Tag Archives: parenting

DEDICATED TO ALL THE MOTHERS

A man came to the Prophet and said, ‘O Messenger of God! Who among the people is the most worthy of my good companionship? The Prophet said: Your mother. The man said, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet said: Then your mother. The man further asked, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet said: Then your mother. The man asked again, ‘Then who?’ The Prophet said: Then your father. (Bukhari, Muslim).

I cannot get to the bottom of all the pain a mother goes through after having carried her child for nine months in her womb and bring a new life into this world for the first time in her life – and then after having raised her child suddenly lose the one she nurtured all her life. I cannot fathom the pain and anguish inside her. Why is this the way of nature is beyond my understanding except this is how the creator wanted to be. That is another discussion for another time. How far the pain goes and how deep it travels inside her I cannot comprehend. I pray to the Almighty to give them strength to bear this pain. I know that life is not a spectator sport, win or lose or draw, the game is in progress, whether we want it to be or not. Whether we play it or not. The beauty of life is that anything is possible. Sometimes I wonder, we have never been able to know our children; what they want and what they can do. I really do not know why and when we fail. I have always maintained and conversed about it that Present today is past-present is always past. It hurts. Can it harm you? I do not know but memories do!

On 12 November 2007 at 2135 hours ( Liberia Standard Time) I wrote this while I meditated on the subject. The farther I go, the nearer I come. The nearer I am further it seems. Two ends of the span and scale are far apart, never destined to meet; yet the feelings transcend into a far distant and the space in between is meaningless and far is near. Time freezes, but the memories seem distant. Too many objects in mind. Cannot focus on one, yet everything seems to be in focus, everything interpretable. Words are in scarce, I know what I say, yet they become meaningless when I try to bring them all together – look better apart. I like the meaning in this way. They are more abstract than real. Those who understand must see how I see. Let them be in my mind one day someone understands the true meaning of what I am. It is a swirling of thoughts which are constantly in motion, a state of being in blue space, with endless boundaries. The more I try to reach, the farther it moves away. Must remain content till I can – must wait for the right moment.

I finish with something I wrote in my journal – Most wounds run deeper than you can imagine, the only thing is that you cannot see them.

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MY DAUGHTER

A daughter is beauty at its finest.

Heart of an angel, soul so pure, and sweet.
Daughters are one of God’s most precious gifts that he has bestowed upon the world.
Angels in Heaven do not compare to thine beauty, and grace my ever so beautiful, and lovely daughter.
Seeing you at birth brought more joy to me
than all the money in the world could ever do.
You are morning, bright, and shining,
you are noon, you reside at the highest point in my heart,
you are the dew kissed night.
You are my daughter, heart, and soul.

mariam-for-blog

It is 0235 hrs past midnight the 6th of Nov 2016 and not a wink of sleep. Finished watching Season 12 Episode 5 of CRIMINAL MINDs. I am watching this TV Series since 2005. I have never missed an episode being one of my favorite Season Series; it has crime stories based on the detectives who solve complex and complicated crimes with interesting twist and turns of the plot. Each episode is weaved and spun around characters based on their behaviour pattern. The detectives are part of BAU – Behaviour Analysis Unit of the FBI. The most interesting part of all the episodes is the narration of a quote in the beginning and mostly at the end of each episode. Today’s quote from the episode, which I finished, watching, was of Euripides- “To a father growing old nothing is dearer than a daughter”. The quote has a power of recall. It has beamed me to fields of the vastness of my past occurrences. I cannot help but be filled with intense sentiments, tenderness, and love. The quote of Euripides, which dates back to 408 BC, still holds good today. Euripides writings were also a subject of Moody’s passion of reading books of famous philosophers. As I clicked for more quotes I stumbled upon all the quotes of Criminal Minds since it’s screening. I picked up few for my Facebook status and posted them. As browsing continued I pulled out the exact quote of Euripides “ –To a father waxing old Nothing is dearer than a daughter; sons have spirits of a higher pitch, but less inclined to sweet endearing fondness”. Since millennia this unbreakable bond has existed between father and a daughter. I cannot even comprehend how parents without daughters grow as one, not without children but without daughters. My daughter is a blessing who loves, caring and sister to three brothers of whom one has left this world. I feel the pain. Mariam has had three names since she was born. We started with Nadia. That we were told is not a good name as it meant the one who calls. We changed her name when she was only a year old. The second name is Rabiya. I say ‘is’ because I still call her by that name. I like the name. The third and present name she chose herself– Mariam. This name is documented. I have never been able to call her Mariam, only her colleagues and friends call her that. Adnan my dear friend of 17 years always thought that I had two daughters till late, Rabiya and Mariam.

