May his heart be your shelter and his arms your home….

just a little over 2 weeks ago, I entered a new phase in my life. I am officially  someone’s mother-in-law, for the first time, as my youngest son married the love of his life.

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In spite of living in different continents, in my attempts to jointly organize the wedding, from the hall to the caterer, the menu to the wedding favors, the shopping for a dress that fits and finding the right pair of shoes, alhamdulillah (thanks to God), it was all smooth sailing.

 

 

As the day drew closer, thoughts about my mother and my sister were constantly with me, the fact that they were not going to be present to witness and share this special day.

How I wish that my mother had been with us, to guide and support me, the advice, the long chats, her smile reassuring me that it is all going to be just fine, her wise words of advice to my son as she would lovingly smile at him, my sister’s unconditional love, her gentle and kind nature; without a doubt they were missed, they were such a big part of his life, now a young man taking this enormous step in his life.

It is milestones like this that makes us appreciate what we have in our lives, yet remembering the losses we have experienced.  They say that time is a great healer, but it hasn’t gotten any easier nor does it take away the sadness or loss.

Suffice to say that the support from my husband, my father, my brother, my children and my extended family saw me through the challenge of trying to organize a wedding from thousands of kilometers away.

It was a small and intimate affair.  Welcoming the young lady  into our family was such a pleasure, the look in my son’s eyes, said it all, I am grateful for the way she makes him feel so happy.

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“To Waseem,

My Bebézinho, the youngest of my 3 beautiful children, always smiling, very personable and charming young man.

Where do I begin?  how does one sum up the years ?

A lifetime that’s unfolded before me and one I’ve had the honor to be a part of and will forever cherish.

I’ve been trying to write this for the last 2 months but every time I try to type this little note,  I start crying and have to put it down.  But today, on your wedding day, the tears will just have to flow as I type….

Despite my very flawed parenting abilities, you’ve turned into a pretty awesome young man.  Saying that I am experiencing mixed emotions would be an understatement, sadness and joy, sadness as one of my greatest roles in life shifts gear – yes mothering you! as a mum I am expected to work myself out of my “mothering” role, a tough one indeed, yet as I watch you become the husband to a wonderful young lady, I am consumed with joy as you move on to start your own family,

My hope is that you never grow tired of hearing me say “do come and visit me”, “I miss you” or “I love you”  for when I say these to you they speak volumes and I mean it…

To this day, I can close my eyes and see you sitting on the living room floor with all your Legos and your gongs (marbles) scattered around. Indeed “I love you” comes with a flood of wonderful memories and there is nothing you can do about the fact that I love you and always will, I will never stop being your mother, yet today I open my eyes to see  – a young man I’m so proud of and extremely happy for.

Waseem, my sweet Bébé, this girl you’ve picked… I cannot think of anyone who could be more perfect for you, indeed Allah (SWT) is the best of planners.

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In the brief encounters that I had the pleasure of connecting with Yumna, she seems to have a personality that compliments yours. Inshaallah, your common personality traits will help contribute towards lasting happiness in your marriage.

My advice to you:
Above all remember Allah (SWT) and always be grateful.

Don’t let anyone tell you that Marriage is 50/50. It most certainly is not! You have to give 100% to your marriage and that’s a tall order. My Bébé, rest-assured it is not a job to take lightly as it requires a lot from you, such as:

. Sacrifice
. Grace
. Gentleness
. Compassion
. Comfort
. Compromise

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My prayer for you both is that Allah (SWT) blesses your marriage, a marriage that will last a lifetime, filled with love, joy, compassion, understanding, trust, hope, health, wealth all wrapped in HIS mercy and light, always guiding and protecting you and your family.
I also pray that Allah (SWT) makes it easy for you to go through the trials and tribulations of married life and that you are blessed with beautiful children, full of piety and respectful, who will make you as happy as you have made me.

 

It would be remiss of me not to thank all my family members who have extended a helping hand in one way or another, towards making this joyous occasion.
Once again, Yumna, sweetheart, welcome to the family and to everyone else who made the effort to join us in celebrating Waseem’s and Yumna’s wedding.

WASEEM, LIFE CHANGES FROM THIS MOMENT ON….
Your Mama”

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Have you had a similar experience? if so how, how did you handle it?

Please do share your experiences with me as I would love to read about it.

Look out for my next post on how I co-planned this wedding, whilst living  continents apart….

Re-connecting

It has been a while since I shared my thoughts or experiences on my page, it has been a busy time for me and my family.

 

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I know that 3 weeks have passed since Ramadan ended, however, I still chose to share my thoughts and feelings about Ramadan, most certainly my favourite time of the year; as we go through our usual emotional preparation, using this time to realign, reflect and re-evaluate our personal growth, understanding our own weaknesses and fears, addressing misunderstandings with grace and dignity, evaluating the challenges that we faced and what we learned from them, and everything around us.

As muslims, during the month long observance of Ramadaan,  we fast from sunrise to sunset, 30 days and nil by mouth, not even water, from sunrise to sunset.

This is an incredibly positive time in our lives, an experience that enables our personal spiritual healing and physical well-being as well as everything around us, a time to remind ourselves to be kind to ourselves and others, making the most of everyday; a time of cleansing and self-control, and how we nourish our bodies during this time is central to it.

It is during this time that we also partake in Zakaat (charity based on portion of one’s accumulated wealth) which goes to those facing challenging times, a form of compensation or mandatory “give back” if you will, a mechanism to alleviate poverty; an accountability for our communities.

I love the fact that Ramadaan serves as a reminder that we are part of the Ummah (Arabic: أمة‎ [ˈʊm.mæ]) an Arabic word meaning “community”, a global community.

Ramadan brings family and communities together through the power of faith and prayer.

Unlike in South Africa, in Qatar, we are very fortunate to work reduced hours, (mine in particular, was from 9am-2pm, leaving me with ample time to rest, pray and prepare for Iftar (breaking the fast)

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The entire city comes to life in the evenings,  For a few minutes as the sun sets, there is a pleasing sense of calm before the sound of the cannon and soon after, the Adhaan (call to prayer) streaming out of mosques, with hands raised we pray with the most heartfelt sincerity in the hope that our fast and efforts have been accepted. We then break our fast with dates and water (dates have been traditionally eaten to break the fast because they serve as a good source of natural sugar, fiber, energy, and essential minerals, and the importance of water and hydration requires no further introduction;) according to the Hadith, (“News” or “Story”, also spelled Hadīt, record of the traditions or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), revered and received as a major source of religious law and moral guidance, second only to the authority of the Qurʾān, the holy book of Islam or the written collection of the traditions of Prophet Muhammad(ﷺ), the Prophet(ﷺ) encouraged breaking the fast with dates and water because of their nutritional value.)

My Fatoor/Iftar menu has certainly changed, a far cry from all sorts of savouries, fried and baked, not to mention the sugar overdose, with an hour and half of total inability to move my limbs; from a food coma to simpler healthier meals and the credit for this goes to my better half.  A great time to remind myself to slow down, not overdo it and appreciate and nurture my body.

For me, this year was particularly emotional, still trying to come to grips with my greatest loss in 2015, my best friend, my confidant, my mother (Ayesha), how I miss her…

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Ramadan 2017, I suffered further losses, my sister (Nádia),  my Uncle Mohammed and Mohammed Yussuf (my housekeeper’s son) at the tender age of 15, Allah knows best (الله اعلم). Trying to accept the losses, remaining grateful and finding solace in my conversations with Allah, while planning  my son’s wedding scheduled for the Friday after Eid-ul-Fitr  (more about this in my next post),

 

How was your Ramadan?

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