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  • Writer's pictureSaira Sufi

The joys of sibling appreciation.

When we are together as a family, I often ask two questions. One, what are you grateful for today? Two, what is a favorite memory of Hadi? Yesterday, Zakaria had the same answer for both, corn. I told him that was not exactly a memory but then he told me how he remembered laughing with Hadi outside while Aamir grilled corn and it made sense. Aamir's favorite memory of Hadi was watching him get so excited about putting together sibling appreciation days. It was awesome seeing how much thought he put in to the trophies and mugs for Leena and Zakaria, gray for Leena and pink for Zakaria. The sheer joy that child had on his face while watching his sister and brother open their items was so heartwarming.

All of my children have extremely caring hearts as was made clear to me when I wanted to pick up some brisket from District BBQ but Zakaria and Leena said no because Aamir wouldn't be able to have some. See, Aamir fell while running in Prague and fractured his cheek and two of his ribs. He is still having some trouble chewing. I mean, I didn't tell him to fall down stairs in a foreign country but yet I can't have brisket? Fine. There was discussion of blending it for him but we decided against it.

I turn forty on Saturday and I honestly am not sure how I feel about it. Earlier this month, I was excited but as I get closer to the date, I realize I won't get a sweet card from Hadi or hear his little voice whisper to Aamir to make sure to get me flowers and the tears are flowing. Zakaria happened to walk in and see me crying and gave me a hug and shouted out, "Mommy needs a hug!" I think about celebrating my birthday with Hadi in my lap last year and while I know my beautiful son is no longer in pain and I love imagining him teaching the youngins in Jannah how to put together LEGOs and explain to them the cool factor of Lando Clarissian.

Many people have asked what my plans are for my birthday. Dunkin and a hike sound pretty good to me to be honest. To be out in nature and think about all that I have been given in this world while also focusing on the afterlife and smile at the little ways Hadi lets me know he is still with us, i.e. the Star Wars Droid app going off mysteriously at the grocery store when we started discussing mangoes.

In all seriousness, I truly appreciate all of the support that I/we continue to receive, including all of the duas that we don't know about. If you want to know what I really want for my birthday, please consider donating to the Hadi Abdur Rasheed Research Fund or let me know your ideas for innovative fundraisers that can help provide support for those currently battling the beast that is aplastic anemia. Boi Boi.

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