Updated: Sep 11
I think its day 37 of the national lockdown today. Approximately day 50 of our household's lockdown. It's also day 8 of Ramadan.
Time is a fascinating concept. The lockdown days have dragged on, and at times have felt like garbled eternities with countless, seemingly pointless lists of things we cannot do.
And yet, the days of Ramadan are flying by, each day filled with exhortations of what we could do in our own special, private way, to draw ourselves closer to our Creator, our fellow man, and to the essence of our true selves.
An aspect of time framed by constraints and prohibition is feeling long and odious. And tedious. Within that very same time, there is also a time framed by love, by devotion, and by the pursuit of a higher, more connected, inspired self. Inside of the long odious time, there is this time that feels as though its rushing past and I want to desperately slow it down.
How very fascinating! How mind-bendy!
Its been more than a week since I published my last Covid Chronicle. I've written 3, but they're unpublished; each a rambling record of my day's thoughts and activities. A bore to be honest. In it, there are threads of gratitude that hold merit in sharing. For the rest, I don't know so much. I'll let Ghaalieb arbitrate the fate of those Chronicles.
But not today. Today, his heart is broken. Today, my sole objective is to hold a space for him to descend from his dapper, stoic self, to the self that really just wants to sit with his mother in his arms with her head resting on his chest, and then later, inevitably with his head on her lap, for a quick stopover in a dreamless oblivion.
Today he wants to spray her face and her hands with thousands of kisses. Those beautiful hands that laboured with devotion to her children
Today, Ghaalieb just wants to spoil his mommy with little treats that make her squeal with pleasure and with delight; not merely because they are her favourites, but essentially because they are symbolic of the love and the veneration he holds for his first, favourite woman in the whole wide world.
Today, my husband's heart is broken. He had planned to surprise his mom for her 80th birthday. He planned to surprise her and to lift her from the floor in the biggest hug he could impose on her delicate frame. He planned to show his children how to honour and to prioritize the love of a mother. He planned to share a feast with his mother and her offspring. 5 children, a son-in-law, 2 daughters-in-law, 7 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren. In his heart, he planned a day of reverence. A day to mark the milestone 80th birthday of an extraordinary woman, who struggled and toiled to raise her children and who ensured that they wanted for nothing, least of all her love and adoration.
Her life, in a word, was tough. Despite the harsh, bleak realities and brutalities she endured, she mothered fiercely and indulged each of her children according to their unique preferences and personalities.
And so Ghaalieb planned. But God planned otherwise. We're all sad, we're definitely disappointed. And Ghaalieb's heart is sore. But we accept what is. He accepts what is. And we will join in on the celebrations in whatever ways we can.
And we will make space for the sadness and the disappointment. We will let it flow and work through the plains of our hearts and minds.
We'll make space for the hope's and the prayers that we will be gifted the opportunity to embrace our respective parents, and the relatives we hold dear to our hearts.
We are so grateful for technology and what it makes possible and we will put it to use and simulate the real thing as best as we can. We will bake a cake and we will blow candles in unison with festivities 3 provinces away.
Today is the first of 2 very significant days that we will not spend with our parents. Processing it is painful. But we are grateful that we are gifted parents, siblings, and cousins and uncles and aunts who we love, and cherish and adore so much that it makes this excruciating pain possible in the first place. As I write this, I feel deeply grateful and the sincerest of love for this pain and this soreness. Is this bizarre?
What of it? It feels so preciously, poignantly right.
Happy birthday Mama. Mabruk on achieving this fine milestone. We ask for your ease and for your comfort. We ask for countless more opportunities to sit at mealtimes with you passing around your delicious dishes, talking away randomly and humorously. We ask that you are here to offer your sobering example as we weather the teenage years with our own children. We ask for your prayers for ease in our lives and in our hearts and minds, for we know that your prayers are higher than our prayers
Though we sit 1400+ kilometers away from you, know that tonight, our love and our hearts will be with you at the boeka and the supper table ❤ Distance and a pandemic will be powerless to keep us far away.