It was time. The time I knew would come sooner than later; it was time to say goodbye. I sat next to my grandfather, my cousins, my aunts and uncles in a moment of silence, taking in and remembering all the things we did during the past month. My dad breaks the silence as he gets up. It's time, I tell myself and get up to give my final greetings to my elders. When I get to my grandfather, he takes my greeting and gives me a hug. I feel the warmth as he holds me for the last time until who knows when. In 2018 my family traveled back to India to go see my family. During our stay we went to different places to meet family on both my mother's and dad’s side, but we also went to go see my aunt’s family as well. Before leaving my aunt, her dad, who I refer to as one of my grandfathers, gave me a calendar. It wasn’t like a normal calendar that contains 12 months. Instead, it only had one month and for each day of the month there were quotes that repeated. Before saying goodbye he also told me to read the quotes every day, especially on my birthday. After coming back, I didn’t think much of the gift. Soon I realized it was an expectation as every time we talked on the phone, he would always ask about my birthday quote. My birthday quote: “Merging one's happiness into that of others is called LOVE.”This quote talks about the human emotion of love that can not only be present between two people but families too. As I think about this quote the memories of when I used to live in India come rushing and the idea of how my family has always stuck together no matter what.
– Rashika Maheshwari