A Reflecting Arab Muslim Girl From Around the Corner

Sunday, April 15, 2012

his father is dying

If there has ever been a sweet old man, it would be his father. A very very kind soul, a man that everyone loved, and someone who didn't get into anyone's business. He loved his small business, and would spend his days working away, smiling at his customers and trying to communicate with them through the little English that he knows. He loved his grandchildren, especially one of them - a beautiful boy who has developmental challenges.

Today I got a message, from my cousin - the daughter of the man in my story, as well as another cousin, both telling me that his father is in hospital. The father has been sick for a while, but was admitted into hospital late last night for collapsing lungs. At this moment, his lungs are at 10% capacity and the family has asked that he not be put on a ventilator. They say that the hardest moments of a person's life are those last few moments where their soul is pulled away. I pray for an easy transition for this beautiful kindred spirit, and for strength to his entire family.

I was asked to call him - the one whose actions I write about in this blog. My heart eased its way into the bottom of my stomach and although I was hesitant, I knew I had to get in touch with the family somehow. I first called his wife - hoping that perhaps she would answer the phone so I may avoid speaking to him. She didn't answer. I proceeded to make a prayer, and called him. I asked God in my prayer to expand my chest and ease my actions, and to remove the knot in my tongue so that I may pass the message - this was the prayer of Prophet Moses.

When he answered, he said "assalamu alykum aiyni" - peace be with you my eyes. I told him I heard about his father, and he proceeded to tell me what happened. He thanked me for calling. He said he wanted to tell me something. Apparently yesterday the entire family was gathered in the old man's home, and due to the lack of oxygen he would sometimes get delusional and speak of things incoherently. Yesterday, this old man remembered my grandmother for some reason (she passed away last year). The old man then said..."and that girl, what's her name that girl?". The man said my name. His father replied "yes her, I really really like her".

He told me this happened last night and he just wanted to pass the message. I thanked him and he said he would inform everyone if anything happens. I prayed for the strength of the entire family, and told him "Allah Maauk", may God be with you.

Nothing puts the transitory nature of this life into perspective like the ending of another's life. As I dialled the number before I spoke to him, I knew what I was doing was an act that the Prophet Mohamed, peace be upon him, taught us to do. In sickness, we must act with goodness towards one another. God loves good.

Without faith, it is impossible to put aside anger, swallow one's 'pride' and brush away hatred under the rug.

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