It's funny how even a casual relationship with someone can touch your heart. Last fall, a new family moved into the neighborhood. Their daughter, Antarra, was in one of the twins' first-grade classes. Antarra's grandmother came from India to stay with Antarra's family to help care for Antarra while her parents were at work. Each morning she would bring Antarra to the bus stop and each afternoon would be there to pick her up.
Over the course of the year, Antarra's grandmother became one of us. She didn't speak tons of English, but she could understand more than she could speak. We admired her spunk: just imagine being a 74-year-old woman who picked up and moved halfway across the world for six months, without speaking the language, or knowing anyone except your son's family, in a culture that was very different from your own. She got a kick out of us and our kids. I looked up some Hindi on teh Google and learned how to say "good morning" and "namaste."
Tonight, Antarra's grandmother flies back to New Delhi. We all were very sad at the bus stop, and Antarra's grandmother shed more than a few tears as she watched her granddaughter get on the bus. In the tradition of overzealous knitters everywhere, I knit her a little going away gift:
Cover pattern from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts, by Joelle Hoverson, knit in Hand Maiden Silk Maiden.
She seemed to like it and she definitely understood that I had knit it, as she made knitting motions with her hands and said "Very good." (I had consulted with some Indian-American knitters on Ravelry as to what she might like, and they voted for bags and deep colors.)
Safe journey, Antarra's grandmother; we will miss you.
Another word of Hindi that I learned: "dost" = friend.