The open road for travelers’ souls/they once were lost but now they’re…found, please God

Leaving Berkeley at noon yesterday, I couldn’t help but smile at the blinding, brilliant red-orange trees I passed on my way to the freeway. Contrary to popular opinion, California does indeed have fall colors. The world was glowing gorgeously, and I thought about how blessed I was, to have spent the entire day before in San Francisco with beautiful friends, both old and new, and to have spent yesterday morning in Berkeley with the lovely L lady (a.k.a. Lamushay) and my favorite (only) sister, eating gelato and crowing over Arnold’s reforms having been terminated. [Yes, California is enjoying the puns.]

It all added up to a bunch of na lara gham sort of moments…except life is never that simple, and all happiness of the past few days has been enjoyed guiltily while the Bay Area community searches and prays for the return of a missing doctor who lives in San Jose and practices pediatrics in East Oakland.

This is a devastating time for her family and all those who know her. Her younger daughter is a very close friend of my sister’s, and my sister and I had attended her older daughter’s wedding just a few short months ago. When we left their home that evening, the girls were laughing and bhangra’ing it up with friends and family in the living room while their mother flew around the house high on the stress of planning and their father calmly washed dishes in the kitchen, smiling all the while. It is so unbelievably ironic to me that the photos my sister and I took at that happy occasion are now being used by Bay Area news stations and for news articles and missing-person flyers. I would not wish this sadness and uncertainty on anyone; I wish it even less on this beautiful family that deserves nothing but good.

If you live in the Bay Area or are affiliated with any Bay Area organizations and listserves, please email me for ways in which you can help.

Most importantly, please, please keep the family in your prayers. And if you don’t believe in prayer, then send good vibes, warm fuzzy feelings, good karma – whatever works – to ensure her safe and sound return to her family.

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