Rabiya has had a very tough life and as a father, it has been very hard and strenuous for me too. At times I see her and feel out of sorts and blue. Sometimes I wonder and do not know what is going on in her mind. She is a fighter beyond any question and doubt. Health issues personal ups and downs and right in midst of keeping the balance of home and studies she has struggled and now is a Ph.D. Scholar, a testimony to her unwavering resolve to set her goals and achieve them. Determined and clear-headed she knows her clearly defined goals. I am very happy and content for that. What goes in my heart is matter of my heart. I as a parent have struggled to define and grade myself. Moody who studied Euripides, Herodotus, Socrates and Plato and other great scholars and philosophers of the past knew how to express himself. He did that with a powerful and potent choice of words. His words resonate in form of his powerful poems. Rabiya has different ways of expressing herself. I call her my doctor. She tells me what medicines I must take when I need them. She is our family dream catcher – a dream seen and she gets a call. I do not remember what I dream and those I do she would expound and illuminate it for me in a few well-chosen words. She goes crazy when she sees a Palmist. She would force me that I must show my palm. I have not except once or twice just to listen to her. Palmists have not been able to read my palm, perhaps my lines of heart and head do not speak loudly. Rabiya definitely knows what goes on inside me she would not say. My kids are not expressive and never have used words I love you. Their way of saying that are more in deeds than in words. The older she gets the friendlier she gets. I must end with an Irish proverb ‘ A son is a son till he takes him a wife, a daughter is a daughter all of her life’

Rabiya may Allah be always be with you – Ameen.

 

 

 

The Only Letter to My Three Sons – 28 Sep 2006

My Dearest Moody Ali and Bilal

For quite sometime now I wanted to write to all of you a single letter. I do not know why I am feeling today I must do that. I have no reason doing this but sometimes your heart tells you things which your head fails to reason.

I have lived a life time in the Army. God has given me everything. His timings have been perfect and I have no complaints absolutely. I am here in Monrovia for at least additional one and half year from my original one year tour. Did I know this will come– NO I could not even dream of this . Allah’s timings in my case have always been perfect. I guess you and Ali had to study abroad and Bilal Inshallah you do not worry you will also Insha Allah go to a very good institution. You all must continue to crystallise your goals and objectives. You all must have goals in life and strive to achieve them. there is nothing in Life that you cannot accomplish if you have sincerity of purpose. Moody and Ali you have reached an age where you should see things absolutely clearly. It is an age which should bring Calm and a wiser direction in life. Its time for you all to seriously set goals. I have provided you all options which you have accepted. If these have been accepted by you than this can only be a good option if it leads to more options and moves you forward. Your direction must provide you with inspirations and energy otherwise all will go waste. Your purpose in life should have a gift for humanity. That is what I will see you all to aspire. getting jobs cannot be a goal, but only a stepping stone.remember you all are in a strange and exciting times of your lives. I have provided you choices and in abundance you should grab them. I would love all of you to fight and earn your way through. My assets will not last forever. I even do not know if they will last to see me and your mother through. It has been a struggle and I would like you all to note that. Struggles do not necessarily show itself by what you wear and eat. What you do not have. It is a life and principles you want to achieve and set for yourself. I need you all to sit and ponder what ALLAH has provided you thus far make the best out of it.
I was talking to my colleague and asking him to tell me how to write my CV. I have never written one in my life. There will be a time soon when I will shedding my uniform and that is Inshaallah 16 March 08. If I am alive than Inshallah this is a day I look forward to. I have not wondered, AS YET, what will be my life like after that. I am not still in that state of mind yet.
I am now beginning to know what were my shortcomings in bringing you all up. Now that you have grown and growing still I thought I should have taught you to value TIME. Set strong principles in your life and stick to them at all times. I have been all the time telling you to study. That is your job and mine was to have and develop passions in your life and forge you to achieve them. I have found children in Pakistan are extremely myopic in setting their goals. One thing Which is now my desire is you should share your struggle and what all goes with it with your own self. Here whenever I have told people that I got cars for you they were completely surprised and flabbergasted. I think they have done it. I have seen girls and men here who are working to get their loans paid. You should all be in a frame like that, which then brings you an urge and “ZID” to do much more than you think you can.
I am sure that I will be indulging in more such letters as and when I feel I must write. You are three brothers and you must have great friendship with each other. Share you happy and sad moments. Write Journals which should not be a narration of days events but how you see things in life. How you see things not to be. and I can go on and on.

