Sunday, June 20, 2010

Letters to Baba... رسائل لبابا... 4

Today, we celebrate Father's day. It usually falls on the third Sunday of June in 55 countries and on other days elsewhere. Father's Day was first observed on June 19, 1910 through the efforts of Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington. In 1913, a bill was introduced in Congress to accord national recognition of Father's Day. In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. Finally, six years later, in 1972, President Nixon signed it into law making Father's Day a permanent national holiday.

So here goes to a much-loved, very-respected father of all... Happy Father's Day, may all your days be filled with happiness and you surrounded by children and grandchildren.

Now, to follow up on your last letter, you forgot to list the blessings of our parents as one of the most important possessions and blessings in life. I know my ramblings and writing about my feelings and what I'm going through is not easy for you and Mama. I know that it worries you a lot. But what can I do? I need to share it with those closest to me; I want to feel I am not alone carrying the burden all by myself. Selfishness? Maybe! But it's the selfishness of a child seeking comfort and support from the parents to help ease the load.

I was reading your recent letter and Tala peeked over my shoulder and asked what that was. When I told her it was a letter from Baba, she said "Oh, he's your pen pal! I hope Daddy will be my pen pal when I grow up." We are setting the trend for the father-daughter relationship to the offspring.

Moody commented the other day, in reference to your emails to him and birthday card, that "I am the only one among my friends that his grandpa calls him 'my friend'!" What a beautiful association between a grandfather and a grandson! Thank you for that... sincerely!

You can probably tell by now that I'm in a better shape than I sounded in my previous letter. That's the way of life... nothing remains the same--thank goodness for that! I will make sure to share my good days with you as well as my bad days. It won't be fair otherwise. I just hope and pray that my bad days do not cast a shadow over your days, but rather, bring my direction good thoughts and prayers from you and Mama.

At times, I lament on my life and what I have and have accomplished, and I couldn't be happier or more content. As you said, I did so well in my education and my career, and most of all in building a beautiful family the love and company of which is priceless! There were bumps along the road... many, all the time. But what is life without bumps? Those bumps only enriched my life further and turned me into who I am today. I wish I could have spared you some of the hurdle of those bumps but I guess that's inevitable for you are my parents.

These days, I'm enjoying the beautiful weather as much as I could. I took on gardening again after abandoning it for a couple of years. It is very therapeutic, relaxing, and beautiful. The fragrance of the flowers is all around; you just need to open your nostrils and be receptive. The chirping of the birds reminds me how it was the first thing Anas and Juju noticed when they came here and how Mama notices it when I talk to her on the phone from the garden. Things we take for granted and have become a background and part of our environment. Things we don't notice until an outsider to our environment comments on them. My home and my garden are heaven on Earth for me!

I always picture you with the hose in our house in Benghazi when I'm watering the flowers. I still remember the apricot tree that we used to gather "glue" from, and the grapevines that we used to climb on. Yesterday, I planted a hibiscus bush. It reminds me of the big tree we had in our house in Garden City; the one with the big red flowers and lots of ants. I will send you pictures once it blooms. The images here are from my garden. Click on any of the pictures to see more photos. Wish you were here to enjoy it with us!

Love and best wishes for a wonderful Father's Day!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I'm Scared!

Why is it that everything seems to be falling apart around me? I look fine, energetic, and even feel happy and healthy. But at times I question what I'm really feeling. Is it all pretence? Am I trying to fool myself and those around me? I am so confused and feel like swinging back and forth in my emotional and mental state. I'm on a roller coaster and I hate it and want to get off of it!

What to do?

I have abundance of information about a diet to help cure cancer and other things that have been tried and proven to work in Maria's case, my sister-in-law. But I can't get myself to start on it. It seems everything requires a lot of work, effort, and thinking. I don't feel like doing anything anymore or committing to anything!

My skin is still terribly irritated and not healing yet. On Tuesday, I had foot cramps which I've been getting frequently. I stood to walk it off, walked few steps and felt dizzy. I told Sol I was blacking out and leaned on the stairs rail. Next thing I know, Sol was tapping me on the face calling "Hannu, Hannu...", him and Tala lifting me up and Moody trying to call 911. Apparently I passed out. It was the first time in my life I pass out. It worries me; do I have a brain tumor? Was it a blood clot? Was it, was it...? I should call the doctor, but I've had my fill of bad news...

What to do?

The support I need is for the ones I love to be around me, next to me, and take care of me... I'm tired! I don't want to talk, I don't want to think, I don't want to worry about a thing, I just want to rest and feel loved and cared for... and on my own way. But what I get is phone calls, and I don't know how to convey that the phone calls, though nice to have, are sometimes a source of stress. The timing, the questions I have to answer, the updates I have to give, the questions I get when calls go unanswered. The never-ending demands around me, the kids' never-stop questions, the decisions I constantly have to make, the things I have to monitor and keep track of... Can't I just be left alone?

What to do... What to do...? All I want is peace and serenity... That's what Hana means, but will I ever have them?

Sunday, June 06, 2010

If I Had a Pet Dinosaur

If I had a pet dinosaur
By Tala Dregia

If I had a pet dinosaur, I would name it Cookie. It would be a pterosaurs. He likes to eat cookies. He would sleep in the backyard in his club house.

He's really funny. I play with him every day. I ride him to school and from school.

He has a long beak and medium sized eyes and a small head and large wings. I love him and he loves me.

P.S. He likes it when you mind your own beezwax!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

رسائل لبابا... 3

Hana, Abdelrahim and Safia, Westerville, OH, October 31, 2008
Good morning, Baba.

This is an article I came a cross about how cancer changed the daughter-parent relationship. It is a topic I always thought about since you came to stay by my side after my diagnosis. Seeing the pain and helplessness you and Mama had to deal and cope with pained me more than anything else. Actually, most times it hurt me and worried me more than my cancer diagnosis. I wanted to share this with you and Mama hoping it will ease your pain, all of our pain, and help us cope with the situation and understand the emotional turmoil involved.

Maybe one day I will write my own experience. I'm just not ready for it yet as things are still jumbled in my head and my life... One thing at a time!

I love you both!


Read the article here: Mum and Dad helped me survive cancer Blogger Lisa Lynch and her parents tell Viv Groskop how her breast cancer changed their adult-child relationship...