Thursday, January 10, 2013

(1949 - 2012)

Hi Mommy,

Its taken me two weeks and a day to dare to try to talk to you... I really don't know what to say. I keep going over it again and again in my head. The whole four and a half years since we found out you had stage four lung cancer. The shock. The bleak prognosis. The frenzy of doctors. I keep going over every medicine choice we made, I made, for you really did leave it up to me every time. I keep going over every symptom, every new development, your depression the first six months, the chemo, the operation, the two good years on the pills, the new symptoms, was I blind to the progression? In my eternal fight to keep you alive did I turn delusional on you and strip you of the right to be dying? I go over when we found out it had spread to the liver, you were very upset then, you didn't say it but you knew, it was the beginning of the end. Less than one year later and you are gone. I keep questioning every decision.. were we wrong to take that chemo? Were we wrong to have taken those new pills? Did that doctors fuck up kill you? Could the doctor we asked not to get again have saved you from the water drowning your lungs? Did we let them give up too fast?

I keep going over the last year. The journey from walking to walking stick to wheel chair. The constant fever. The weight loss. The dramatic heartbreaking weight loss. How did I not see this as your very final days? Part of me knew.. I would see your rib cage for the first time in my life and cry myself to sleep in my husbands arms. "Mommy is dying" I would tell him, and he would tell me not to say that, to enjoy that you are with us still, to not give up hope. So I would kid myself some more, and smile in your face. And two weeks before when you told me you felt the end was near... I forbade it, forbade you to talk like that, to think like that. Oh how i regret that now, regret that i denied you the right to be afraid, to be weak, to be scared... I couldn't handle it, i was selfish, I couldn't bear the thought of you thinking you were dying, fearing death, when there is nothing i could do about it. I hated most of all that there was nothing more i could do about it. I willed this disease away every day. Every birthday my only wish was that you would be with me the next one. Every day all i wanted was to hear that you felt a bit better. But there was nothing i could do about it...

I can't understand your timing. I knew you wanted to live, you always said you wanted to live... Did you wait for me to come stay with you those last two months so you wouldn't be alone? Did it make it easier me being in the next room for the first time in years? Did you go because you knew i couldn't handle you and the baby at the same time? Why did you go mommy? You wanted to stay, i know you did, you said you did... When did you decide it was time to let go?

I will never forget you leaving the house that horrid friday to the hospital, carried on a chair, barely able to breathe. The dark circles around your eyes that i had never seen before that terrified me. I will never forget you telling me "matez3aleesh" and holding my hand.. "just have a healthy baby" and blowing me a kiss from the car. You knew this was our goodbye, you knew and i knew, and i burst into tears telling them not to let you die... I will never understand the forces that would make me bed ridden to keep this baby from being born 6 weeks early so i could not see you those last few days at the hospital, the same force that kept me from taking your 3aza. I will never know what made me come to the hospital that last day, despite the doctors instructions. I will never forget your pain that last day. Your chest unable to breathe, words slurring out your mouth, the oxygen you couldn't be without. I will never forget the second I realized that you were dying, and that dying would be better for you than this. I will never forget that moment when i realized we lost this battle, you and I lost this battle.

I wanted to tell you, don't hold on for me. Go mommy if it's too hard, go. I will never forget the one smile you gave me that day when i put your hand on my belly and asked you if i should go give birth and come back? If that would make you better? I will never forget you saying "3ayza ashoofo wanna kwayesa". You broke my heart mommy, cause i knew then that that day would never come.

I will never forget leaving the hospital that night, with a heavy heart, but leaving nonetheless, cause i knew i could not be there if you died. I could not watch it. It would have killed me.
I will never forget my husbands phone ringing at 5:45am, and my sisters name showing on the screen. I will never forget my husband taking me in his arms as he told me you passed away. I will never forget uncovering your face, blanket first then sheet, to see a face that is tired, yellow and hollow. Such a sick and beaten up face. Oh mommy what you must have gone through to hold on for so long.

