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January - Alex

“Hey mom, how are you?”

“I’m good.  How are you and Christina? How are the newlyweds doing?” she chuckled.

“We’re good. Just wish I could make winter go by faster.  I have to say I miss the California sunshine.”

“Well maybe one day you’ll both give California a chance.  Perhaps once you have kids you’ll get tired of all of the cold and you’ll want some free babysitting.” She said not being subtle at all.

“Oh mom, we just got married, can we first just get adjusted to this!”

“Anyway, how’s dad?”

“He’s okay.  That’s why I was actually calling.  Your dadi (paternal grandmother) is not doing well.  Your dad is not taking it well.  We’re going to India next week to see her.  To be honest, I think this might be the last time we see her, her health is really failing.”

“I didn’t realize it was this bad.” I looked for a seat; I needed to sit down to take this in.  I loved my dadi; I grew up spending so many of my vacations at her place.

“We didn’t want to ruin your wedding planning so we didn’t tell you how bad her health has been and honestly, we were hoping the good news of your wedding would cheer her up. And it did for a while, but she’s eighty-six and at that age a lot of things can go wrong.”

“When do you leave for India?”

“Next week.  We’re going through New York so we can see you and Chris on the way.  I hope you don’t mind.”

“Of course not.”

“Alex, I hate to ask this, but do you think you and Chris can make a quick trip to India.  I know she’d love to see you and she’d love to meet Chris since she wasn’t able to come for the wedding.”

“Let me see what I can do with my work schedule and let me talk it over with Chris.”

“I know it would mean a lot to her to see you.  And it would mean a lot to your dad for you to go too.”

“Listen Alex sweetheart, I have to run.  Call me when you figure out if you can make it to India.”

A few hours later.

“Hey Alex, what are you doing sitting in the dark nursing a beer? Is everything okay?”

I looked up and realized I must have fell asleep.  I take my feet off the coffee table and sit up.

“I got a call from my mom today and she told me my grandmother’s not doing well.  They’re going to India next week to see her.  Mom doesn’t think she’s going to make it.”

“Well isn’t she like in her late eighties or something?”

“Yes, but she’s always been so strong.  I guess I always thought she was immortal.”

“You’ve been reading too much Hindu mythology.  No one is immortal.”

“I know.” I say quietly.

“How’s your dad doing?”

“I didn’t speak with him, but mom said he’s not taking it well.  I want to see my grandmother before she dies.” I look up at her when I say this but I can’t see her well in the dark.

“Okay, but we just took all of this time off for the wedding and we’re planning on going to Europe this summer.  How are you going to fit it in with work?”

“Actually, I’d like us both to go.  Maybe we can delay Europe until next year.”

“I think you should go to India on your own.  I don’t speak any of the Indian languages and your grandma doesn’t speak English so what’s the point.  Plus, I’m really hoping to make this deal and if I go away it’s almost guaranteed they’ll pick another firm.  If I can make this happen it will be great for my career.”

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