Sunday, 27 November 2011

Conversations with my Father-- Luck, money and everything in between

Me: I don't get it. You made so much money in your life and you only finished the 7th grade. I have a Master's degree and I can barely make ends meet!

Dad: Yeah, I don't get it either, but you know, I was always a hard worker and luck was always on my side. Like, I used to work as a mechanic and when the 1967 war happened everyone left to Jordan because they were afraid, and there was a doctor who had just bought a new car but he couldn't take it to Jordan so he just gave it to me. And that is how I got my first car and became a taxi driver; I would send and pick people up from the bridge, and it wasn't too long before I opened my own Taxi company 'Taxi El Bireh'...It's funny how life is... that's why habibti dayman ba7kilak ma tez3ali men 2ay eshy, you never know how things will change around.

Me: How does it make perfect sense to you to buy a winter coat for $500?

Dad: la2no if you are going to spend money and buy something, you might as well buy the best. Ana ma b7eb albes el sh'3al el mish mnee7a.

Dad: I liked making money and I liked spending money. I had a good life. I had fun... I used to renew sayaret el Mercedes every year! I loved cars.

Dad: Ya3ni ana mish fahem lesh 3aysheen fi Brooklyn bi 7ek 7ara?

Me: Because we are POOR dad!

Dad: Ya3ni bt2daro tla2olkom ma7al ween Amin a5dni el yoom (meaning the upper west side).

Me: No, dad we can't... places like that are very expensive. I don't think we can ever move there at least not now.

Dad: Well, I think if you guys manage your money better and you cut down on other expenses you can manage it. Life is too short not to live in a nice place.

Me: Yeah, you are right. We will see maybe in a few months we can get out of this place.

-- After my dad's visit to the upper West Side and Columbia University, he began to think that not only does Bed-Stuy stink, but that Brooklyn in general is gross.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Too Far from Home

Today at around 7:00 PM

Dad: I am going to throw you the best graduation party.
Me: Yeah? That would actually be really nice. It will be at our house back home right?
Dad: Right. Back home.
Me: You promise?
Dad: I promise.

Words that Brought him Comfort

I was impressed with Amin's ability to make my dad happy and relaxed in the last stage of his illness. At this stage my dad lost his voice, and had limited mobility. He would get restless at times, trying to say something to us, but we couldn't understand what it was. It was only Amin that could make my dad smile at this stage, and he would say to him as he rubed his chest to soothe him:

"Everything is ok dad. I am going to take care of everything"

"You're going to be ok dad. You did everything right"

"I love you dad. I don't want you to worry about anything"

"Sweet dreams dad. Try to remember your dreams. I'm going to ask you about them later"

I remember trying to use the same words as Amin to soothe my dad, but they did not have the same effect.

I hope you realize how happy you made dad and how lucky he is to have someone reassure him that he did it all right... and not just anyone but his son.

Sunday, 20 November 2011


Whenever I remember you, one particular memory keeps coming to mind. It was when I came back home last summer. I remember making my way down the road and ringing the doorbell. You weren't home, but the door was opened so I figured you had gone to pray. I remember putting my stuff down, thinking how wonderful it is that our house still looks the same. There is very little consistency in my life so it was comforting to know that some things never change (at least that was what I thought at the time). I then remember you coming in after a few minutes... you were running up the stairs with a bouquet of flowers. You had this huge smile on your face, I don't remember anyone ever being so happy to see me. You tell me that you ran out to get me flowers, and you then give me a huge hug that was almost suffocating and you shower me with kisses telling me how much you missed me and saying "heck bedashri abooki"... I then say "didn't you tell me to go find a future for myself?"... You then laugh and say "I know, I just missed you so much".... and I miss you so much dad. I really do.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

November in New York

I never realized how hard it is to die. And whatching you die is even worse.

I have nothing left to say to you, but how could it be that I have nothing left to say?

I wanted more time. I think I got it.

I love you. I love you eternally, without beginning or end, outside any space or time.