I attended this beautiful Celebration of Life event, for a colleague’s husband, who had passed away. What was beautiful about this event was that she requested all religions to say a word of prayer for her dearly departed. I was honored to be asked to represent Islam.
I was very touched by all the efforts to bring all the religions under the same roof. As she chuckled and said to me, “Somebody’s bound to get it right, and we hope that we have ’em all covered!”
What was really beautiful was the way all prayers repeated peace and love for the departed soul. This is what makes us all human, converging in the silent memory of God. The loved ones gathering in memory of the departed is a touchy reminder of living our life fully, not getting caught up in the entangled web of life to forget those who matter most to us.
I have always believed that birthdays are a special occasion. We all grew up enjoying and feasting on our special days. Some birthdays are even more special, because your loved ones surround you with their love, time and attention. Today has been what I have been calling a Case of Exploding Love! I am so full of warmth of those greetings that I am ready to embrace turning 38 this year! God is kind, and He sends His love to us through His special little angels that we see in the form of our family and friends. My sister, little ms. Jaffri outdoes herself every year! I have been telling everyone that we all need a bit of Ms. Jaffri in our lives. She makes you feel special – as if the whole world is revolving around you!
And that is the thing about love. When we love unconditionally, its not about the time we dont have, or our schedules that are conflicting – when we love ’em, we show ’em, and we show up!
Thank you God for little blessings, and especially for loving little sisters.
A note to myself, to cover all aspects of life: work, relationships, life in general:
Grass is not greener on the other side. It is greener where you water it!
Of late my social media timeline has been full of people writing in the memory of their loved ones they have lost recently. Some writing poetic lines for their friends, some for their family.
It got me thinking – I wonder when was the last time they met or spoke to that person? Do we, in our lifetime apologize to those we hurt? Do we tell the ones we love how much we love them? And when we are aching to speak to someone, do we reach out to them? In the rush of our maddening lives, often times we tread upon those we care for most. There will always be time to make up, we might think. Life is so fragile and unpredictable, there may not be anytime! I would rather that my friends and family care for me while I am alive. I try and do the same for the ones who mean most to me. For the complicated ones we may have tread upon in the circus of life, maybe it’s time we reflect on making up in life, than regret in death! Every person deserves respect and everyone should be given a second chance!
I am reminded of these beautiful lines from my favorite Browning poem:
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
Just read and could not agree more:
The short-term pain of accepting the truth is far better than the long-term pain of believing in an illusion.
By now, most of the readers would have heard about Pope Francis visiting the Philippines #PopeFrancisPH
I was showing his videos to J&S my boys aged 13 and 7 respectively. I was showing them how much respect I have for the Pope for the way he interacts with people of all ages, color and creed – how he keeps a smile on his face, and blesses everyone as he meets them. My 7-year old asked me, who is a Pope. Out of convenience, I told him casually, ‘well, think of him as a Maulvi’. ‘Oh okay,’ he said thoughtfully. ‘So mama, who is our Pope in Pakistan?’
His question, which came as a painful shock to me, left me speechless. I wish I could show him one religious leader in Pakistan who is loved and respected as much as the Pope, even the Muslim Ummah if you please, and who in return would treat people with this much love and compassion. I give up. Can you think of one such name? Will somebody please stand up?
This December of 2014 when I went to Islamabad – I brought back with me to Manila all my greeting cards and letters, saved since as long as I remember! Oh what a flashback it was indeed! It was as if my life was passing by me in a jiffy! Some brought a smile, some a tear or two. Life is short and slipping away at a speed faster than we can ever catch up with.
…and it got me thinking – It will be almost like the promised Day of Judgement where our life and deeds will be flashed before our eyes! I sincerely hope and pray that it’s a life worth looking at – in front of the One we all long to meet!
Until that day – it’s a constant struggle of self learning and self improvement! Don’t we all want to look our best when we meet the One Beloved. I hope it’s a meeting worth all this effort! Dear God.