I am so lost in this pain mommy, so lost. I dream of cancer every night. I dream that you are sicker and sicker, i dream that you are in so much pain, that you are crying. I cannot imagine a word where we don't talk every morning, evening and night. Where i don't come to you every saturday, where we don't swim together on our annual vacation for 28 years now. I can't imagine a world where you wont see my son, born just four days after you died. Four days.... I can't believe you missed him by just four days... I can't imagine a world without your love, and your friendship. And i can't help but feel responsible.. you did let me make all the medical decisions... I can't help but feel like i should have done more, spent more time with you, let you talk more, hold you more.... I was so afraid to hug you at the end... you were so fragile, so frail, i was afraid i would hurt you, or i would realize your were dying and break down crying... I only ever cried the one time in front of you.. when you left the house and we both knew you weren't coming back.

I miss you mommy... i miss you so much.. and I can't stop going over all this, I can't help but feel like it's my last thing to hold on to, before i lose you forever.

I miss you mommy, and it feels like i will miss you forever...

Rest in peace, you were the best person i knew, and the best mother in the world.

I love you, always.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The World is a Vampire

It is. It really really is.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

When you count in weeks...

7 weeks and 2 days. It's really only the size of bean but it has majorly taken over my life. Utter and complete exhaustion, bouts of anxiety, alternating sleepiness and sleeplessness, rapid weight gain and hormones on fire, what my husband refers to as "harmonica" - think pms factored by multiples.
7 weeks and 2 days at a time when the country has decided to officially go to hell...such little else matters :)

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The plain band

I used to dream about having a plain band on my finger. It wasn't really associated with the thought of a man, just the idea of a bond so profound, that i would carry a simple plain band honoring it, with me every where i went. All powerful in its significance and wrapped around my finger. A sign to the world that i am spiritually bound to someone, out there. That there is someone in my life somewhere that they could never be closer to me than. That there was someone out there that knew me like no one else could, knew me naked, knew me vulnerable and knew me strong. I have always been fascinated by the implicit weight of the meanings associated with that band. My band especially. I just always knew when i wore one, it would carry so many meanings.

Now that i wear my plain gold wedding band, there is only one other band that trumps the significance of mine. His. That manly white gold band that stays on his finger day in and day out has become even more heavily invested than mine. It is the single thing he carries with him that carries all the things i am to him. Everything i know i feel for him. All my affection and worry, all my hopes and desires, all my need and want, all my trust and respect. It is a single band of continuity saying only one thing: i carry you with me no matter, as you allow me to carry you.

Nothing is more fascinating in its simplicity, than a plain wedding band.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday morning banter

Today i woke up with this incredible urge to move forward, and a true sense of who i am and how i want to spend my days on this earth. I would love to travel, i would love to own a book shop or a furniture shop, i would love to write a book and i will always love the day more than the night. I would love to have music in my life often, and silence on demand. I would love to love my car and i would love to spend more time with the people i love. A true appreciator of the simple things, this is really who i am. I know that when my time is my own again i will try to do as many of these things as i can. I hate the corporate life, i do. So I will do it as conveniently as i can for as long as i can: without traffic, doing something i like, making as much money as possible till i can break free to do something i love. That was always the plan, but its nice to reinforce it. I am going back to bed.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The grateful list

I am down in the dumps. Riding a hate wave for my boss, heart broken over my mothers non stop battle with cancer and frustrated at the lack of joy in my life. I am down in the dumps with a bad throat ache as well. Squeezing myself to pay off the end of my debts, and juggling a million tasks to help the people around me, i am in a down, in a rut.

I am told that when you are this down you should count your blessings. I have tried everything else, so i might as well try this...