I end now without reason.

I love you all and hope that I will see a response of what you feel sooner or later. I hope i will know sooner than later what are your ambitions. How you see your life ahead. do not hold back feel free to write anything which you can and have in mind. Feel free and in the end I will only say OPEN YOUR MIND and see how things develop.

Your most loving father AGHA

A Poem – Birthday Gift to Me

MY BIRTH DAY – GIFT FROM MY SON
16 March 2005

We are habitants of hope and You beholder of its fulfillment
We are confidants of constitution and You its solemn pillar
We are a crowd of millions in embittered rows and You vowing thousand services for its security
We scorn at neighbours from cities to suburbs and You serve them all on country outskirts
We are guests dining parties and You fighting to host the pledge of your compassion’s
We are conceited money making teams and You a league bereft by the very currency of it
We jeer in subjects of jested foolishness and You the tower on guard with regard for justice
We are destitutes of our daily civic duties and You destined to an unexpected breach of life
We pastor in our ill perceptions and limited peripherals of sights while You saviour us on zenith of bloody battles
We are objects of laughter gathered around fountains while You a forgotten group on the tenuous rifts of mountains
We are scattered visitors and tossing tulips on friends for favours and You a promised unified protector of fellowship
We are a Standard of scrounge in the Bank of our deceptions and You save us from the feuds of enemy emancipations
We are reckless in publicity of our superficial reputations and You for simplicity in the lines of enemy slaughters
We yawn in chors and dance on songs in our sensations of youth while You hasten youth in the hazards of servitudes
We isolate ourselves with instincts of rich and poor but You dare to save us both in the eye of fury and danger
We value mode of our fabrics and means to travel while You bear the range of average school fee in modest stakes and limitations
We foster to gain rupees by the ironies of wealth and You the residual of war in the shelter of bullets and bombs
We tire our evenings choosing ways to color the sense in our clothes and You speed years in the stiff crease of uniform

You are my sterling Warriors and Pride of Pakistan.

A Poem one and Wishes a many, Happy Birthday!

A LETTER BEFORE DYING – MY SON’S LAST LETTER

A BRIEF PREAMBLE

I am today, 25 Dec 2015, transferring my real life stories which I had originally posted on Squidoo.com. These lens’ I wrote were transferred early this year to Hubpages. I wrote a total of 16 Lens’. To my dismay only four were migrated. The rest I have lost. The touch and the feel I wrote them I cannot do that again. I cannot feel the same intensity. Despite my best efforts, I could not retrieve them. I have now decided to post them on my Blog here. I will cut and paste the comments which I got on them for the benefit of the readers. I am posting them as they were I wrote these two years ago. I would be appreciative of your comments. Please feel free to write whatever you feel.

THE PAIN STOPS BUT THE GAP NEVER CLOSES

“You’ll get over it…’ It’s the cliché that cause the trouble. To lose someone you love is to alter your life forever. You don’t get over it because ‘it’ is the person you loved. The pain stops, there are new people, but the gap never closes. How could it? The particularness of someone who mattered enough to grieve over is not erased by anyone but death. This hole in my heart is in the shape of you and no one else can fit. Why would I want them to?” ~ Author Unknown

Why Must I Write? – About The Letter!

