My dad is going back in two days' time. The children are going to miss him like crazy, I know. And, I think the absence of their dad will hit them more, realising that no other family member will be around.
During the week, from 3.15 pm to 8.15pm, it would be the children's quality time with their grandad. They draw, read, talk, pray and read the quran together. The boys even sleep together with him.
Like all grandparents, my dad is much more lenient and sporting with my children, as compared to his relationship with my siblings and I many, many years ago. I was made aware of this since my dad first became a grandad more than twenty years ago. However, what struck me most was the openness my dad had with the children. They talked about his family and about his past - something which was a taboo for me. When I was a small girl, I remember asking my dad about his dad and each and every member of his extended family, for his dad had four wives. Unfortunately, I never got answers and until today, I still don't know my roots.
My children, on the other hand, have managed to get A LOT of information about things of the past. Openly, my daughter asked her grandad, So, tell me again, how many wives do you have?
If I could blush, I'm sure I would have turned all red hearing that!
Boldly, Twin H even announced, Atuk, I think you have a very special family because your dad had four wives, and you had two.
While my children were asking and discussing these matters which were once taboo to me, I couldn't help but cringe, while pretending to busy myself with house-chores. In actual fact, I was embarrassed that the children were being so blunt! Our family is full of half-sisters and half-brothers, and step-sisters and step-brothers.
When I was growing up as a kid, I always thought that my family life was ever so tragic - Mom passed away when I was four, the only grandad I knew passed away when I was ten, and the only brother I had passed away when I was fourteen. Death seemed to loom over me wherever I went. Yet, somehow, I knew that Allah loved me because the paths that led me through life always seemed to be clear. I believe that I always got the best of life and that was how I knew that death does not always depict negativism.
I'd be lying if I said that I had never thought of my own family and the idea of death. My late mom died when she was 36, so I had thought that when I turn 36, I'd have to think about that... But it looks like death doesn't strike me, it just strikes the people surrounding me!
Many moons ago, Mr D and I once made a pact. Most of you must think that it's a silly one. Still, I'm going to share it with you. We sort of promised (though it's highly impossible) that none of us would die on the other. If we were allowed to choose the way we would die, then perhaps, a car accident hitting us both would be fine. Then, we'd both die together, instead of leaving the other behind. Of course, that would be a tragedy for the kids, but a great love story to tell.
Today, I feel that dying in an accident is too sudden, and it gives us no warning at all. It is a blessing in disguise, that the late Mr D, was given warning of his departure. Though he had suffered the pain for approximately 6 months, it had given us the opportunity to reflect on life and the day after. He made sure he spent more time with us (especially the children), and with Allah, through his readings and sleepless nights. In short, he was allowed to repent.
So, looking down at the family tree my daughter has sketched, I am more than sure that what Twin H had said was true. Though crazy as it may seem, we do belong to a very special family.