- My husband: who made me soup today before he went to work so i wouldn't have to cook while sick, who holds me every single night and talks to me about life and death and cancer and wipes my tears several times a week, with consistent patience. My husband is blessing number 1, 2 and 3.
- My friends: i have the most amazing friends, sisters, who have helped me raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for my mothers treatment, who have been with me and beside me all my life. They are always just a phone call away, unconditionally. I have four girls that are always just a phone call away.
- My home: i have a gorgeous, vibrant, sunny two bedroom apartment with a beautiful view. I love it, it has become my home.
- My job: though i really hate it at the moment, is a 15 minute drive away without traffic, with good pay and health insurance and a lot of great people to work with and solid on my resume. My job minus my boss is a blessing.
- My weight: I am only 8 kilos overweight. I choose to reposition this as a blessing as positioning it as a curse seems to not be working at all. 8 kilos to be done with by the summer. It is a blessing they are no more than 8.
- My writing: i have recently taken 2 writing courses that have put the hope back in me. With more courses and hard work i can actually realise my dream, it actually can happen one day.
- My summer home: by May 2013 i will have my own summer home (apartment) on the beach. 95m2 with a sea view that belong to me! By 2014 i will have a cream, beige and blue apartment to spend all my summer weekends in. That is surely a blessing.
- My love for life: surely i will snap out of this horrid mood soon......

I think it may have worked a little.....

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Space

One of the things i am most grateful for in my relationships, is space. I always had it with my family. I was never grilled over where i was going or who i was with. I was never interrogated on my thoughts or actions. I was never asked why i was a certain way. Growing up i probably had a little too much space. I would spend weeks on end at friends houses. There are entire summers where i recall only seeing my mom when she came by to drop some fresh clothes. I grew up with lots of space.
My friends are very spacey people as well. Of course we used to be less spacey... we used to butt into every detail of each others lives. But over the years we managed to reach a phenomenal balance of solid long term friendships and space. A group of seven girls two of which are permanently living abroad, the youngest of these friendships is 19 years old. Yes, 19. Thats a lot of years to practice space. There are never guilt trips, or dramatic whining, or accusations. When feelings are hurt conversations are had or neatly pushed away under a rug, to be had one day or just discarded. But there is never a suffocating blame placing sulk or tantrum. We are all very grateful for this, and very bewildered at how any other kind of friendship is sustainable. Space is an amazing thing in relationships, when it is not a cover for disinterest or self absorption.

The most amazing of space in relationships of course, is the space i have found in marriage. By nature my husband and i are not the chatty sort. Him much more than me. I think he could go for weeks without feeling a need to speak. And when he does it would probably be to crack a joke, and then slip back into silence. I have never met a less demanding person. I think if we had not been friends for so long and had he not known me so well and thus felt so entirely comfortable expressing affection (in a mostly physical manner), he would have probably gone through life entirely self sufficient. He is all about the space. Space i appreciate so much. It is not only space to do my thing and see my friends and do my work. It is space in my head to be free. To change my mind about things, to explore horizons that were once unspeakable, to wander off in my mind to new places, to enjoy a freedom in my mind and soul knowing i do not have to always fit in a boxed perception of myself in his mind.
There is space in our perception of each other, that comes from a long standing history of having changed many times before, without really changing to each other.

Space is such a vital thing my peace of mind, i find.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Marriage

I am home without him. He got a new job, a better job, and he works through the nights. This morning he walked in while i was getting dressed to leave for work, at 8:45am.
The bed is strange without him. We have a 2m x 2m bed. I love big beds, and we had this one designed especially. We had to tailor make sheets for it, it is a huge bed. Our mattress is 30cm thick. It is the most amazing bed.
I was recently asked if my perspective or views on life have changed after marriage...
I must say mine haven't, though i can see how many others might experience that.
Some things change... the dishes pile up faster, the house gets dirty easier in the suburbs, the supermarket isn't around the corner, i have to drive a very long way to see my mom, i have to struggle with the guilt of leaving my mom. Every day things change.
My views however, remain the same...

I still do not think a girl should marry a day before 27, you must have truly lived, traveled, partied, dated, loved and most importantly gotten to know yourself a little before you take on someone for good, or attempt to. I still think that if i had gotten married any earlier i would not be so settled the way i am now. Certain things need to be done before one can take on this kind of commitment.

I still think friendship and understanding are the two most important things to look for in a partner, you need someone you can talk to no matter, and someone who will cut you some slack. You don't want someone at your throat whenever you leave the lights on or need to work late or forget to call back. You want someone who will understand that you must have chocolate now, that you need to see and call your mother that often, and that you can't have the TV volume on an odd number. You need someone who wont be irritated easily, someone laid back and accepting of you.

