Yesterday evening I went to pick my son up from the metro station as he had missed his bus. It takes him about half an hour to walk the distance. But it was so freezing cold and windy that I didn’t want him to be on the street walking. Despite the fact that I was dead tired I was happy at the opportunity this would give me to have a talk with him.
After the usual “How was your day” and all he said, “Mom I did good in school you know. And I am doing good at work also. I am productive and that keeps me alright I guess.” I told him he was doing excellent and how proud I was of him. Then to my surprise he said, “It was a tough year. Who would have thought that dad would get sick shortly after we came here. We came to Canada to have a better life. Now look at us. He is gone and we are still here trying to make it.”
And I said, “Now you have to work hard and do better to make him proud.”
Who would have thought he would become sick so soon after we moved? I know how hard it is for my kids, for my son and daughter to go on in this new place without their father. Leaving their world, the life they had in Dubai, their friends and all behind as teenagers was hard enough for them, and then to lose their father? I try to be strong for them but sometimes pain just gets me and I feel paralyzed.
Sunday was mother’s day. I got this beautiful and touching text from a dear friend wishing me happy mother’s day and asking me to enjoy the day as if he was here with me. And for the first time in thirty years my mother was physically with me on that day, except now he was not. And I thought of all the mother’s days past and present. Of all those people missing their mothers and their loved ones. To quote Alexander Dumas:
“There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die, Morrel, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of living.
“Live, then, and be happy, beloved children of my heart, and never forget that until the day when God shall deign to reveal the future to man, all human wisdom is summed up in these two words, ‘Wait and Hope.’”
Wait- stay, remain, hang around, linger, stop, kill time.
Hope- expect, trust, anticipate, wish, look forward to.
No matter how big our loss and tragedy, no matter how deep our pain we still hope for the better. We still think and wish that someday soon something good will happen to us. As Alfred Tennyson wrote:
Smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering ‘it will be happier’…” Alfred Tennyson
But then no matter how broken I am, no matter how shattered I am spiritually, no matter how deep I have sunk in my sorrow there are moments as I watch my kids grow where:
“Strange as it may seem, I still hope for the best, even though the best, like an interesting piece of mail, so rarely arrives, and even when it does it can be lost so easily.” Lemony Snicket