A San Antonio family has established a tradition that has survived death, and joins one generation to the next in incredible ways. This story has two primary players: Suhail Arastu and Sarrah Ghadiali.
Suhail is Sarrah’s San Antonio uncle, and Sarrah is Suhail’s Fort Lauderdale niece, his sister’s oldest child. But Suhail said there’s another person here who looms large.
“My family ended up in San Antonio because of my mother. She was a retired flight surgeon, lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force,” he said.
He also thinks his family background plays a role in this story, too.
“I’m Indian. I was raised in a Muslim family and we have 52 first cousins spread out on five continents,” Arastu said. “So we never really grew up going to family reunions, but we went to a lot of weddings and that comprised the majority of our travel growing up.”
So, family travel was primarily weddings and funerals rather than voyages of discovery. But Suhail’s mom wanted to break that mold, and Sarrah picks up the story.
“My grandparents started, in my seventh grade, eighth grade year, began to take me and my younger brother every summer to a foreign country,” she said.
It started out not too far: Canada. But then Suhail said they expanded.
“They’ve gone to Spain before and to Switzerland, and really having an opportunity and a bonding experience away from just family reunions and weddings, which we do a lot as Indians,” he said.
A great family tradition had begun, and Sarrah and her siblings quickly loved the trips. But then out of the blue, she said they suffered a huge blow.
“My grandmother unfortunately, passed away in December and it caught my entire family by surprise. It was completely unexpected,” she said.