Raising World Children Generosity

Imbibing Generosity from My Grandparents

Raising World Children Giving

Photo by Spenser H on Unsplash

I’m sorry to bother you in your home, but if I don’t get something to eat today, I’ll probably die.” The man with torn clothes says to my cousin through the recently added mesh to the gate. The  mesh is a hopeless attempt to keep the neighborhood cats out.

It’s a mid- summer 2017 in Tijuana, Mexico. The night has already curved into early morning.  If you tilt your ear to the night sky, you can hear the music and the laughter of the city still at play. Our very rowdy children have finally been put to bed, after a day filled with exploring, and playing, and running around.

My cousin and I are outside enjoying some adult time and here is this man, in visible distress asking for food. He apologizes again, for daring to speak to us in our home, but we already know what to do.

My cousin tells the man to sit tight, and we quickly go into grandma’s kitchen. We heat up beans, pork stew and tortillas. There always seems to be enough food to share at grandma’s house. Maybe its because its summer and there are two families spending their summer there, or maybe it is because grandma is so used to sharing her excess.

There are to-go plates, disposable forks, bottled water, and fruit available. We send the man off with a hot meal and a blessing, anything that goes through grandma’s house is automatically blessed. That’s how things work at grandma’s house. The hungry get fed, and everybody gets prayed for.

A Culture of Giving 

For my grandparents, sharing a meal with someone who crosses their path is easy. Community, religion and a life of service form an intricate part of the fiber of their lives. Grandma happily tells stories of the many times she’s had a house full of people.

She laughs as she describes how one day she woke up to a house full of young men. There were so many of them that they were sleeping in the hallways, as well as the couches, the rugs, and every part of floor you can imagine.

Apparently one of my uncles had left his boarding school to visit his mom and brought “some friends” along. His friends mixed with her other children, and their friends, and whoever else was over that weekend. She was happy to have them all there. Her children no longer show up with their friends in troves, but grandma is still a very central part of the community.

Every morning the octogenarian goes to Mass, which she describes as a party happening in her heart. She connects to God on a daily basis and then delivers communion to the sick and Lord-Bound. Her life long companion drives her around all morning and keeps her company as she visits each home.

They eat breakfast together and then they have their day. Sometimes grandma sits with grandpa while he plays solitaire, sometimes he gets her ice cream. Sometimes he watches tv with her as she knits her endless rounds, there’s lots to knit when you have lots of earth angels. This last summer grandma was knitting a cardigan for the youngest of her great-grandchildren. “The youngest for now” she says happily.

I hang out with my grandma for as long as I can, listening to her stories and accepting her love. There is a certain order to the home that has been functioning for over 60 years, an order that no amount of words can help establish, a rhythm and a beat that has a soothing quality about it.

I soak it in and learn the secrets, praying and hoping to one day have a home like that of my own.

Meissa Cota Raising World ChildrenMelissa Cota is a mom of three living on an Island. She often plays under the guise of Metzli writing Daily Intuitive Newsletters, Blog Posts and giving intuitive advice on Keen. Melissa loves reading and writing and sharpening her intuitive skills.
Letting Go Got Me Through Infertility

Letting Go Got Me Through Infertility

I grew up in a conservative Indian family with strict rules around girls like being at home before 7:00 PM. I found my solace when I started working at the age of 18. Being the youngest one I was by nature a little rebellious compared to my siblings.

Getting a job made me far more confident and gave me the freedom that my young heart was craving for. I met my husband at work and knew immediately that only he can support my newly found wings.

We got married in 2007. My husband very well supported my free spirit, but he too belonged to a conservative Indian family. The expectations from a daughter in law were to wear a sari and taking care of the household.

It took me several years to make my in laws understand that respecting them was far more important than the attire I wore. Don’t get me wrong! Out of respect, I still do wear conservative Indian clothing in their presence and take care of the entire household when at my in laws visit. But I kept my out of house life separate from the life I lived within.

Expectations Of Motherhood

My in laws often pushed me to have kids but for me the time wasn’t right until I felt it was right.

Years passed by in this fashion, with time I found myself engaged in other responsibilities. My father was diagnosed with cancer and my brother became the only earning member. I took care of the responsibilities that came along with my father’s disease and  demise. Having kids had taken a back seat with so much going on.

