Saturday, July 27, 2013

Ramadan Action: Reconcile

Asalamu Alaykom,

My mother told me tonight that one of her dearest friends has passed away.  From Allah we come and to Allah we return.  They had both been single mothers in the 70s and both had joined seminary to become ministers in the church.  There weren't too many others in their shoes at the time and they bonded.  Our families spent a lot of time together.  

Eventually, they fell out of their friendship.  They bickered.  They quarreled.  They disagreed.  However you want to put it, they hadn't talked in years.  When my mother was cleaning out a junk drawer she found an old card from this friend.  She remembered the love.  When my mother went to look for her old friend, she found out that this lady had passed away in the spring.  Time had passed and time waits for no man...nor any woman.

They never reconciled.  There is a sadness in my mother tonight which cannot be fixed on this earth.  Think who you cannot bear to lose without telling them you love them.  Tell them now without needing a response back.

I remember when I faced the death of a friend.  The Spring of 2000 was truly a turning point in my life.  I knew Robin more through the 'net and phone calls than from meeting in person.  We maybe only met a handful of times.  When she died, I went to her home because her husband said she had left something for me.

There was the couch were she had stayed convalescing from cancer treatment.  There was the TV.  All around the room were books and books about the TV show we both loved.  I was going to get her treasure trove of videos, fan magazines, books and clippings.  Her husband...her a big moving carton and helped me pile it in.  He didn't want it.  None of what she had spent decades of her life procuring was staying in her home.

During the time I was going through her collection, I saw her preteen son in the kitchen by the stove.  I stopped what I was doing and went to see if I could help him.  He didn't know how to cook that frozen pizza in his hands.  I helped him in this cheerful, kind way because I would want someone to do that for my son.  I had a young son at the time. I had a little daughter.

I lugged that box home and went through each piece.  It took me months of my life to catalog it all.  I got an actual high from seeing all those TV stars I loved.

Then, something snapped in me.  I thought of myself dying at 42 with a big box of stuff that my husband wouldn't want and a son who didn't have a mother.  I thought of how I wasn't who I wanted to be.  I needed to reconcile the gap between who I currently was with who I wanted to be.

In many ways, that moment started the last stretch of my race to Islam.  I needed to LIVE.  I needed to be ALIVE and vibrant.  I didn't want to spend years of my life watching somebody else's fictional life on TV.  I wanted to be real and really be ME.

I stopped watching so much TV.  I started taking walks around the lake.  I signed up for an East Indian dance class.  I started renting Bollywood videos because I felt the joy of life when I watched them. I  learned how to cook Indian food.  I made new friends.  It was a series of steps towards me being where I am today.  Alhumdulillah.

This Ramadan night, I'm grieving that my mom lost a friend and that the world lost a lovely little lady who traveled the world teaching and ministering to those in need.  I'm thinking how her life went by very quickly and how all lives actually do go by like dust in the wind.

Dust in the Wind 
sung by Kansas

I close my eyes
Only for a moment and the moment's gone
All my dreams
Pass before my eyes with curiosity

Dust in the wind
All they are is dust in the wind

Same old song
Just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do
Crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see

Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind

Now don't hang on
Nothin' lasts forever but the earth and sky
It slips away
And all your money won't another minute buy

Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind
(All we are is dust in the wind)

Dust in the wind
(Everything is dust in the wind)
Everything is dust in the wind

(In the wind)

It's a good time to reconcile ourselves to the fact that this may be our last Ramadan.

Have you been making this month work for you?  If you are feeling a disconnect, then remedy it now.

Have you filled the others around you with knowledge, joy and goodness?  Think of how the ones you love would remember you if you weren't here next year.

I hope that your energy is going towards the moments which enliven you and bring you closer to who you are as a Servant of Allah.


Marie Harmony said...

Beautiful reminder Yosra. We don't know when we will leave but to live fully is a duty and we should start right now.
When I come to a disagreement with a dear friend or a family member, I always try to take time, reflect and then I realized it's not worth the pain. we could talk over what separates us and reconcile. Because tomorrow it might be too late.

Hope you and Mister Boo are well. Much love and peace.

rahmat naureen rahman said...

Thanks for the reminder. May Allah bless you and your loved ones. :)