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  • Saira Sufi

Time out, Kansas

The Battle for Atlantis. In 2018, I was in Atlantis watching UVA play with Aamir, Leena and Zakaria. It was a month after Hadi returned to Allah (swt). I am now at home alone, watching KU play. I spent a lovely evening last night with some friends for a potluck. I brought chips and dip. It was the dip my older brother Amir used to name when he had friends over when we were younger. Who knew Velveeta and Rotel is still a crowd pleaser? I added some ground beef and spices and it felt a tad bit more adult like. I woke up this morning and got ready to watch the Macy's parade. Did I ever actually think the performers were singing? Man, Paula Abdul? Alright, I know her. 85% of the other performers? Not a clue.

I remember my parents bringing in food on Thanksgiving at the NIH and being thankful for the nurses who were on-site that weekend. Zakaria is with his dad this Thanksgiving and I am not going to deny that it sucks. That being said, I know he is surrounded by love.

It's fascinating to me how many emotions the holiday season can bring up. I am so thankful for all that I have in this world but man, sometimes I just wanna see Hadi shoot some hoops or have to break up a fight between him and Zakaria.

Last year we visited my eldest brother, Awais and my nephews/nieces for Thanksgiving. We had steak. :) I will go see my parents later today. Not quite sure what is on the menu. Kabobs? Maybe I will go for a walk after dinner tonight and re-enact my brothers doing the Lollipop Guild moves and arguing over the sharpness of the kick.

I will probably reflect on how crazy and exhausting Thanksgiving Day used to be, trying to ensure we saw both sides of family. Why did I think we needed to have a fried turkey and a regular one? I mean, they were both tasty but it was a lot. While I was grateful for it all, I am also grateful to be able to sit with my grief. Alright, grateful is a stretch. Let's go with...acknowledging how far I have come and how I am better equipped. I think of those spending their first Thanksgiving without a loved one and how that pit in my stomach four years later is still there but it's different. I pray for those who are sitting in a hospital setting and smile thinking how Hadi's smile through it sustained me.

We represent the munchkin land...

Much love and appreciation for all you who have been and continue to be part of this journey.


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