My best friend in the meantime had conceived and had a beautiful baby boy. Who not only lightened my friends life but also gave me a reason to smile during the tough times I was going through. His single smile would light me up and recharge me for the entire day. And after a long time I felt that I had fallen in love again.

Maan as we call him became one of the most important elements of my life, he became the light I was looking for in the darkness of challenges that surrounded me.

And from Maan, I would say for the first time I had the urge to become a mother. Life took a turn again and we moved to US. And with the loneliness I found here the urge of becoming a mother became even more strong.

I had a chance to visit India soon after I moved to US. I finally decided to see my gynecologist to check if we are in the best shape to become parents. I was advised a complete hormonal profile and I anxiously waited for my results to come in being absolutely sure that nothing could go wrong with things. I felt healthy and perfectly fine. What could go wrong?

Endless Disappointments

The results came in and my dream and hope of becoming a mother came crashing down like house of cards. Doctor broke the most unexpected news to us “ your egg count is very low”. I wasn’t even sure what that meant but I knew one thing it didn’t sound promising.

I tried to ask her what can I do to improve my egg count and she said nothing could be done this is how my body is. She also gave it a term “Early Menopause” that definitely wasn’t something I wanted to hear.

My research reflected that early menopause sets in when a woman is stressed for prolonged periods. I searched long and hard on the internet what were the chances of conception for women with a condition like me. Every search pointed in one direction IVF.

I had heard about IVF but never understood what exactly the procedure was and how successful was it. Every search gave me many success stories and equal number of heart breaks. Every search made me more and more sad.

And every month the disappointment of not being able to conceive overpowered my once happy and free spirit. I got more depressed with every passing day.  I couldn’t share this pain with anyone and spent hours locked in closed spaces shedding tears and blaming myself for what seemed to be my life’s biggest defeat. I was scared to share this with my family as I was terrified of being blamed as ignorant towards my responsibilities.

Time went by and I came in terms with the fact that I will have to go with IVF and I might even have to get an egg donor. It’s a well known fact that IVF is very costly so I started saving every penny I earned towards it. Though disappointed I lifted my spirits up and told myself that god will not let this happen to me and I will turn out to be a successful case of IVF.

I honestly did let everything go and then my little miracle happened.

The Beginning of Motherhood

October of 2016 for the first time in 2 years and after 9 years of my marriage without any external help I got a positive pregnancy test. The two stripes on the test made me laugh and cry. I became so paranoid that I took 3 additional test to make sure I had a living being inside of me. I found out a place where I could get an early ultrasound to make sure everything was fine. I started eating and living healthy so that my little one would grow up healthy.

As he grew inside of me I fell more and more in love with him. On 19th of June 2017, I held him in my hands for the first and since then every passing day I fall more and more in love with my miracle baby.

The entire experience taught me one important lesson. “It is important to let go” once you let go and believe that you will get it. Keep working towards it, there is a good chance you may get it. To anyone struggling with the same, I say it is important to keep a positive outlook.

Are you struggling with infertility? What do you use to give yourself hope?

How Letting Go Got Me Through Infertility | Pregnancy | Infertility | Motherhood | Hope

Vinni Mishra is a corporate professional presently residing in Glen Allen, Virginia. She originally belongs to Jaipur, Rajasthan (India). She completed her masters degree in geography from Rajasthan University. She started her career as a corporate professional pretty early around the age of 18 with GE Capital and was until very recently working with Suntrust Mortgage in Glen Allen. She is an expectant mother and is enjoying her time off from work awaiting the new member to her family. She has a passion for writing and her writing is influenced by the rich culture of Rajasthan which is famous for its traditions and heritage that have been passed along generations.
Bridging The Generational Gap With The Elderly

Bridging The Generational Gap With The Elderly

Raising World Children Elderly

Waiting at a check out queue the other day, I saw the cashier chatting away to a lady who was quite elderly. While I didn’t mind the wait, I was quite enamored by the ease of their conversation. Much like old friends!

I questioned the cashier about the same, who let me know that she probably was the only human contact that senior person would have till she came in for groceries next week!  I was quite taken aback, surely there was somebody who looked in on her?

Elderly Around The World

Traditionally in India, venerating an elder person in some form, either greeting with joined hands or touching of their feet is an expectation.