For many days now I have been only writing and nothing else. I have been doing that since all my life but this phase is very different than ever it has been before for me. There are always triggers which change course one has been following in life. Some do not realise when they happen, but in hindsight when events have sped past you, you take stock of your life; sit in one quiet corner of your house delete the cache of your mind and you realise how much is there to select, rewind and restart. It was exactly 13 days after my son’s 5th death anniversary I was reading a heart wrenching story of a bipolar case. That triggered a chain of thoughts so powerful that I could not help but to immediately sit with a pen and paper and decided it’s time to take a very bold step and open myself. It started with About Me, then within 6 weeks I wrote TimeBipolar Affective Disorder , Wisdom , The Interview , Unique Birthday GiftBipolar’s Gift . The list of people visiting to read has steadily grown and I realised that ordeal of hundreds and thousands across the globe has to be shared in every possible manner and trust me it will effect some one some where in the world for better. I realized in Pakistan there are many suffering but I could count them on fingers, not because they are not there but because the taboo and stigma of depression, mental illness, bipolarity, being possessed and other labels it carries have plunged so many into depths of despair and struggle. It is a painful experience to have known about their stories. There are some who have even failed to confront this disease, others have remained in the closet some even have no idea what ‘Bipolar’ is. There are others whose parents have just brushed aside the reality their children are facing till it was late, till it will be late.

Never in my life time I have actually read a dying letter of a person who has died of suicide. Yes I have known a colleague who committed suicide few months back. His death has left many questions unanswered. That itself is trauma for those who knew him and his family. The answers are all speculative and all those who mattered for him will NEVER know his last thoughts before he took his life. I have put myself in that shoe and the mere thought of not knowing the real “WHY” would have been afflicted me with every passing day of my life. The ‘Last Letter’ I believe has taken care of it.

Today I will share only the crux of the letter. I wanted to share that in full, however it seems it has been on net some where else and I have been asked to make alterations in my module to allow this to be published. I have tried to explain the purpose but unlocking may not be forthcoming hence I am altering my original text. I have absolutely no doubt it will help many families to understand the true meaning of the importance of their presence, support and care for all those effected in and around their life. I hope I will as a result of this sharing will be shared with candid thoughts especially by those who are suffering. Thank you very much indeed.

Breaking the News

I landed in Monrovia on 4 May 2007, the last day of my 25 Days leave. Monrovia City is about 85 Km from the airport. Little I knew that very soon this would be my longest 85 Km journey. I sat in my car and changed the SIM. No sooner I did that my cell phone rang. My son-in-law was on the other side and he said those unforgettable words which no parent would ever like to hear ” Agha I have very bad news. Moody is no more. He shot himself. He sent you an email which says everything.” This was a short call and I did not ask any question. I did not really know what to think, my mind just froze for few moments. I had tears in my eyes and the driver realised something was very wrong till I told him and then made a couple of calls. Those were excruciating moments. I thought of my wife and her condition, my other children and wondering what was happening at home right now. Moody’s life kept on going to and fro in front of my eyes. No picture really stood still for me to see. Then I tried to capture his last frame. His last words, what was he wearing, how did he look, why I did not see him when I left home, why I did not hug him like I always did when I left home. So many whys. I had lost a piece of me forever. I reached home and first thing I did was to read his mail; his last letter. No amount of water is enough to flow under the bridge and ease the pain and trauma for me, my wife and my children. Things have never got back the way it used to be. I am thankful as a father after his passing away that he wrote that letter.

“There is some comfort in dying surrounded by one’s children”. Ann Radcliffe

Moody’ Last Letter – The Gist

Nasir Mahmood 21 March 1975 ~ 4 May 2007

After reading Moody’s letter, I would like to bring out his thoughts at that point of time when he was writing his last letter and till he took his life. He seemed to wander directionless and the intensity of his thoughts overcame his better judgement. He justifies taking his own life with an argument that he is saving us from spirits which have been haunting him, controlling his mind and body to an extent that he is unable to take his own rationale decisions. He, in fact believed if he left this state to prolong it will not be long that these would start influencing us his close family members. This thought was pushing him closer and nearer to the precipice and point where he seemed to see the right rationale and justification of taking his own life to save ours. The two spirits which he repeatedly talked about for months and especially when these thoughts surfaced in Australia while he was in Canberra doing his Masters in Accounting. I did not believe him and presumed incorrectly that he cannot do his Masters and now seeking a way out, knowing well that he had made me spend quite a sum of money so to make an excuse. This was a crucial error of judgement on my part. The time was the critical factor and both of us did not realise how fast he was being allowed to slide down. He was unwell so I would not blame him now, the fault had been mine which I had sent him as warning in my letters. Poor Moody still would not like to let me down and continued till it was beyond his control.

