CHAPTER 20 final

Posted: August 7, 2014 in Uncategorized
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transformation definition

Verily, with hardship there is relief” (Qur’an 94:6)

“Can I draw on your table tomorrow mummy?” Bilal asks me sleepily. He has been eyeing the easel Yusuf bought me since I assembled it. I smile at him. “Ok” I whisper. “If you are a good boy”. Satisfied with that deal, he closes his eyes and drifts off to sleep.

Jameela is already fast asleep in her bed, and I tuck her in before going downstairs.
“Tea?” I ask Yusuf. He is reading the paper on the dining room table.
He nods, “Come and look at this first, Hasi”. I walk towards him.
“The article says that there is a new swimming pool policy. People who want to put pools on their property will have to apply for a permit and then a government official will have to inspect fences and filtration”, he lifts the paper to show me the article.

“That is a good policy” I say thinking that too many people put in pools and do not even fence it off. I make a mental note to call Bilals swimming teacher and rebook for this season.

I bring Yusuf’s tea into the dining room together with my coffee and start to page through the part of the paper he is done with.
“Farnaz called today” he says, not taking his eyes off the paper.
I look at him. “She said the title deeds will be ready this week”
Looking up at me he says, “she will drop it off”. I nodded and smiled, I am looking forward to seeing her. I want to tell her about the art classes. My mind drifts about how I will be able to sneak the topic in to our conversation. I really hope that she calls before she comes, I would hate to miss her.

“How is Suhail?” Yusuf asks. “I think he is ok” I say hoping that is true.
I take a moment and say, “the day we went to for family couseling…” my voice is shaky and he looks up at me and nods.
“I was so surprised by what Suhail said” I began. The look on his face told me that he knew exactly what I was talking about. He closed the paper and listened.
“I mean” I try to gather my thoughts, “I had no idea he felt that way after our father passed away”. I say it out loud and I realize that I do not call our father – “Daddy”- like Suhail did.
“How could you have known, Hasina, you were so young”.
“I remember some things”, I say my guilt raising. Yusuf listens.
“I remember him getting at fights at school, and shouting at me when I wanted to go with him everywhere”, this makes me laugh. I think I was the annoying little sister. Yusuf laughs too.

“…then I began to sketch”, suddenly a light bulb went on in my head. Was that the way I coped? Was that how I dealt with the loss of my father? I think he knew this. He smiles at my realization and starts to drink his tea and I am lost in thought.

I think about family therapy.

Initially Suhail seemed calm and quiet. I think we were all a little unsure of what was meant to happen.

When I met Moulana Desai I was pleasantly surprised. From what Yusuf had told me , I was expecting an old man in a Kurta and long greying beard to his chest and a large tummy. Instead he was maybe in his late thirties with a neat trimmed sunnah beard and he wore track pants and a T shirt!!!

He greeted Yusuf warmly and it was clear there was some history between them. He greeted Waseem with both hands and made salaam to Shaheeda and me verbally. Looking over at Shaheeda, I could see she was actually more surprised than I was. Moulana Desai obviously realized this and spoke to us directly, “Usually I am in Islamic dress, but today I’m playing football with the boys”, he chuckled.This seemed to break the ice. He explained the purpose of the session and answered our questions, and introduced the counselor.

Half way through the session, Suhail had taken over.
I was so proud of my brother , the way he took responsibility for his actions. He asked us all for maaf (forgiveness) and said that he was ready to turn his life around. He told us that his sessions made him realize the reasons he was feeling so empty, and this is where I saw Suhail as the boy I never knew.

He spoke his mind as though he was reading a prepared speech. It seemed there were things he needed to say, and perhaps things we needed to hear.

Suhail began, “When Daddy passed away, I don’t think I really understood. I mean – I knew what death was, but I thought that was only on TV. When he went to work that last day, i remember fussing about my breakfast.” He paused. “Daddy told me that Allah has given me food and he can take it away if I don’t appreciate it. I remember that like it was yesterday.” He looked down at his hands. “It was only after the mayyet that I remembered what he said to me” he swallowed hard, clearly emotional about what he was saying, “I thought that Allah had taken him away because I didn’t appreciate him” he said with a weak voice. .. Then he smiled, “I was just a lightie”, he said laughing. Waseem laughed along. I smiled in encouragement. I looked at my brother, this grown man, was clearly still affected by this experience as a child. I couldn’t believe it . I was too young to remember this but he clearly seems to remember it well.

“I remember trying hard to be good”, he continued, “that didn’t work – he never came back – obviously” – he said rationalizing. “I made all these deals with Allah”, he said now laughing, “I will eat all my breakfast and do all my homework. But when things didn’t change I got angry. Angry at myself, and angry at everyone”.

He took a deep breath. The counselor indicated that he is not finished. We waited. Suhail seemed to be gearing himself up for what came next.

“I made her life so hard for her” he began, his entire body looking remorseful. “She would wait up for me when I would be out with friends” he said trying to get the words out. “Keep my food ready and warm it up when I came”. He smiled now.
Then suddenly as if something inside him gave in, he began to sob. My heart jumped into my throat at the sight of him in pain. I was about to get up and go to him when he began to speak again. “Those last few days she was bugging me – about getting married – and we had a big fight” the words were struggling to come out now in between sobs. He looked up. He caught my eye and stared into it, then shifted to Waseem’s and did the same. Slowly the tears pooled in his eyes. “I was so angry with her for poking in my life, I didn’t speak to her that whole week.” the tears were falling fast down his cheeks now. “That morning she made me breakfast and I wanted to tell her that I was sorry” his voice broke away. Shaheeda wiped her tears and handed me a tissue. I didn’t realize I was crying too. I looked at Waseem. His face was wet with grief. Suhail continued, “I thought it was not the right time, or that there will be another opportunity. But now I realize that anytime is the right time and you should do what is in your heart, because Allah has put there for you as a sign. I never got to say sorry, Hasina “ he cried, now talking directly to me. “I didn’t appreciate her and Allah took her away”. He finally broke down completely and dropped his head in his hands.

I hadn’t realized my brothers’ pain until that moment. We all had grieved on our own. We lost our mother, but through Suhails struggle, that day, it seems  – we found each other.

hardship ease

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Comments
  1. Oh, so touching… ;(
    Do you know what got me attached?? Jameelah
    you have no clue how much i love to see my name mentioned or read it somehwhere… 🙂

    I didnt started with you, but i think i have an idea what this story’s about.
    Your words are really beautiful and kindda strong, i must commend you for that!

    But sweetheart, will you make your theme mobile friendly? It kindda took some time before loading, and maybe activate the ”follow via email” widget, i’d like to keep up with your posts but going to the reader, i’m such a lazy blogger… Lol.

    Jameelah

    • shabeeha says:

      Thank you for your beautiful comments. There are many other chapters that talk of hasinas daughter Jameela and if you have the time you can read the beginning. It is alot. Lol. I access the blog from my mobile and don’t usually have a problem but I will see what I can do.

      Thanks for reading. Please visit again.s.

  2. Sorry, i just saw it #Follow

    You know If i had scrolled down just a little bit, i’d probably’ve seen the ”follow” botton.
    Call me ”Lazy” as many times as you can, i dont mind.. 😎

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