Time flies. Especially when you are 73 years young!
We had the joy of celebrating a special birthday this week. Sheba's father (called Thata by the kids) turned 73!
The night before a cake was baked. A basic banana cake - but with a twist - 1/2 cup of grated carrot (found loitering in the fridge for some unspecified amount of time) - and a whole tangerine (narangi as we call it here). The tangerine - was ground up - peel, pips and all and dumped into the dough. It gave the whole cake a lovely kick. Vive la différence!
But enough about cakes.
The real joy was to be with Appa on this day.
The tragedy of our lives is how far away we live from our parents. How much we yearn for their presence. For the comfort and joy of them being around us.
Its been almost a year since we last met Amma and Appa. In the interim they have been in the US for 4 months with their newest grandchild - Shofar. It is a joy to hear Appa unravel his impressions of the United States - a combination of awe at the standard of living there - as well as concern about the general apathy he found in many people with whom he talked about God.
On the 2nd of March - we focussed mainly on God's goodness in Appa's life. To think of how Appa grew up virtually without a father (who went to Malaysia and never came back) - and how he had slogged over the years to bring up the amazing foursome of Daisy, Sheba (Bethsheba as she still is to her family), Sarah and Peter!
And now to be with us on this special day.
We were able to source a Tamil reference Bible just in time for the birthday (thanks Isaac and Anil for going out of your way!). And Appa was thrilled to open the heavy tome!
In the evening when Agnes came over after work, Asha and Enoch put on a special mini-concert for us - complete with an entry card which showed the concert programme and which instruments would be used in each piece. Needless to say - parents and grandparents alike were thrilled with Asha and Enoch!
As we put a shawl around Appa's neck (and Amma's too) we just have to thank God for the wonderful gift of godly parents. Appa and Amma's love for Sheba was complete. She never doubted their love. She never feared that they did not care for her. This gave such a solid ground for her to develop into the person Sheba has become.
We want to do the same for Asha and Enoch. Looking back on the life of Appa - all 73 full years he has experienced - gives us a challenge to look forward. With both of us coming close to our 42nd B-day celebrations - we have a good set of examples in Amma and Appa for our next 31 spins around the sun (D.v. of course).