Monday, June 12, 2017

Day 16 Ramadan 2017

Ramadan Kareem,

The man in the superhero costume is Mohamed Ramadan.  He started out as an everyman in movies, then went to being a thug, and now it seems he's evolving into a role model.

This is one of the most successful commercials this Ramadan.  It is uplifting, with major celebrities even while bringing home the importance of helping those less fortunate.  My namesake, Yousra, is blowing bubbles at 2:30.  

We are now heading towards the end of Ramadan.  Sure, it's half a month left to go, but it's the last half, not the first half.  I feel it.  I feel weaker.  I feel more and more like I don't care about the stupid things of life.  That's good.



Yogurt smoothies with pineapple and coconut drink powder blended with ice win the morning again.  It's my favorite start at this point.  El-Kid ate his one slice of goulash from last night.  My hub, who AGAIN didn't sleep (grrrrr), bought tumaya/falafel fried chickpea patties to have with tomato and cucumber in sandwiches.



After praying, I was the one that stayed awake.  I wanted to check my email and there was one from my dad's lady friend.  They've been together since before I moved to Florida, so that's over eight years.  She remembered me even if my dad didn't.  He has Alzheimer's and that continues to be a hurt that I can't let get to me.

She wrote that he wanted to tell me that he was pretending on was on the island where he grew up as a boy.  She didn't understand that comment and included ??? after it.  I understood.  He can't really remember where I am and he knows he can't remember, so all he can do is pretend.  He can hold onto me in a safe place he knows in his memory; a place that will never go away because it's so deeply ingrained.

It took me a while to get over that.  I had wanted to call him, but couldn't.  It's very emotional to call him.  I spent time on the reply instead.  I sent him a photo of the three of us and I know he won't know who we are.  I'm 49 now, and he won't see the little girl I used to be.

I looked for something to send him and decided on a porcupine gif.  He has forgotten me, but not our pet porcupines he raised from little orphaned babies.

I went to sleep for an hour...and five extra minutes of snooze.


On the bus and on the way to school.  Thankfully, it's not as hot this week.  Alhumdulillah.

At school, I'm saying goodbyes and making plans for an exit.  That's also a teary deal.  I'm not crying at work, but I'm feeling a lot.  I am a very sensitive person and what's going on is touching me deeply as co-workers share kindness that I guess was always there, but I never knew.

I received this Quran today from a woman I appreciate very much for being a HUGE support to me over the years.

She said that she saw this colorful Quran and thought of me.  It is kind of a mix of the religious and the fun.  I won't be able to read it most likely, but it is very kind of her.  The letter she included was really meaningful.  

Not every moment with this co-worker has been easy and pleasant.  There was one time that I really wanted to avoid her for life.  I didn't.  I approached her again when I realized what her underlying concerns were and somehow we started fresh again.  I'm glad we did.  Everyone deserves a fresh start.

What if I hadn't accepted her goodness?  What if I had only deemed her as bad?  I would have missed out on years of her help.  I would have missed out on that listening ear and that knowing smile.  I would have been the loser, not her.  Alhumdulillah, I didn't let a bad moment become a bad relationship.  



At 12:30, we could leave, so I called El Kid.  His phone was off.  Not a lot of good to have a phone that's off!  I started to look for him.  I asked everyone I knew who knows him.  I went where they thought he was, but he wasn't there.  Someone said he might be back at the reception.  In the heat of the day, I went back and forth four times across the campus.  

The woman in charge of the buses crossed paths with me as she was warning the kids that the early buses were leaving soon.  I had to hurry.  I was fasting and I was not thinking as well as I could have.  My boy, also fasting, was not thinking as well as he could have.  Even though I had asked kids if anyone was on the second floor of the Sports Hall, and they had said "no" it had only been to protect the kids hiding up there.  Sure enough, when I went up the stairs, there he was.

He and I went quickly to the bus and sat down.  I was exhausted.  He was unapologetic.  El Kid had taken his SIM card out while trying to fix something on his phone.  He hadn't paid attention to the time.  He didn't feel like he'd done anything wrong.  

Honestly?  I felt really low.  I was low energy and low on patience.  I shut down and listened to music that put me to sleep.  I needed to sleep.

Once we got home, I said that I needed to sleep more.  Alhumdulillah, my husband was going to cook dinner.  El Kid asked for the USB modem so he could get more internet connection.  I really couldn't believe it.

This is the same boy who took it without asking the day before.  He took it and then I realized that he downloaded almost half a gigabyte.  In talking to him today, I found out that it was on a gaming site.  I consider what he did stealing.  He did not.  He was defiant and blaming me for not providing internet access of his own, thus forcing him to take without permission.

I had to take out my USB and stash it in my room because I couldn't trust my own son not to take from me.  That's some real sadness.  I slept feeling like I was tired all the way to my soul.  



When I woke, I tried to finish the recipe section of my blog post from yesterday.  I went to save it and it all erased in a POOF of internet magic.  I was sooooooooooo disappointed.  About 20 minutes of my life I'll never get back again.  I didn't cry, but once again, I felt that sadness was building up in me.  

Right before Magrib, I told El Kid that my mother-in-law is looking so weak.  She is.  She is fasting and it changes her to such a degree that I worry for her.  In addition, she has an infected tooth that will be seen the day after tomorrow.  When I had greeted her this morning, I was shocked by her appearance.  

I started explaining to El Kid how this little old lady had been the feisty matriarch seven...almost eight years ago.  When I brought up marriage to her son, and she heard about it, she ordered me from the house.  Her daughters had to hold her back or I'm pretty sure she would have struck me.  I missed that powerhouse.  Time had beaten her down in a way I never could.  Time will beat us all down into submission.  I started to cry.

It had been a long day of feeling and it came out. 



After this super-fast prayer, we ate while watching Ramez.  It's become a routine and it's become comfortable.  I was so tired after eating.  I washed up and then lay down on the couch.  I fell asleep AGAIN.  



I woke up with the azan.  My husband was leaving for taraweah.  I didn't have any clean up to do because he'd done it all.  Mashahallah.  He understood my limitations and respected them.

After he left, I fixed some cereal and fruit for El Kid and I as a kind of desert.  We talked.  I was hurt by what has gone on today.  Carelessness, blaming, stealing, breaking trust are rotten any time of the year, but worse during Ramadan.  I cried again.  I can't have him continue to not care.  

Whatever it was that I said or did, something touched him and he felt remorseful.  Alhumdulillah.  I love him more than anyone in the world and I need for him to understand and respect who I am for him.  I am his champion, his advocate, his guide, his protector, his confidante, his touchstone, his teacher, and his guardian.  I am his mother.

It has hurt today to be his mother.  The Quran warns us that our children and our wealth are a test.  What will we do with them?  I think that today I felt how I need to reclaim my space and my limits as his mother.  I didn't feel good, but it felt necessary.

Can tomorrow be easier?  Inshahallah.

I'll leave you with a melancholy commercial for Dr. Magdi Yaqoub's heart hospitals for children.  My husband saw this knighted Egyptian in the Aswan airport a few years ago and shook his hand (not too roughly I hope).  I saw him too, but I didn't know who he was at the time.  God bless him.

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