Lost child

My Papa went to heaven a week ago today. Before anyone chooses to question whether I truly believe that, the answer is yes! I am and always will be a daddy’s girl. My fondest memories are walking across parking lots holding his hand at the ages of 5 or 6 or long talks about life for hours on the phone at age 25 or 26.

My father had a series of illness and disease in his life but the latest being cancer. He lived about exactly one year past his diagnosis of stage 4. But I’m not here to talk about that. I would much rather run off a list of things I have to reconsider in my life now that he is gone. I accept his death and I accept the grief that is to come with it. What I am having trouble coming to terms with are the simple things.

I often told myself that when I brought my first house it had to have private parking or an immense amount of parking on the block. I knew how protective my father was of his car and if he couldn’t see if from the door or top floor window he may not have come visit me often. Now, he’s gone and I have no idea what I’ll look for in a house.

I used to fantasize about having children and smiling at the fact that he would of course, as the head of our family recite the ATHAN in the ears of my children after birth. Now, I can hardly picture myself having children.

Some of the simple things I think about now that he’s gone become even more far fetched. I hated the strong aroma of the massive amount of Muslim oils that he would splash across his beard, face, and neck. Now, I want to visit my mother’s house and take them all with me. I want to smell him each day I wake and sleep.

I know that all of these things are a part of my grieving process but I find them somewhat humorous. Not realizing at the time when these thoughts were created just how crazy I was and am about him. I think about the accomplishments that I will have and the ones that I won’t. And my brain becomes tangled and puzzled. I have grown accustomed to having two people celebrate for me or two people tell me that a better try is yet to come. Those two people being my mother and father. Now, I question whether or not I will truly learn to celebrate without him.

I had a dream about him last night. I knew that it was him even though his figure was dark and shadowy. He was there and it was clear to me. 

At this point I am a wandering child looking for my father’s image in every waking moment, every phrase, every tv show and all things in my daily life. I do miss my Papa dearly. But, I am proud of the man he was. I am proud of the person he helped me become.
To Papa Haqq himself: I know you see me. I know you will read this. You were always the first to read my post and tell me how good my writing is. People are surprised at how quickly I went back to work. Or how much I’m not crying. That’s because I’m too busy smiling at the great memories you’ve given me. I love you. 

In honor of National Best Friend Day

Caution: unless you have a really good reason, don’t miss acknowledging the day I was born!   
Anyone who knows me and knows me well knows that I’m big on birthdays. And not for the fact of receiving gifts or getting drunk, or partying. But mostly because it acknowledges the day that someone you care about was brought into the world. Now, some of my favorite gifts received include t-shirts, underwear, socks, and my personal favorite, cards (The simple things). As a writer I know the struggle of finding the perfect words. So to me the effort of finding a card to essentially say how you feel about someone is a precious gift. It’s thoughtful and fun to do.

Now that my nerdy interest in birthdays has been revealed, let me follow that up by saying if someone misses my birthday, we are no longer friends. Now let’s be clear on what I mean by that. I’ll take one missed bday (rarely). I’ll even take a late “happy birthday” text. What I will not tolerate under any circumstances is someone who claims to be a good friend of mine but does not acknowledge my birthday. I find it extremely ass backwards to be a friend and not acknowledge my birth. I don’t care if I haven’t seen you in years or spoke with you in months. What’s probably a bigger pet peeve to me is that I don’t forget birthdays even if that means adding them to my personal calendar. I tried an experiment on Facebook where I used the hide feature for my birthday. You wouldn’t believe the lack of text, calls and emails. It was terrible. But it just made me think that social media hinders us from being genuine to our friends. Is it possible that unless we receive the notification we would never remember our best/good friends birthdays? That’s disgusting to me.

I say all of these things to say that technology is ruining our lives at the same time it makes them better but also to say that I sadly no longer speak to people who I thought were my friends.