Ever since we have moved to the Chicagoland area from California, I have been missing the folks in California a lot. I feel that I am all alone over here since VP (my hubby) is at the store all day. I have even felt like I am living the life of a single Mom juggling work, school, home work, activities, etc. I have always grumbled about how I am all alone, people don't care about me or are not concerned.... poor VP he has quietly listened to everything that I have thrown at him.
But now that I look back and think about the people I have met in the last four long years, I feel so happy knowing that I was and am surrounded by people who really care for me and are my true well wishers!
I have made amazing friends over here! We have been friends for a short amount of time but it feels like we have been friends forever. Anchal, Pallavi and Daniela are the three amazing ladies whom I have trusted with my kids. They have always been there for me no matter what. Their spouses have been equally helpful. Even VP feels a sense of security knowing that my friends and their families are around while he is at the store working late.
Not only friends, even my customers who were complete strangers to us are the nicest people on Earth. We have one customer who is a farmer and grows tomatoes and cabbage. In the summer we get to enjoy a lot of his harvest completely free of charge!! We reach a point where I have to tell him that we do not need anymore tomatoes, green cabbage or red cabbage. Another gentleman has filled two shelves of our storage room with cleaning supplies! All completely free of charge again! He said, "I know the economy is bad and you guys have two kids...business must have slowed down. This is how I can help you guys. At least you don't have to buy cleaning supplies for a year!" I am talking about Oxiclean products which easily retail for $3.50 - $5.00 each.
Yesterday, I was talking to Don, another customer, about lunch options available in Yorkville. He said, "You know there are not too many choices in Yorkville and the ones available are all unhealthy. I am heading home and making some steak, broccoli and salad. If you want I can drop some off for you." Too bad that I am vegetarian!!!!
A few days ago I met a nice, sweet Polish lady named Jennifer who came to the store with her 14 month old son, Nikhil. I was surprised to hear that she had given her son an Indian name! Over the next few days, she came in everyday and we would have a little chit chat. Today, she came in as soon as I opened the store. Again, we had our little chit chat... I played a little with Nikhil and I came to know that Jennifer's husband hails from the same region that I come from in India. She asked me my name and immediately told her son, "Nikhil, this is Hetal aunty." I felt really nice hearing that because non Indians usually don't have their kids call you aunty right a way. We exchanged phone numbers and I gave her some of the cleaning supplies. I continued with my daily routine at the store and at about 1:00 PM I receive a bouquet from Jennifer! I was shocked, emotional, happy, surprised, overwhelmed... you name it and I felt all the emotions simultaneously. I cried reading her card.... it said 'You deserve it.. enjoy! From your Gujarati sister Jennifer.' I called to thank her and again she said, "There are nice people in the World, but not as nice as you." Can you believe it? When I am surrounded by such nice people, why should I worry about the few who don't care?
Most importantly, I am also thankful for Nimisha... not that she is a stranger or a 'new' friend... in fact she is my best friend from elementary school. She managed to take one weekend out of her hectic schedule to come see me when SP was undergoing all the medical issues. She understood without me saying it that I needed her. We had tried to meet a lot of times, but were never able to accommodate it in our schedules, but in my time of need she was there for me MBBS (Mia Biwi Baccho Samet)!
There are a lot of people in my family and VP's family who truly care for us and I am grateful for them!! But this is just a recap of the last four years where I have met strangers who have touched our lives for ever... who have brought us joy and have come in our lives like a ray of hope. They are truly blessings in disguise... now it is up to me... whether I want to feel blessed by being surrounded by such lovely people or whether I want to keep sulking about the few that are too busy to care!