In the Arab countries, elders are greeted with a kiss on the forehead, as a mark of affection and respect.

Whereas in many Western cultures, hugs and a handshake are a form of the same. Down under, seniors are rather overwhelmed if we confer any of these affectionate gestures on them and are quite appreciative of them.  To be deemed an honorary Aunt or an Uncle is quite special. Where as in India, anyone who is not family is respectfully addressed as an Uncle or Aunty.

Our cultures play a vital role in shaping most if not all our outlooks and attitudes in life. Indian heritage dictates, an unwavering respect for elders.

The magic number at which an Australian would consider themselves an elder or senior is far more advanced than back home. While our parents would probably consider themselves as aged or aging even approaching 50, a Western adult would probably be comfortable classifying themselves as a ‘senior’ at 70 or more.

Interestingly, I am aware of my shift in attitude in how I perceive ‘elders’ as I transition through life.  While it was natural to scoff at a well-meaning word of advice when I was younger, today when I see an elder person, I think of the life they must have lived.

The achievements and accomplishments they would have definitely worked towards.  Part of me yearns to be part of that elite group, which has earned the luxury to look back and relax. They have paid their dues diligently and now reap the rewards, so to speak.

Yearning for Mentors in Life

Living away from my own parents, I constantly look around to find that warm knowing smile of understanding. Someone, to tell you it is going to be okay, to hang in there. Lucky for us, in this country so far away from home, we found two such beautiful people who ‘fostered’ us.

I still smile at the memory of them being mindful that Indian homes don’t often allow outside footwear into their houses.

We are lucky to be living in a vicinity where we have octogenarian neighbors. The rare occasion they take us up on our offer for a cuppa and chin wag (Aussie for a chat), they are conscious of taking up our time as a young family. Still, grateful of the time we share with them.

Our chats are always very vibrant and full of stories of how much the place has changed since they moved in almost half a decade ago as newlyweds!

The very fact that they live alone at such and advanced age and manage their affairs is witness to their independent lifestyle devoid of expectations of their offspring or family.  This probably is the starkest difference in our cultures.  They are quite active and keep themselves engaged, reading, gardening and doing their recommended dose of exercises.

Spending time with them can be so rewarding. I come away enriched with either a life lesson or an age old recipe that would have otherwise perished with them. At the least, a funny anecdote that will continue to bring a smile to my face over the years.

Seniors Today

As I interact with seniors I realize that truly, as we grow we shed our inhibitions, our quest for material wealth, and our need for drama. We start to long for simpler things as we did when we were children.  The basic needs for love, companionship, and attention once again take precedence.

I am also learning from seniors around me, that just because they are failing in health they are by no means dependent on anybody’s mercy.  Their dignity intact, all they need from us is to make them feel cherished and useful.

Bridging The Generational Gap

I recently saw a thought of opening a day care in a retirement village. There could not have been a more mutually beneficial relationship. The little ones are just the medicine ‘elders’ need to feel young once again! The elders the guiding angels for the young-lings.

[bctt tweet=”The little ones medicine for elders and elders the guiding angels for the young-lings.” username=”contactrwc”]

Passing on the legacy of the beautiful traditions loaned to us and gently reminding our growing kids to be respectful towards the elderly will hold them in good stead.  Seeing our parents eyes light up every time they  are engulfed in a bear hug or the harmless ribbing my teenage son indulges with his Nana is so endearing, it never fails to bring a tear to my eye (I am laughing that hard!).

This is probably why grandparents and grandchildren make the best pairs.  They understand each other beautifully and share a comradely that is often envied by us parents.  The same set of people who we thought did not understand us when they were parents, now advocate the causes of our kids and champion them.

To spend time with grandparents or any elders and being blessed by them is truly special indeed. Life always comes a full circle!

Bridging The Generational Gap With The Elderly www.raisingworldchildren.com #grandparents #seniorcitizen #kids #grandkids #generationalgap

Tina MirandaTina Miranda is an Office administration professional from Brisbane, Australia. Passionate about writing, cooking, travel and music.  A mum to a teenager and tween pigeon pair. Like a lot of other migrant parents she is looking to belong while holding on to traditional values.  To boast of having matured while still remaining the young carefree, blatant and audacious girl at heart, her favourite place to be is still in her parent’s embrace.

