Thursday, May 1, 2008

At this point, we are planning to leave for India around the middle of July. Gopal has given his resignation/retirement notice, my first social-security benefit payment will arrive at the end of May, and we have applied for PIO (Person of Indian Origin) status. If nothing is complicated, we should receive our PIO cards by the end of May. The change in departure was due to Gopal’s decision to stay at his job as Fiscal Manager until the end of their fiscal year, June 30th. Although not firm, it looks as though we will stay at Adhyatma Sadhna Kendra in Delhi for a month or two upon our arrival. Sadhna Kendra is a Jain Ashram Gopal managed before he came to the U.S. It is my understanding that the ashram now functions in collaboration with a large teaching hospital in Delhi, focusing on cardiac, diabetic and asthma issues and rehabilitation. For me , it will be good to have a friendly place to live, where meals are served, meditation and yoga available, as well as healing workshops. I believe it will be affordable. And I think it may be nice for Gopal to revisit friends. Do you have any idea how hot and wet it is in July there?!
My son, Mike, has now been dead for 1.3 years. Much easier now. We still haven’t figured out what to do with his ashes or how to memorialize him here.
My daughter, Suzie, and her husband, Ramon, are in the process of buying their first house in Oakland and are expecting to move in June. This morning, I met them at the new house for an inspection. I am now babysitting Dexter, who is just 2 years old, while Suzie works 3 days a week. I rode herd on him for a while during the inspection, then took him home for the rest of the day. He was tender-spirited all day, but we had a nice day.
Taking care of Dexter is very wonderful. It makes me so happy and also reminds me of my age. I don’t feel it when I’m with him, but I am more tired generally and am participating less in my peer activities. I am really glad they found a house now so I can help Dexter transition to the new house before I leave.
I’m reading “Culture Shock! India” for the second time (just got the 2006 edition). My mindset at this point is not being excited about this huge move. I am very aware of how hard it will be for quite a while as we adjust. Gopal is feeling the same way. I really hope it works well for us eventually.
I’m just recovering from a respiratory flu that got tangled up in my usually pretty dormant asthma and am realizing that I am on too many prescription drugs with too many toxic side effects. I am looking forward to the possibility of transitioning from Western medicine to ayerveda as much as possible. Not knowing where we’ll settle is a complication. Maybe Sadhna Kendra will be a first step.

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