Sunday, July 7, 2013
To grandparents and the endless memories.
Picture Credits: Waliya Najib, my sweet sister.
It was my grandparents wedding anniversary some days ago, and it reminded me of their beautiful love story that one day I will write about. But also that I have never talked about these two biggest inspirations of my and my family’s life. My nana jaan and my nani jaan1 have made us what we are today. Without them in our lives, and without the love that we have received from them every day of our lives, we would never have been the same people.
My earliest memories are of going to their house in Lahore2 and being so excited that we couldn't contain it. The love that we were showered with in that house can never we put into words. Even though we went there for a month or two in our summer vacations and then for a few days around the rest of the year, it was like their house was our second home. At their house there was a place for our own books and toys and they would take care of them with all their hearts, when we were away. They even let us choose the color of the tiles for our bathroom when it was being made. And outside their beautiful home, in their garden, they built a mini version of their house specially for us, complete with a fan and light inside. It was the most beautiful piece of our childhood where many afternoons and evenings were spent.
To this day, not a birthday has passed without a beautiful handwritten card from our loving nani and nana jaan, and in days before the easy phone calls, her letters that she always wrote on the same blue colored letter papers, arrived routinely. Their visits to our house were something we looked forward to for days. Every time they would come, their car would be just full to the brim. One little suitcase of theirs and bags full of stuff for us, from Eid3 clothes for all five of us (when they'd come for eid), to our favorite treats from Shehzan (our favorite bakery near their house in Lahore), to gifts, and chocolates and candies. And more than any of that, their hearts, that would be full of love for us, and that has not changed even one bit even today. Nani jaan stiched and knitted for us till her fingers did not have the strength to do it anymore.
They have had their share of hard times, on their own, and together too. and even at this age, they face many a challenges. But through it all, I have never seen them be unfair, cruel, bitter, resentful EVER. In fact, through the toughest of times, I have seen them finding humor in things and finding a reason to laugh. I've seen them giving more love than is even possible. Their faith is unending and their belief in Allah's ways is the biggest source of their strength.
And when Anya came to our lives, if it was possible, this love grew even more. Being the age that they are, it wasn't possible for them to go shopping, but Nani jaan managed to send some beautiful knitted items but kept mentioning how she wish her fingers had the strength so she could make them herself for her great grandchild. Nana jaan talks to me every few days and wants to know all the latest about Anya, everything she says, does, everything. And then smiles and laughs at her antics and keeps saying: this girl is just so brilliant.
They both are the biggest strength in our lives. Even when Papa was sick and in the hospital and we were running frantically from here and there, our hearts breaking in a million ways, Nana nani's home was our shelter, it was the place that still felt normal in all that craziness, the place that gave us hope through the hopelessness of what we were going through. Its not every day that you meet people like them.
Pictures from the good old days, credit to my parents. (Top)1985 in Lahore. (Middle)1987 in Murree. (Last) 1994 in Peshawer.
They're getting old now but their hearts are as young as they used to be, full of love and all things positive. Their relationship is exelplary and one we look up to and can learn so much from. It is an honor for us to be their grandchildren, to have spent a lifetime surrounded by their beautiful personalities to admire and to learn from. I pray everyday for their health and happiness. May Allah reward them immensely for all that they have done/do for us and those around them.
Nani jaan and Nana jaan, if you happen to read this, you have given us more than we can ever give back. Thank you so much for your love. Hugs.
Do you have any special memories of your grandparents?
Thanks for reading and for stopping by.
1Nani is for maternal grandmother and Nana for maternal grandfather. Jaan is a term of endearment that means Heart and is used for close relations.
2Lahore is the capital of the Punjab province in Pakistan and a city famous for its culture, history, food, art, entertainment and life.
3Eid is the Islamic equivalent to Christmas and the biggest celebration of the Islamic Lunar Calendar.