Tuesday, March 20, 2007


I turned 24 today. And as I bobbed my head out from under the quilt this morning, I thanked God for giving me another year and yet another chance to do my damnedest at making the new one better. Today wouldn't have been as hard as it is had it not been my Dad's birthday, too. He would've turned 64 and oh, how handsome he would've looked at 64. The various first anniversaries after a loved one's passing are always the worst: their first birthday, your first birthday, anniversaries and Eids. These days come rolling around even though the one you love is gone.

There is a sign leaning up against a tree across the hospital's emergency exit that reads: "If tears could build a stairway, and memories could build a lane, I would walk all the way to Heaven. And bring you home again." I see it whenever I go out for a smoke and I remember Dad every time. The logical side of me says it's just some mawkish bit of poetry. But the emotional side, which has lately been calling the shots in my psyche, doesn't want to hear it, because that's exactly how I feel.

I saw that sign again today when my friend and I went out for a breath of fresh air, and I cried. My family has moved out of one community - those who celebrate with their living fathers - into the one that goes to the cemetery and celebrates with memories. I wish I could have put my membership off a lot longer, but so many of my friends lost their Dads when they were in their teens that I feel like I have no right to complain. For now, though, I grab peace in bits and pieces but it's the sort that exists alongside a kind of perpetual mourning and restlessness as I picture us singing along, harmonizing our voices, dancing the familiar dance and matching each other's steps; ancestor and descendant, teacher and student, father and daughter.

You prepared me to carry the threads you laid down when you moved on. And though, I've got an ocean full of tears and a stack of memories a hundred stories high, but still no way of getting you back from Heaven, I just hope I bear them well.


Hot Lemon& Honey said...

Ash...Happy birthday again..
I think I know how difficult it is with ever anniversary. It is difficult, but I know one thing, that it gets easier. Count the number of people who go through the same kind of losses and are able to go on.
" I've got an ocean full of tears and a stack of memories a hundred stories high, but still no way of getting you back from Heaven, I just hope I bear them well." The most touching part.


Ash.. Ash .. Ash..
Happy Birthday dear..
And yes Ash feel free to spend some moments with your ocean of tears.. keep sailing, that's your bond too.. and never let go your beautiful memories..
And pray for your loved ones..
Happy birthday again and again..

olly said...

oh ash,, where did u learn to write like this, u move me beyond belief. stay strong, always.

olly said...

and of course a very happy birthday, hope u had an awesome day :))

btw, this is olly from across the pond (remember?) - bahamas! :))) wfb (ring a bell, yet?).... okaaay, world football board (wfb)...... saw ur blog linked to your profile on xt...... bad luck on the whole juventus deal but i see you're still their strongest fan so football obviously runs in ur blood :D they should be one proud team to have such a loyal and devoted fan :)) gud luck next season, gurl! :)))

MD said...

Happy Birthday gurl!

What you speak about is so familiar. When my uncle passed away (the feelings are exactly as how you feel about your dad's death), every Eid after that was a piercing reminder of the void he left. When I would drive on the roads, I'd say to myself 'He was driving on these roads just ten months back...'. But I close my eyes and try to forget my pain. I look up at the open, softly-coloured sky in the late afternoon when the sun doesn't hit us hard. I close my eyes and take a deep breath and feel that he is somewhere so free...so happy somewhere behind those colours.

DxBroSe said...

Happy Birthday hun n im sorry about ur dad !

jaime said...

Hi, I was just browsing blogs and came across yours. I just started a blog about grieving (I know, not very exciting), but I'm looking for some insight. It seems like we have a lot in common (sadly). Feel free to read it (all of one post, so far!)

take care.

Ash said...

Hey, Jaime. I'm sorry for your loss. I've started feeling that grief changes and takes a chronic form but it never actually disappears and dealing with it is the hardest part, something I'm still learning to do.

Thanks for stopping by. I'll be sure to check yours.

Ash said...

Olly, of course I remember you. It's been quite a while, indeed. Get my e-mail address off the side of the page and be sure to write. The Juve situation is indeed a bit of a heartbreak but I've learned to cope with it. At least no more cries of foul play from the Interisti once we're back, eh ;)

MD, thanks for the wishes. Please know that I always include your uncle in my prayers. Whenever you wish to talk, I'll be listening.

Thanks for the kind words and the wishes, dxbrose, HLH, IYM. Just the regular birthday ice-cream ritual Dad and I used to do, except this time it was alone. Still, fuel for my thoughts of him and lots of prayers.