My mother’s cousin whom I’d only met as a child, found out I was in the country. As did a relative of my father’s, who is my namesake. One person contacted that person who contacted the last to get to me. And they invited me out today to hang out with them. And hang out I did, for near five hours.
These hilarious women are my momma’s age, and older. One of them called me ‘teeta’, so she was referring to me as her granddaughter. We were discussing Palestine, the traditions, and the diaspora. We talked about this family and that, who is related to whom, and all that has changed in Gaza, but also all that has remained the same.
They told me stories of when my mother was a child, and stories when she brought me, infant, to meet them. They told me about my patrilineal great grandmother, and matrilineal grandparents. I was surrounded by family I did not realize I had. Again, more family that took me in without question. Their daughters whom I do not know, whom I have never met, called me to welcome me. This is a common theme this whole time in Cairo – family and open arms everywhere I turn.
The events of this summer left me feeling alone and adrift; one moment, someone was becoming my family, and in the next, nothing. Literally, overnight into nothing. And Allah is now overwhelming me with the exact opposite. In this are many of His signs, and to each of which my eyes and heart are wide open.
This wonderful afternoon of mine wove it’s way into my evening, spent with A and family, A mentioned previously as one of the people for whom I am grateful. While Lego ruled the first half of our evening, conversation ruled the final half, with A leading me into a later bedtime than I’ve seen since months.
One of the most important parts of this night was reading a bedtime story to Baby A. They had earlier chosen two books to suit your girl – A Child of Books, because ‘Maha loves books’, and Life Doesn’t Frighten Me by Maya Angelou because ‘Maha is a poet’. I couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful present than this particular memory.
Every day, I am reminded how deeply blessed and safeguarded I am; today these reminders laid themselves at my feet and made certain to trip me every which way I fell. AlhamduliLah.
Today, I am grateful for:
1. The safeguarding of Allah; I prayed for it and for clarity daily. I still do. Just safeguard me, and show me what my heart already knows. He always has, and I trust that the thing from which I have been safeguarded would have shattered me beyond recovery.
2. Friends who pay attention.
3. Litterature. All of the litterature.