I’m trying to write and I can’t. Possibly because I’m trying too hard to pin to paper, what for me, are moments that I can imagine crystallising over time into gems. Memory Gems that I will draw from a dusty mind and mull over in wonderment when time has passed me by and all I’m left with is waiting for it to return to carry me away to the next leg of our soul’s journey.
In the years that have passed, in spite of the pain that bearing these five gifts brought me, there have been so many beautiful moments, not all of which I am able to even remember. But I can feel them. Those shiny times. And they warm me even now. Somehow, though, this Ramadhaan, the me that I am now, feels best placed to truly appreciate their magnitude.
Seeing my men and boy lined up in my bedroom while they perform Fajr Salaah in Jama’ah, four backs facing me, straight and tall, my littlest somewhere among them, not so little at 9 anymore. Listening to my Isma’eel lead the salaah in his melodic voice and asking Allah to help him return to Hifdhul Quraan. My eldest, a grown man, taller than his father now, when it sometimes feels like it was just yesterday that he crawled, then toddled. And then ran. All red cheeked and golden haired. Looking at these three growing men and knowing that they have each taken from their father and me, and hoping that each of them be better than either of us ever were. A better version of both of us.
Sharing tales of the challenges of Indian womanhood with my two girls while the men are away for Taraweeh, They're both just about women now too. Smiling as I listen to them sing while they set the table for suhoor. Maseeha, wonderfully off-key and Zainab, like a songbird.
Sitting around the suhoor table and taking in their banter even at 5 am. The teasing, laughter and even occasional angry outburst.
I am hopeful that my husband and I are giving them what money will never buy. A trove of memories that they will never feel the need to recover from. A sure knowledge that each of them, they belong. That each of them is special and wonderful and I am blessed beyond measure to have been given the chance to facilitate their journey into adulthood.
It seems impossible that a year ago my home was a place of sadness. Of sorrow and worry for my mother, fresh out of hospital, a suppurating wound cleaving her abdomen in half and me feeling woefully unequal to the task of restoring her broken body to her faded mind. Yet here I am now, smiling. Able to give thanks for what really is a wonderful life. Because mostly, it’s happy. And even when it isn’t, I cope.
It isn’t perfect, mind you. But I’ve learnt, in time, that perfection isn’t requisite for happiness. Because Happiness is a choice. And only a grateful heart is capable of making that choice. May we all be blessed with grateful hearts. And happy hearths.
Ramadhaan Kareem to my Muslim readers. Remember me in your duas, as you are in mine.