|Last night, when we left Birmingham airport, we were hit by a sleet storm (for those who aren't so familiar, sleet is a mixture of rain and snow). In literature, that is what we call pathetic fallacy, when nature is personified and linked to human emotions. |
Ten minutes earlier, infront of the departure gate, each of the children kissed their grandad's hand and hugged him. When it was time for Little D, tears were welling up in his eyes. For the past few weeks, we had said goodbye to so many people already: Pak Ngah Hashim, Opah, Atok Alam and Pak Ngah Nonong. However, Little D had always seemed fine until last night. We watched Tok Bah walk to the counter and waved a frantic goodbye. Then, Little D hugged me tight. I knew that he already missed his grandad as much as he missed his dad. I carried him in my arms heading to the carpark and realised that we were walking in a sleet storm.
We cuddled up together during bedtime, and I tried my best to put my children out of their worries and insecurities. They had bombarded me with personal questions which I, as a young child, would never have dreamt of asking any adult! Tactfully as I could, I answered one by one, hoping that what I said were the answers they wanted to hear and good enough for everyone.
This morning, Little D woke up very unhappy. Unlike the few other days when he wails and cries his heart out, this morning he sobbed like a big boy. Five days short of being five, tears were rolling down his cheeks. I hugged him and asked what the problem was.
I want grandad...
I couldn't contain the despair in me and kept him in my arms. I didn't want to let go, just as much as he didn't want to get ready for school. Still, reality has to be faced, no matter how much we are against it. I kissed him and coaxed him into going to school,
If you love grandad, you must remember to do what he wants you to do. He'd want you to go to school, so you'd better not disappoint him, okay?
And, as always, I succeeded. I look down at my little boy and knew that he was already growing into a big one. Although many seem to think that he is oblivious to what's happening around him, I know that he's the one who misses his dad to bits. Last week, I tucked him in bed a little bit earlier than the others because he looked rather tired. After reciting his usual du'as, he fell silent. A minute later, I heard a small voice squeak, Who's next?
What do you mean? I questioned.
Who's next to die?
My heart sank. As honestly as I could, I told him that anyone could be next but regardless what, Allah will always be with us... We will never be alone.