Top 3 Reasons Why Father Is My Utmost Inspiration
Father, my dearest baba, has been my utmost inspiration. I remember him when I was a little girl in Damascus. He was strong like a lion.
I remember a heated discussion we had in the Vilas District - Qura Al Assad, our last house in Damascus. I wanted to go out with him. You see I have loved exploring the outs and about since a very young age. So we quarrelled. Father told me I should stay put as I had been taken and driven to many places and that it was one of my sister’s turn.
I remember him after December 1995 ,too. Only that the lionheart had turned into a resilient camel with a lion’s heart. I am quite sure you are aware of the fact that camels have a high sense of endurance. They can walk for long distances in the scorching sun of the desert and under the heavyweights they carry. Moreover, a camel can endure 30 days without food and 2 weeks without water.
Thus, in a way, there's been father during my childhood (1-9 y.o.), in Damascus, and father, after Damascus. Thinking of it, it’s been my life in Damascus and my life after Damascus… after December 1995. I was thirteen.
Call it Divine Timing, call it Divine Decree, nothing is ever accidental in the infinite wide universe.
The Commander in Chief Reigns and Commands.
So, everything possible may turn impossible. Everything impossible may turn possible, with a simple detour. That’s how magic works, doesn’t it?
(..."for I am Time. In My Hand is the Order. I cause the night and day to turn, one upon the other." Hadith - the records of the traditions or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his companions.
The above introduction is meant for me to say even though there are serious matters one has never ever talked about, there comes a day when one feels like steering a few words on the subject. To me, today is such a day.
Do we ever get strong enough to let go of our loved ones?
I don’t feel strong enough to imagine the loss of him… the absence of his vibrant presence.
As for the top three reasons why my father has been my utmost inspiration:
1. The Joie de Vivre
I have gotten used to his illness. I have grown fond of his presence. My father has a very, very high vibration. Despite his serious chronic diagnostics, his presence illuminates the house. And is very, very warm. The ray of sunshine.
His eyes beam with pleasure when watching his favourite series nowadays “Sayedna Youssef” - Our Prophet Joseph. He smiles when listening to music. Father listens to classical Arab music almost every morning. He lives by the keynotes and rhythm of his heart. Drinks a brimful cup of the now. Smiles a lot. He is. Fully. Vibrantly. Passionately. Lovingly.
To my belief, the major life statement he’s passed on as a legacy to me and us is the joie de vivre.
I’ve never met a person to enjoy life, music, series, coffee, his cigarette like Abu Samra. (Or, I might have... someone who once said "I have passion to contact you" but that's another story.) Yes, you got it right! Father smokes. It might be part of his “I don’t give a damn about you, sweet chronic disease. If I am going to live with you, well, then it's going to be on my terms!"
As a matter of fact, in 1995 when he had his first stroke, the doctors gave him 10 to 15 years.
Mr Anghel Iordanescu, at that time the manager of the Romanian football team - known as the "Golden Age football team" or Generatia de aur was there with him around Christmas. Mr Iordanescu went with him to the hospital. It surely saved the ID card screening stage: of the M-O-H-A-M-A-A-A-D... and the "where are you from froms" related questions. Nobody asked any questions but intervened without delay, as they saw Mr Iordanescu, the manager of the team of "football gods", by his very side.
We didn’t learn about it until the following day that he had had a stroke. Yes. We are. And we shall forever and always be thankful to the manager of the Romanian Golden Age football team. This corroborated with a phone call made from Bucharest to Austria had the serum, dearest Abu Samra so much needed, delivered within 24 hours to the hospital. Special delivery for baba!
Mind you, in 1995, the Romanian medical system wasn't as developed as it is today. That's why this phone call had been crucial! Such a lucky fellow, isn't he? He had a pretty close call.
Thus, the Romanian doctors saved the day. And then again, they saved the day. Over and over again.
2. The Lionheart
I’ve always wondered "Where does he get his strength from? How come he gets to walk this fatal chronic disease on his feet?"
And he knows. He feels everything.
I didn’t have to tell him why I had waited last summer.
His heart knew it already. It always starts over here.
As the Little Prince says it best: “It is only with the heart than one can see clearly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” (Antoine Saint-Exupéry)
Abu Samra’s heart is open and connected to the “Realm”.
His heart sees and knows before I speak. And so it is.
3. The Survivor
He bears and bears. Moreover, he walks it through.
Goes to hospital, comes from the hospital with his Julieta. I know, it's as if depicted from "The Notebook".
Abu Samra observes and sticks to his routine.
The first to wake up in the house, keeping the coffee warm for his Julieta.
Of course, it’s been the roller coaster.
Of course, our lives turned upside down.
After all, he can be as stubborn as a mule.
At times, I look at Julieta and I wonder whether she’s transcendental.
An amazing wifey that is.
She has got surreal powers herself too. Indeed.
Abu Samra and his Julieta.
It doesn’t change though… It doesn't become any different...
My soul shivers like a rabbit, every time a new incident happens. One never knows when it's the final... Hence, one clings to the now. Fiercely. Trying to fill the reservoir with as much essence of him as possible... Or is it encoded in my DNA?
He loves me. Truly.
The last time he had had such an incident was in the spring of 2016.
I’d had to make it to my parents’ house every day by 7 pm to make sure I saw him that day. He'd go to bed early.
And then, the following day. And then, the following day… I had to see him while he was drawing breath. I walked to their house, every day. I’ve kept the faith, every day.
I'd kept my hopes up, in 2016. As I am keeping my hopes now. This time, thank God I am right by his side. Thank God I get to embrace him every day. Tight!
I’ve given thanks to the Heavens for the stillness and the stability of the situation for the past couple of years every second of every day.
I’ve thanked God and Mother Mary for the stillness of the last couple of years.
This was the premiere of my life. Stillness and no one dying on me today. And so is this post. For the very first time, I speak of it, in this manner, ever since I was thirteen.
It’s been as if living in the ER.
"Call the ambulance!"
The ambulance comes and then goes.
"Call the ambulance!"
The ambulance comes and then goes.
And so it was gone this time too. Nobody is going to the hospital. Not today, given the state of the Covid-19 pandemic. We shall have the doctors brought to him... Strange times we live in. Strange times!
His staying alive has been the priority.
Living on the edge is no easy thing. The gut senses related turmoil, deeply.
Furthermore, keeping his flame alive has always been a priority.
Nevertheless, he has exceeded any expectation.
Baba is and shall forever be "my Damascene camel".
As for the seeds of his loving heart, they shall sprout, eternally, in the Garden of the Souls and Masterminds… right here, amidst the Garden of Roses.
Photo: My father's name in Arabic