Dadi,

I wish you didn’t have to leave this Earth; I wish you were still here. I wish you were happier and healthier. I wish I could have said “happy birthday” to you in a week.

The few memories I have of you are fond ones. While you were with us in America, we went shopping. We shared a love of purses and spent way too much money one day. You let me get whatever I wanted and took the fall with my dad when he got angry with us, even though it was so clearly my fault. I saw you break down into tears after my dad asked us to return everything. That was the first time I learned that even strong women break down, too.

Every year on my birthday, yours was the phone call I looked forward to the most. Though we couldn’t celebrate together, you called to tell me you loved me and that you were proud of me. You showed me love even though you didn’t know the young woman I was growing up to be. The last time we saw each other was too many years ago to count, but I had been hoping to visit you in India for the past few years. I wanted to get to know the wonderful woman who raised my incredible father.

I am heartbroken that I couldn’t get to know you better. I’m sad that you won’t be able to see me graduate or get married. I wish I could have had the opportunity to share the beautiful power of music with you. But I know we will meet again in our next lives.

I hope you’re soul is set free and that you find Dada. I hope you continue to be strong and spread love. I hope that somehow you are watching over all of us and can see all of the amazing things your son, daughter in law, and grandchildren are doing.

I wish I had more to say about you and our lives together, but the truth is I didn’t know you very well. We weren’t able to spend that much time together because you lived in India and I lived in the US.

Though I didn’t know you well, I knew your son, my father. He is the best man I know. He is brave, strong, and supportive. He encourages my whole family to be the best that we can be. He believes in everyone. He is my rock and I imagine he got many of these qualities from you and Dada.

So thank you. Thank you for spreading love. Thank you for raising a wonderful son. Thank you for showing that having strength does not mean that you can’t break down. Thank you for showing me unconditional love even though we did not know each other well. Thank you for all the happiness you have brought to the world.

I wish we had more time to know each other better, but I’m glad you’re at peace. I hope your soul is flying freely and that we meet again one day. Happy early birthday, Dadi.