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  • Writer's pictureSaira Sufi

And I Will Surround You...

I am on a Megabus on the way to New York with Zakaria sleeping on my lap. He wanted to listen to Paul Simon and it made me think of how my twins are awesome adventure seekers. Yes, I said are because Hadi is always with us, Again, I am no longer 22 and could have sprung for the more expensive train tickets but Megabus seemed right.

The two young women sitting across from us remind me of Nayyera and me back in the day. I just truly hope we weren’t as obnoxious as they are in discussing fashion styles and boys but we probably were. I know Nay can still rock a red lipstick and maybe I will bring back my dark mauve lipstick.

It’s Valentine’s Day and I will admit that I have never been a huge fan so I didn’t think too much about this being my first one single in ten years. I made Valentines’s for Zakaria’s class and I went to a Galentin’s brunch at a friend’s house. Man, the woman can cook and tries to put on a front that she isn’t an amazing hostess. She also had us writs out positive notes to each other and put them in the cute little gift bags she gave us. I haven’t read mine because I didn’t want to have to deal with a runny nose on the way to New York from crying. I wonder if I will ever go back and read my blog posts. Maybe...but there best be tissues.

I am listening to Mumford and Sons and am realizing how much I have learned about myself in the past few years. Hadi was diagnosed with aplastic anemia in September of 2017 and returned to Allah in October of 2018. My husband moved out unexpectedly (that’s putting it mildly) in August of 2019 and my house caught on fire in October of the same year. Listening to Zakaria relay these events to complete strangers and then when look at me for confirmation that he isn‘t telling fibs, it always make me chuckle.

I am 40 years old this Valentine’s Day and I am putting myself back together, piece by piece.

The piece of me that will make sure to see the Jayhawks play live. The piece that will admit to having a strong personality but fully accepting that nothing I did warranted being ghosted. The piece that realizes it’s not the healthiest to be bitter and I will turn to Allah to guide me. The piece that knows I will do what I can in my power to realize Zakaria is my rock and work to be his anchor The piece that wants to show him the beauty of our faith, particularly during hardship, even if that hardship currently is wondering how this kid’s head is so sweaty on my lap. The piece who can be proud of being known at Orange Theory and admitting having a sore ass is a good feeling. The piece that is pretty sure sure her father just shook his head while reading that last line. The piece who is part of the Tribe of Loss (thank you for the term, Saira Mir) and while It is a special membership, I don’t wish it on anyone. The piece who will make sure the Hadi Abdur Rasheed Fund is fully funded and will work to bring less janky laundry detergent to NIH for inpatient caregivers. The piece who will treasure those who have supported me through all of this, from decorating Hadi’s room to chicken pot pie, to a unicorn onesie, to the Cadbury, to the wish list fulfillments... The piece who will not focus on the hurt felt from people whose definition of loyalty is quite different than mine.

Of course as I wrote that last statement, “Timshel” came on:

But you are not alone in this And you are not alone in this As brothers we will stand and we'll hold your hand Hold your hand

And you are the mother The mother of your baby child The one to whom you gave life


Coincidence? I think not.

And now The Boxer is playing...and it looks like I will have a runny nose after all.

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