I still think there are many kinds of love, there is the love of the idea, the possibility of the idea, the impossibility of the idea, the love of the man, the impossibility of the man and the possibility of the man. There is the love in lust, and the love in anguish. There is the painful love and the hopeless love. There is the delusional love and the safe love. I have long since given up on trying to define the love i feel for my husband at any given time, for it is impossible. All i know is that it is the most gentle love i have ever felt. When his hands touch my face i feel like i have gone home, a home i have wanted forever. I know this because when his hands are wrapped around me i have no desire to go anywhere else ever. I could just there with my eyes closed and dose in and out of sleep and know that there is nothing out there that i am missing out on. This is where my world is. I know that everything is better when he is with me. I know that every time i bury my head in his chest he will tell me or show me how much he loves me some way. He is my constant, my rock, my anchor. My best friend and my buddy. And on top of all that he thinks i'm hot and can't keep his hands off me and takes me out on dates. There are many kinds of love, and they are interchangeable.
I still think everyone should live alone for a while before they get married.
I still think France is beautiful, and i miss it painfully.
I still talk to God, though our conversations are kind of one sided these days.

Nothing has really changed, i just sleep better and do more around the house... not too bad for entering into an institute most people have horrible things to say about.

Maybe when the kids come....


Monday, April 11, 2011

Yoga

Every inch of my body aches.
I can't lift my arms to type without suffering abdominal pain.
Oh blissful yoga, you have been missed!
I promise to be good this time.
I promise to be loyal to you.
I promise to be loyal to me.
I promise to do you long enough to stop falling flat on my face.

Ashtanga yoga this time.

For those of you who think that yoga is mellow and easy, i challenge you to this class.

ay!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Tied

I feel your eyes on my body
on my back, down my side
Allowed for you, is my body
i never seem to get that fact
I used to tread the sand
and wander off on my own
through my screaming aching body
i yearn for when time was something
spent alone
through the alleys of my mind
i would weave stories of lust
through the fingers gripping hair
i would break barriers
of love
I miss you
oh how this hurts
this rough nostalgia for days of freedom
smeared with dirt
of a patchwork of happiness
and streaks of oneness
of knowing pain so steep it forces you
to numbness
of whims of a tomorrow
that just may be colored by you
of hoping that this look you give me
means more than just a friend
coming through
i feel your hands on my body and remember a time
when not even your eyes could wander this freely
i remember a time
when all i ever wanted was for you to hold me
so completely
how funny it is, this love
escaping us while we dare it
and gripping me now
till it hurts
I feel your hands on my body
and know this is where i belong
i feel your breath on my neck
and know that marriage is for the very naive
and the very very strong

Monday, March 28, 2011

A line in the sand

It's 2:00am and for the first time in my marriage i have left our bedroom to sleep on the couch; I am that angry. I put my head on my borrowed pillow in an atempt to sleep, and this sentence pop into my head: "you always draw a line in the sand". Used as an ingenious manipulation tool by a sociopath ex, who was indeed extremely intelligent and extremely right. I always do draw lines in the sand. On this side of the line lies my couch and on the other side lies our bed. A line in the sand.....

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The emotional roller coaster: Egypt's uprise


Every single day of this revolution to date, is worthy of several posts. Several. But i was too busy being awakened as an Egyptian, to write. I was too busy following facebook and twitter, then too busy trying to figure out illegal ways to get internet access, then too busy trying to find a phone line, then too busy trying to protect my home and family, then too busy packing to go to my mothers, then too busy convincing my husband to let me go to Tahrir, and in between all this time i was too busy watching BBC, Arabiya, CNN, Al Hayat and dream and reading 3 newspapers daily, and reading articles on the washington post, the independent and every other reputable online news portal available. I was too busy to come to this corner of my world and write. I did not know what to write. I still am not sure i know what to write. So forgive how disconnected this will be, it will be as it is in my head.