My Easter Celebration Evolves – The Return of Magic

easter

As a child, my life was incredibly stressful. I looked forward to the Holidays because they brought magic to my life. It was a day that people seemed to be on their best behavior. For a little while, life felt fun and I was easily swept away by the festivities of the day.

As I became a young mother with a life still full of stress, some of the magic felt like it was gone. There were still those moments that created the magic memories. As a mother, I began to witness how those magical holidays were becoming much more about commercialism than about love. This made my heart sad, but this is often the case in our culture.

I frequently asked the family if we could stop buying so much stuff and instead, do something different.

Perhaps, volunteer our time or purchase things that might have a higher meaning, such as naming a star after a child, planting a tree, etc.  This was not our culture, this was not our family.  I stayed the course and waited for the return of magic.

Over the past few years, I have become a Holistic Practitioner and found myself on a Conscious Spiritual path. During this time, I also became a first-time grandmother. Yesterday, we celebrated Easter and while enjoyable in some ways, I was aware of things I had never fully seen before and it felt so disconnected from the magic, I remember.

Easter This Year

From my vantage point, I saw a family that had been consumed by commercialism. Technology and a fast-paced society that does not stop for love. The day felt like a production for society and yet, society was not there.

[bctt tweet=”I saw Easter being consumed by commercialism. A fast-paced, technology driven society that does not stop for love.” username=”contactrwc”]

It was just us, our family. We had plastic decorations, plenty of processed food on hand, and more sugar than is healthy for any human. Nearly everyone had an electronic device ranging from televisions and cellphones to children’s toys.

During this Easter Holiday, we had all the moving parts, but very little depth. I found myself in a quandary over this holiday.  On one hand, I was thrilled to be in the middle of my family and watching my little two-year old grandson and five-year old niece, run as fast as they could to find the hidden Easter eggs.  Then squeal with delight when they received candy and prizes for their hard work.

It was the realization that the children were very aware of how much they were receiving and still, it seemed they wanted more. The adults were engaged, when they were not on their phones or watching television and still, it seemed they wanted more.

Throughout the day, I found myself wondering if it had always been this way or was it me who has changed.  My way of life is so different from my culture and it regularly creates a dilemma for me.  Do I separate from the family I love or  do I immerse myself in the cultural norms to be with my family?

An Awakened Perspective 

In approaching the situation from an awakened perspective, my answer is neither (and a little of both).

When we reach a Spiritually Conscious awakened state, we may find that others do not understand our path. In this state, we are called upon to be a teacher. As a teacher, we must live a life that is full of love without judgement.  We become non-attached to the specifics or the outcome and simply allow ourselves to be fully present.  We learn to live our life in a way that invites questions of curiosity about our path. Use those opportunities as teachable moments.

In every family and in every culture, there will be people who do not desire change and are happy with the way things are.  Then there are others who yearn for something different.  When we speak our truths from an authentic perspective, our family begins to desire a deeper connection with those they love. By finding a neutrality that allows us to stay fully present in any given moment, once again we find the return of magic.

In every situation, we have a choice and there is always a lesson.  On this day, I had a choice to participate and I did.  I had a choice to voice my opinions and I did not.  The lesson was that regardless of all the differences and frustrations of the day, a family came together.

While people were often distracted, they were physically participating as a family.  It is my blessing that I have found a new path that feels right for me.  I am allowed to continue my path without it being forced upon another.

At the end of the day, the joy on the faces of my grandson and niece as they ran to hunt those hidden eggs and the pure delight when they found them made the day so much fun. As I laughed and ran with them, I saw the world through a child’s eyes and once again the return of magic was found inside the child’s heart that still beats inside of me.

Easter Celebrations of Senior Citizen in The Digital Age www.raisingworldchilldren.com #easter #grandparents #grandchildren

Tammy Coin is a Mind-Body Wellness Practitioner, Teacher and Speaker. She holds sacred space & helps you locate the unhealed emotions leftover from Childhood Abuse & Trauma that block the door to your authentic self. She then partners with you, using the pieces of her own life, to empower, motivate and inspire you to fully uncover your Soul Purpose. You can find her @thedoorsofwellness on Facebook.