” A journal for the soul to read ”
I found her diary some years later. At first I was dazed and unaware that I was even about to stumble onto it. Yet when I think of how it happened, I am amazed. As if something magnetic was drawing me to its exact location, hidden under some old sheets. I tucked my hand for no apparent reason behind the shelf that served no purpose. My fingers felt the soft fabric of the black velvet and when I opened it, I immediately knew what it was. It was as if she had placed it there just for me to find….
My breath caught for a moment, the moment that I realized that this was her journal. I was mesmerized…..
The header on the first page read ” To value a moment one must weather their soul through the torrential storm”….
My body slid down the wall and I sat on the soft carpet for hours reading her eloquent words, impressing her image on my mind.
It was like opening up a treasure chest as a million butterflies were released. A gift from her to the world, a gift from her to her family. A gift worthy of publishing and having every mother, father, wife and child read her words, her sentiments, her fears, her hopes, her emotions. Yet it is something that we keep to ourselves. It is her gift to those in this house, as we read, treasure and gain solace from her short life experiences…..
Zaakira lived for six more months after her picnic at the park and then one Sunday evening, just before the clock struck ten, she breathed her last…
Sunday evenings will never be the same in this house and neither will Monday mornings with all their sticky floors.
They said that the world changed forever that night, that minute and at that second, the day that she breathed her final breath….
Allow me to introduce myself, I am Asma, the mother to her children, the wife to her husband, the silhouette hidden by her enormous presence…
Allow me to begin yet again!
I am Asma, the servant of my Lord, the servant of Zaakira’s Lord, chosen, selected and blessed with the honor of slipping my modest, humbled, inadequate and small feet into her magnificent slippers.
Overshadowed by such a personality, she is everything that I aim to become. I never met her, I never laid my eyes on her, yet as I live in her house I get a sneak peek into her beautiful existence and as each dawn appears I hear her voice in my mind as I wonder what would she do? How would she handle this situation? Her children tell me tales of her life and daily I fall in love with her….
Her life has lit the path for me to follow. Her death has left a legacy for each woman to treasure, that of health, of life, of family, of Allah, of each second and of death….
I would never know to value anything if I never read her journal. I would never have become the person that I am if I never stumbled by some stroke of luck, of fate, into her home. How I got to be selected is not a fairy tale worthy of wording yet the message that she left through her life and her death is even more beautiful than any fairy tale worthy of reading…..
He told me that he never desired nor intended to get married. Even after her death, he was simply not interested, not open to the thought of replacing her! She brought it up a few times and each time he cut her off. The last time that she mentioned it was at the park and after that she gave up and never mentioned it again. He thought that that was it and he was relieved to not have to endure the thought of a life with someone else as it was something unfathomable to him. How could he love another woman after her? He wondered how would he? It seemed impossible and yet I know that it is indeed impossible for he doesn’t love me like he loved her and how could he? I am not even an atom of her spirit.
Her memories beam off these walls, in his eyes, in her children’s smiles and as I watch them remember her, I wonder, what would it have been like to know her. Its impossible to look at Monday’s sticky floors without hearing her voice, without smiling inwardly as I remember her journal entries. Some evenings I sit alone, immersed in reading her words and it is as if she is right beside me, telling me tales, sipping her cuppa with me…..
She left him a letter, signed, sealed and tucked away in his bottom drawer. That letter changed his life he says. I guess that it changed my life as well although I was nowhere near her when she wrote it, nowhere near when she took her last gulp of air as they all sat next to her and held her frail hand.
“Life is forever changing and to value a gift one would have to face the fear of losing it first.”
That is my favorite line, my favorite quote from her book. I wonder, if I hadn’t read her memoirs, would I have valued this gift of hers, that of her family? Would I have valued my own existence on this earth? Would I have discovered the true art and beauty of submission and worship? But of course I would have, Allah has a plan for each and everyone of us……
Read her words, be inspired by her memory…
Her letter to her husband:
“To the love of my worldly life…..
If you’re reading this then guess what? Yes my dear, I am no longer lying next to you, riddled by pain, trembling in a cold sweat or gazing into the horizon lost in thought….
Wipe the tears of my babies as you hide your own tears my beloved! Don’t be sad for I was inspired by the One who inspires all to write this, to tell you to grieve as I know that you must, but to live again thereafter for that is your purpose. You have been left behind as I tread on this journey of the Aakhira not to suffer pain or anguish but to live for a purpose, to live for Him! To watch and take pleasure in each others living and life, In sha Allah. If I could stay a little longer I can’t be certain that I would for I dream of entering a new world, a beautiful world, a world most welcoming to my soul, a world that I have now entered. I dream of and anticipate the meeting with my Lord, And yet you are there and I am here and how blessed are you to be able to still read these my words! SubhanAllah….
Life is about weathering the storm and then toiling again so toil to your Maker, to your Creator, take the hands of my children as together you toil to Him. Love me forever and never let my memory escape their young beautiful minds but cease not in existing, leave them not to reel in the depths of despair. Teach them the beauty of life by standing up and living again. Find a bride for yourself to spend the rest of your days with, find a mother for these children of ours, find a queen to light up my house again and to appreciate Mondays sticky floors. This is my one request of you, my final request, for I truly cannot see you pick up crying Zakiyya from the kitchen floor and I cannot picture you with dry cereal and milk stains on an un-ironed shirt as you leave for work!
Please understand that my part in your story has ended, for now at least, yet Allah has scripted into your life a new part. No one is replaceable but life must and will always go on. Embrace the moments that come to pass and live each day as if it is your last for one day, it truly will be….. your last…..
Until we meet there, never take a second for granted……
Love you always….