Hello Grief… Again..

This post was the hardest to write, not because it is about someone who is no longer with us, nor is it because this person is my father whom a simple post like this one will never be enough to explain what a wonderful father he was. It took me days to be able to sit and think, mainly because I didn’t want to. It hurts way too much to think of the father he was to me and my siblings. Writing about his death forces me to deal with his death, which I still don’t know how to face. It has been over a month since my world had peacefully crumbled, and I have been putting off grieving since then. I always talked, praised and wished for change to hit my door, little did I know, some changes are so devastating that they leave you profoundly paralyzed.

I had never planned to live far away from my family and miss them terribly. I had never planned to shrink my time spent with my family to a couple of months each year. I had never planned to get news of who gets engaged, sick, or even who dies through the phone. I never had the intention to call home somewhere other than the one home where I was born, raised and brought up. Now looking back at those bright and joyful days, I had never planned for anything. Not that I lacked ambition or that I was too wise to worry about the future, far from that, it just seemed that life had it all figured out for me. At each and every intersection, life had already a road mapped out for me, without even giving me time to think of potential options, and I liked it this way. I was ready to take things the way they presented themselves. I never complained, even now I never do.

I also never planned to get a message from my mother at 11am telling me that my dearest father had passed away so unexpectedly, and without any warnings. Yet I did, few weeks ago, and suddenly I was faced with my worst nightmare, one that had kept me awake at night, many nights. One that I spent a lot of time analyzing, and somehow preparing myself for, knowing that at some point in life, the nightmare will turn into reality. Even though death was always present in the tinniest corner of my brain, way behind, in a very small corner that I rarely checked, but I still thought of it, how I would react to it, what will life be like after it, and whether or not I will get on time to say goodbye to the one leaving this life so peacefully, leaving behind a heartbroken family and loved ones. Yet still when that message appeared on my phone, I froze. 2018 was supposed to be a good year!! How can this happen!!

How can one deal with this pain in the chest, (an actual physical pain, and not just emotional) each night, when it is all quiet, and there is just you and your broken heart to deal with this stabbing pain, that makes you weep like a baby, and stops you from breathing? How could you ignore the guilt that comes with each morning, when you open your eyes, and know damn too well that you have a day to live, while your dearest father doesn’t? How do you adjust to saying “May he rest in peace” every time you talk/think about him?

Until now, every time life had showed me its ugly face, I had accepted the challenge happily, however this time the emptiness inside of me mixed with that terrible pain in my chest, and the profound guilt of being alive while he isn’t, those ugly feelings make me go on an autopilot mode…. living like a shadow. My knees are week, my breath is short, and I am like a walking zombie trying to get as busy as I can so that another day can pass. This is how I am doing it: One day at a time. It is hard to imagine any future without the kindest heart who had always wrapped us all, with a soft blanket of warm love and devotion!

I can’t even think of writing something about what a great father mine was, or how lucky I was to have him by my side as a kid, or as a full-grown woman, simply because it hurts to remember those days right now, and to remember that I no longer have him to create more of these blessed and blissful memories. So for now I will wipe my tears, get back to my busyness, and to pretending that nothing had happened, that my father is still alive, and just a phone call away because so far that is the only thing that makes this pain go away…… until it hits me all over again!


Strawberry Milkshakes!!

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Every time I think of my childhood, the first thing that comes to my mind is: strawberry milkshakes! Not any strawberry milkshakes though, only those made by my dad! Every morning, he would wake up a little earlier than I did, goes to the kitchen, gets those strawberries out and gets down to business. Few minutes later I would come down to find a strawberry milkshake (sometimes, I would find two glasses and that day without a doubt would be the happiest). I would also find one of our famous Moroccan snacks at the time “Merendina” (only my Moroccan readers will know what I am talking about). I would enjoy every bite of the fantastic meal made by my dad and head to school. To me, then, there was nothing special about my breakfasts; it was just a regular, typical breakfast that anyone could have. Except, not everyone did have that kind of breakfasts.  Only I did. Thanks to my dad. Years later, and after becoming a parent myself, I now know that there was nothing regular nor typical about my morning meals! That was my dad’s way of saying: “I Love You”. As it was when he walked with me every night to go to my evening classes. And when he would go out every Saturday and comes back with a bag full of candies that I would be waiting impatiently for. And when he made coffee for me and my friends while we were studying for our exams. And  now when he gets us presents every time we would visit home. His way was in the doing of things. His way was the reason every time I think of my childhood I smile!

Being a parent after being parented for so long, is a funny thing! You only know your parent’s way of parenting, of how to do things (or not) and here you are trying to do the same things that once seemed so wrong to you and used to drive you crazy!! Isn’t that funny!

When I think of these things, my only wish is that one day Adam will have the same thought I now have, I wish he would look back at his childhood and smile, and even feel nostalgic about it. I wish he would think of me the same way I think of my dad and the little things he used to do and still does for me. I wish he would remember how every morning I would sing the “Good Morning” song for him. How I kiss his little toes and call his feet “feetsees”. How we would kiss “Teddy” the bear and say “Good Morning” to him. How we would cuddle and read our books every morning. How we would sit and enjoy our breakfast together. How I would give him a bath, read for him and hug him so tight before I would tuck him in bed. I wish he would remember how much I love him! I look forward to more actions of love, more memories that will make my son feel HAPPINESS when he thinks of his childhood, just like I do when I think of mine.

What is your vivid memory of childhood? What do you want your child to remember from your “NOW”? and what do you do to make your kids childhood memorable? Please share ….