Let me just say a few things here before i go on. I have been a disconnected human being. I did not read the papers prior to jan 26 2011. I was actively passive and alienated. Why? My answer is very logical to me: why get worked up over something i don't intend to get up and change? As selfish as that is, that was my reality and i was quite comfortable with it. Let us get something else out there; i am completely and entirely pro this revolution. Completely and entirely. No doubt, no argument, nothing.

i will try to break the experience of the past month into phases, or days, linked to emotions. I think that would make the most sense to me, as i have changed my emotional position many times amidst this "uprising". My emotional position, not my rational one.

Jan 25: i am an oblivious citizen who has seen somewhere on facebook that today something is going on. i know there will be protests, so i plan my day around it. I go to my doctor at 11am, she is right off gam3et el dowal, my husband takes me for safety reasons in his head. i finish, we get into the car, we stop by the gas station in gam3et el dowal, it is very very quiet. And then the gas station tells us they are closing, and we look down the road and see the protesters coming. Hundreds walking towards us, we get into the car and head in the opposite direction and find our way home.

Jan 26th: i am entranced by the coverage and the scene from the day before. I hear the stories of violence. I am angered. I am furious. I fear that this will be the last of it and that the people will go back into their homes. I start nagging my husband to join the streets, without much success. (note: my husband refused that i take part as i have asthma and a leg injury that would have made me quite a burden to him, and i consented in staying home willingly as i chose not to burden him with worrying about me)

Jan 27th: I am proven wrong. I am glued to facebook and cheering it on. I am glued to Al Jazeera (the most channel offering around the clock live coverage at the time). I am flipping between all afore mentioned news channels and i am transfixed and i learn how to access the internet through.... Romania..?

Jan 28th: I wake up to no mobile lines, no internet, no land line! I wake my husband up in panic, i drive over to best friend 5 minutes away, use her phone and camp there for the day watching TV in awe.... violence, live ammunition, people dropping dead, blood, cars running over protestors, live abductions, violence, violence, violence, army take to streets, jubilation, the peace before the storm for like 10 minutes, fire, looting, prisons breaking, neighborhood committees, hiding money and valuables around the house, people calling the TV screaming, weapons, neighborhood, water boiling on the stove, baseball bat in hand, pledge as self defense? husband in the street, gun shots, shouting, repeat, repeat, repeat, 6am meltdown, finally sleep. Somewhere in the middle there was a half ass speech from the then president that i recall nothing from. Was this when he fired the government?

Jan 29th: we abort ship and head to my mothers, where we spend even more time glued to the television if possible

Jan 29th - 30th - 31st, Feb 1st: We watch minister after minister take the screen while we hear gunshots in the background. we hear sporadic rumors that the army has orders to shoot (the one day i had finally convinced husband to go). We watch what seems like a lot of news, but is no news at all. I fear that we have reached stagnation. Shafik makes the infamous speech "3ala re2abty ye7salohom 7aga", referring to the safety of those in Tahrir. I watch Mubarak say that he wants to die on this land, that he will not run again, that he has done the best he could and that history will have the last word with him. I cry. I friggin cry over his speech. I believe that enough is done, he will leave, let him do one last good thing for the country. I abuse my last chance at believing that he really isnt all that bad.

Feb 2nd: Darkness. I watch 16 hours of a live battle between armed thugs and unarmed citizens. I watch, and the world watches, while no one stops it. We all watch as this is left to happen. A day before there were ministers all over TV, and a day after, but on that day there was only one thing happening: murder in broad daylight, with no one stopping it. Till the second i write this i cannot believe that this was left to happen. I do not care who caused it, the fact that it remained unstopped is a crime unlike any other, and it was intentional, and i wait to see who will be held responsible, and he better be hung.
I cry, i do not sleep, i sleep at 7am after the battle ends, i cry myself to sleep over the violation of my innocence and the death of those i am sure died that day, even before we got a count.

Feb 3rd: I watch and watch and watch for some explanation for the night before. Nothing. A feable apology with the excuse of "having no idea". I am even more sick to my stomach.

Feb 4th: I go to Tahrir, i throw such a huge tantrum that led me to Tahrir. And i saw, the chants from a distance, the signs, the humor, the civilized checkpoints, all walks of life. I always understood it, but now i get to see it.

