boys in kindergarten. Pranavan first, and then Pravin a year later. Two sensitive and loving boys. The North York neighbourhood I worked in for a number of years had a large Tamil community, and in my experience, Tamil people are some of the most respectful, and giving people I have ever had the pleasure of interacting with.

I planned a Multicultural Unit every year, asking parents to contribute in order to celebrate every child in my cares' heritage. Pranavan and Pravins mother, despite her limited English, provided me with so much that year. Saris for girls to try on, books, knick knacks, Putus or Bindis, religious symbols, and lots and lots of food. She pulled out all the stops to help me and Pravins classmates understand a culture that was foreign to us. She introduced me to a long standing love for a dessert called "Kesri", which she brought for me regularly when she found out that I loved it.
Such a kind, generous and sincere woman struggling with language to communicate to me all the beauty that her culture had to offer.

In November of that year, she suffered a brain aneurysm.
She survived, but had to relearn everything. How to walk, talk, eat...all of the things that you and I take for granted.
Mr Jegathesan kept me up to date on her recovery, and the children often expressed their fear and sadness about their mothers condition. Mr.Jegathesan told me that the Doctors warned him that she would not be the same person, and may never recover fully.


I had a soft spot for this family.
The first time Mrs. Jegathesan came with her husband to pick up their children at school after she had been home for a while, I was overcome with emotion.
She didn't even look like the same person...It was not so much physical as in her her eyes.
I hugged this bewildered woman who probably didn't even remember this peripheral person, as this peripheral person cried with relief for her children, for her family.

Tonight, I saw them again.
The children big, but still expressing the same connection to me that I had for them.
I loved those kids.
Mrs. Jegathesan told me that she thinks of me when she makes Kesri, because I loved it so, and truth be told...I think of them when I think of Kesri.
This detail sounds silly and simple, but it's a connection still.

This evening I was wearing a dress that I had made many years ago. A dress with a pattern I love. The Jegathesans told me that the pattern on my dress is an important symbol meaning many different things in their culture.

Coincidence is sometimes just perfect.
The Jegathesans invited my family to their home for a "proper Indian dinner".
If Mrs. Jegathesan hasn't fully recovered, her spirit certainly has.

I am so fortunate to have had some peoples lives touch mine, to help me be reminded of the beauty and worth of mine.

I am blessed.
And so are you.
Even if you don't think you are.

I saw it in her eyes