Both my paternal and maternal grandmothers, unfortunately, passed away before I was born. So, what I know of them is only through stories and pictures.
33 years ago today, my maternal grandmother passed away. Two days ago, it was my Papa’s birthday. His first birthday since his demise last March. If you know anything about me, it’s how much I adore my Papa.
Papa, throughout our lives, held a dual role. He was, of course, my grandfather… but I always felt he spoiled us extra as if to do Nani’s part too. As if to make sure we never felt we were missing anything our Nani would have done for us.
I don’t think I fully understood the love Papa had for us until I saw my parents with Arham. The bond I had with Papa– I see that forming between Arham and my parents… especially with Abu. If Abu is present, Arham wants just him.
Losing Papa has left an empty space that I don’t think can be filled, as it rightfully should be for someone so dear as our beloved Papa. That void constantly reminds me of who I want Arham to be as he grows up InshAllah. I miss Papa daily, and often find myself looking at pictures of him or reminiscing of memories. I don’t know if it gets easier ever, it certainly hasn’t yet.
More than anything else, I wish Arham got to see who Papa was.
I feel as we lose the older generations that were the pillars that held our family tree together, slowly but surely, the leaves are falling off the branches. How much longer before the branches fall off and divide us completely?
Age is but a number. The level headed, down to earth honest people we had in Papa’s generation? Sadly, those characteristics didn’t carry forward as much for the next generation. Everyone has their own agenda, family ties mean nothing, good and evil are the same, morals are destroyed and values are negated.
Nothing gold can stay, and as the cycle of life goes, we must all meet our end one day… but I wish more than anything that their morals and values remained in the future generations.
If there was one thing I learned from Papa it was the value of family. He always tried to gather all five of his children, all in various states, and their respective families any chance he got. It was what made him happiest. I love that I am like him in that aspect. For me, family is everything.
Nowadays, not many value the importance of a family. It’s upsetting and unfortunate to say the very least. For me? It’s what makes the world go round. It’s what makes it worth waking up in the morning. It’s what makes one look forward to things.
“And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided.” [3:103]
Nowadays, sadly, people are happiest tearing others apart. People rejoice in other people’s grief. People enjoy havoc in other people’s lives, and cause it too. People jump in to see as if it’s a spectacle.
Truths aren’t held to be self-evident anymore. The wrong are encouraged and supported, the right are put on trial.
Hypocrites say and do anything just to protect themselves. No matter who is harmed in the process. No matter who is brought down along the way.
We are better than this.
It’s everything that Papa stood against. What is suppose to unite us, should never divide us.
It starts at home, and it starts from day one. Dual role. The man Arham grows up to be depends on what (values and morals) I teach him. I am not just raising my son, but I am potentially raising someone’s husband and someone’s father. It’s a job I take very seriously.
A different kind of dual role, but a dual role, nonetheless, of significant importance.
I know Papa would be proud of me. He always was. But I hope, more than anything that, I raise Arham to be someone that would make Papa proud too.
I pray Allah SWT grants Papa (+ Nani and Dadi) highest level of Jannat. I pray Allah SWT forgives them for any of their shortcomings. I pray Allah SWT rewards them immensely for their good deeds– especially their roles in who we have become today because of them. I pray Allah SWT leads us all to be the kind of person that people can only say positive things about, even years after they leave this world.