Tuesday, August 12, 2014

He won't let me sleep tonight

He won't let me sleep tonight.

It's that time of the year, 16th day of Syawal, 11 years ago, my life changed. So drastically, I was numbed. Anesthetized from the pain, the loss, the reality.

Time takes away that defense, in the hope that I've healed. I pretend to. Inside me crumbles, weakened by the strength I try to show. I succumbed this year to illness.

As I lay here now, recently discharged from hospital, tired, yet he won't let me sleep.

This year, the children sense him too. This evening, without realizing it, we sat down and looked through the photo albums. Something we haven't done in a long long time. Not that it was stated that the anniversary of his passing was exactly today. Nobody mentioned it.

"Do you remember Ayah?" My daughter asked his older brother. She had not even turned 4 yet when he passed away. Big brother had just turned 6.

"A little" he answered. I didn't dare look at them while they continued to talk, flipping through the photo album.

"Dad was tall" commented my son. "Why didn't I get the Tall Gene?" He complained.
I smiled. When I stood next to him many years ago, I barely reached the height of his armpit. My shoulders were his "arm rest" he used to say.

"Where did I get this forehead?" asked my daughter.
"My side" I replied. "Along with the short genes and flat nose" I added. The kids giggled.

This day comes twice for me each year. Once through the Islamic calendar, another with the Georgian. Both times, I try to forget. Never succeeded. Ever.

"You sleep too much" he used to complain. "Sleep sleep sleep".
"I enjoy it. It's a luxury I'd rather not miss out on" I told him.

It's 5.30 am now. He didn't let me sleep tonight.