On an ordinary day like today, when I look back at my life, especially the time when we moved to Canada, thinking, wanting to be better off than we were while living in the Middle East, I can’t help but be sad. Because we had such a comfortable life back then in Dubai and yet we wanted a change. Was it ambition that led us to make the move? If it was then it had nothing to do with the norms of finding a better job or a better living, since we had it all and we were happy.
Our ambition was of another sort altogether. It had nothing to do with riches or fortune, but everything to do with ourselves. We were very good in our fields of expertise, in fact we (my late husband and I) were both great at what we did, but we wanted to try our chance at a different kind of life before it was too late, or at least that’s what we thought.
We never thought or dreamt that our life together would be cut so short. Even two and a half years after his death I still think of that one day and what I wanted to tell him but didn’t because I didn’t think, I didn’t realize the time had come for him. Mitch Albom writes:
“Have you ever lost someone you love and wanted one more conversation, one more chance to make up for the time when you thought they would be here forever? If so, then you know you can go your whole life collecting days, and none will outweigh the one you wish you had back.”
After that day, all I have been doing is collecting days. And I even have found a sanctuary sort of place for myself. A place where I feel completely sheltered from the outside world. A place where I go and sit every morning after the kids leave and I read or write. There was a time when I used to cry a lot. But I don’t do that any more. Not as much as I used to before. And yet I still feel the need to be away from all that’s going on around me. I shut myself up there and read and sometimes even scribble.
And on such days I like to read Hemingway. I like how at the touch of his pen insignificant details become so meaningful. I like how he lends romantic charm to such simple and ordinary things as a walk or a meal or a conversation, a simple every day conversation. I like how his heroes are an entirety in themselves. How there is no split between any of his heroes, between the mind, the heart or the body. They never hold any part of themselves back. Mostly I like how behind his fine stories of love and death I recognize my own familiar world.
Mitch Albom writes:
“It is because the human spirit knows, deep down, that all lives intersect. That death doesn’t just take someone, it messes someone else, and in the small distance between being taken and being missed, lives are changed.”