Feb 6th: we go back to work - if you can call it that- and we try to do our part by working hard and do our part by going to Tahrir. Work by day Tahrir after work. The week of perseverance.

Feb 10th: at work, rumors rumors rumors. "He will step down", "Badrway said", "Shafik said", "my mother said". My boss tells whoever wants to go home to leave, while i stay with her till 5:30pm. I go home and sit infront of TV for another 5-6 hours, waiting. I watch "al bayan al awel", and realize that there is conflict between army and president. Build up build up build..... everyone i know in Tahrir (i wanted to watch the speech in a quiet environment, i was not about to miss the presidents stepping down speech!)... build up build up build up........ the worst speech ever given by anyone who ever had an audience. I remember looking at my husband afterwards, so what exactly did he SAY??

I fear the blood.

I pray... i pray that protesters hold themselves peaceful, and i curse a man so narcissistic that he would burn a nation to hell.

Feb 11th: proud, honorable victory..... was it really that easy? Euphoria, Tahrir sq. Dancing and singing to "watany habiby al watan el akbar". Fireworks, Egyptians dancing on the streets. jubilation in all its meaning of the word.

Feb 12th: tears, tears for those who died, tears for not being there the whole time, tears and tears and tears while the magnitude of all we have been put through as a nation sets in.

The next two weeks: the realization of the extent of the filth that this county was turned into. talk show after talk show after talk show. Blood donations, street cleanings, slums visits, how on earth was this country left to be so raped and mutilated?

Tomorrow: uncertainty..... but thats another post.





Saturday, January 01, 2011

2011 - the year of being 30

I have plans for 2011. Big plans. I have plans of getting out of debt, of saving money, of earning a promotion, of losing the rest of the "first year of marriage weight" (5K down, 5 to go!). I have plans of sticking to yoga this time, of traveling to a country i've never been to before (Croatia? Greece? Bali?). I have plans for peace of mind as well. I have intentions to stress less, do more. Worry less, live more. Cocoon less, go out more. I have plans of reading great books, practicing french, and starting my book. I have all the plans someone who is excited about life would have, tailored to little me.

I also have wishes for 2011. I wish for my mother to be better. For my mother to stay with me and to get better. That is my biggest wish, i would trade in all my other wishes and previously declared plans in a heart beat, for this one wish.
I have wishes for my husband to find his peace at work and reap the fruits of all that hard work. I wish him success, in abundance.
I have one last wish that my best friend moves back from the states. That somehow her husband decides that his 15 year plan is not worth it, and just calls it a day. You never know....

Lastly, i am grateful for 2010. I am grateful for my mom's perseverance and stubbornness :)
I am grateful for the miraculous opportunity to change industries and careers without taking a pay cut. I am grateful for the ability to work 12 hour days for weeks on end and being able to prove myself worthy of this opportunity, and being recognized for it so quickly.
I am grateful for the proximity of this opportunity to my home! I am grateful for one year of marriage, peaceful and happy and as smooth as one can hope for it to be.
I am grateful for my 20's being over with all their drama, confusion and intensity. I am grateful for moving into a more grounded era of my life.
Lastly i am grateful for for all the gifts that God has given me to be able to live my life as i live it.

May 2011 be as kind as 2010 and as fruitful.

Love and joy to all,
N


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

.......

8 people have died from my school class. One of which was my best friend since i was 4, she died 11 years ago, she was 19.

one died from a jet ski accident
4 in car crashes
one from diabetes
one didnt wake up
and lastly, one from cancer

Its so shocking and sad. They were all so young, it fills me with fear. Fear for my loved ones, pure raw fear. Fear and sadness.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Time

I have turned into a workaholic
I am so tired, but i can't stop
I do everything else in between
Except making love
That is the only time i completely disconnect
And collapse in the arms of my man
It feels like i am working for my livelihood
for my sanity
for my existence
when all i want to do deep inside
is have kids and walk barefoot in the sand

this life is passing too quickly
time passes so slowly when you are waiting for something to happen
and when you are finally done waiting
it flies