Saying Good-Bye to Baba (Part III)

One of the chaplains that came through Baba's room spent some time asking questions about her, asking about us, and tried to get a genuine feel of what kind of woman Baba was... when the chaplain thought she had the best conception possible she asked "So she was the linchpin of the family?"

I tried to process that statement for awhile... and it's been with me ever since.  And I realized that even through death, Baba held the family together... probably even more so when it came to me and my interactions.  I finally made it back to New England and in doing so - got to know my aunts again.  I was able to spend a great deal of time with them and talk to them and catch up.  I learned a lot about my grandmother and grandfather and aunts and uncles (and even my dad) that I never knew until this past weekend.  It was enlightening and connecting and for the first time, I felt like part of my OWN extended family.  Thank you, Baba, for bringing us together.

There was never a doubt in my mind about how wonderful my husband truly is... but going through all of this... I was constantly reminded and shown just how blessed I am to have married Matt.  Flying to Massachusetts last minute isn't the most economical thing a person can do.  Neither is renting a car, staying in a hotel, or booking a SECOND flight so that he could be with me.  Even though the circumstances were less than convenient, Matt flew from LA to Massachusetts to be by my side as we said farewell to my grandmother.  He met my aunts and cousins.  And in the days in between traveling, arranging, and the funeral - he made sure that we got our Boston vacation.  It was spontaneous, relaxing, and a lot of fun.  Somehow, Baba's passing managed to bring me and Matt even closer together as well.

The companionship of family and my husband was wonderful... almost numbing to the emotions that were welling up last weekend.  I made effort to spend as much time with everyone as possible - even getting hugs and saying good-bye on multiple occasions, just because I was local and I could.

The past week and a half have been quite an adventure... a roller coaster, both physically and emotionally... and at the end of it, I arrived back at the platform safe and sound.  A little bit changed.  All for the better.  Baba truly was the linchpin of the family... she always will be.  And we will never forget her.  I only wish I could've stayed to help with all the tasks that remain... the cleaning, the sorting, the selling... even if only as moral support and encouragement.  To be there to give hugs and pass the Kleenex.  Instead, I now know I am only a phone call or an e-mail or a text message away.  Which is a whole lot closer than I've ever been.  And that is the real blessing in all of this.

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