He remembers his memorable times and praises me and his mother for making a man he was and our complete support for him. Since he read a lot his thoughts on critical subjects like philosophy, poetry and Sufism and works of other eminent writers brought to surface his own philosophy which he wrote in his devastated frame of mind. These became so strong that he started to believe in them and that they were the ones controlling his destiny. It only dawned to him that the control was so powerful and clutching that they started to drive him against his own wishes.

Once he decided that he will take his own life from that point on I think now he was just waiting for the right time. I cannot for sure say how he determined that it was the right time. I have my theory which may be wrong. While at home he would stare at things and get lost somewhere, he would smile in presence of own family and they also did not notice the severity of these actions. One day when he was with a friend in a gathering he did the same and smiled being oblivious of the surroundings till some one from the crowd laughed at time maybe in a ridiculing gesture, and there he realised his ‘disability’ is now noticeable. He told this to his mother as I was in Liberia and from then on for next 8-10 days did not go out till he died. Other factors which may have also contributed was the girl he loved married and may have ( I am not sure) spoken to her, the exchange must have triggered his reaction. She had a child and sadness and heart-stricken and depressed as he was, did not give any more space and will to, live notwithstanding what all was going in his head.

He knew that, ‘suicide’ is a sin in Islam, but he mentions that since the spirits are so overwhelmingly strong that the only way out to get rid of them was to take his own life. He does state very clearly ‘ my judgement for the sanctity of spirits is different from Arabs’ meaning the religion of Islam at this point. He believed that what he will do and take his life will not be judged sinful by God. He also was convinced that what ever he was about to do was not wrong. He said he knew exactly why and what he was doing and that we will one day judge him as a brave man rather than a person lost in life. He did not really believe that the treatment will help him. He avoided taking medicines, and his mother used to powder the tablets and give him in coffee. A drink he liked to take. He urged me to take care of his mother and explain him in detail why he had taken that step. he wanted me to get married his younger brothers sooner than later. Forbade us to find solutions for his death in books. Told me that every one should avoid reading poetry especially Rumi.

He also mentions what must be done after he is no more. His savings to go to charity. The car to be returned to the company he was working for. He laid out things neatly on his made up bed. A DVD – Last Temptation of Christ – which I think he watched more than once. Finally, most painful for me in this whole letter was that he realised he will be causing lot of pain to us and yet he was sure in his mind what he was suffering was much more than we were about to go through. He was also spot on when he said that we would face a silent condemnation of such a demise which would bring host of speculations. He was right, when Chief of Military Intelligence dropped in with his wife asking idiotic questions with Moody’s dead body lying in front of his mother. I was very much pained for that. Moody visualised correctly knew the situation after he was gone and there fore in the last line pleaded that we must not cry or feel remorse on his passing. He finished his letter writing God is The Greatest, Allah O Akbar and like always never failed to miss to write Your most loving son Moody.

Some Selected Comments

Bellezza-Decor 2 years ago from Canada

Very few seek wisdom and truth, for the journey is long and arduous. Our perspective of this World is distorted because of the evilness that has overridden this planet. For those that take the journey through to conclusion, can only hope that the truth and beauty within the human beings will overcome the distortions of this reality and that we will one day live in peace and harmony and that everything on this planet will be treasured and valued and not manipulated and destroyed for the lowly dollar.

Life is a journey and very few realize they actually have free will, albeit limited. The free will is the choice between the right path and the wrong path. It sounds simple but it is the hardest thing to do in a World where truth is a revolutionary concept. This time here is the most challenging, the most distorted and the most intolerable of human conditions. Beauty, truth and honor will destroy the evilness here and the awake and aware souls watch now as evil implodes upon itself. This is a difficult time for many souls as we walk among the soulless. Your Son is not judged; may he rest in peace.

delia-delia 2 years ago

My heart aches for you and your family…I can only imagine the pain. We have had friends and family commit suicide, and it’s always hard to understand, but as I read your sons plight I see his suffering and how can we understand that. I am a Christian and believe that we are not to judge – God is the Judge. I find it interesting that Moody watched “Last Temptation of Christ” maybe he saw how Christ suffered. I’m sorry for your loss and pray that you and your families hearts are healing.

norma-holt 2 years ago

What a struggle for you and by writing you are releasing tension and stress so don’t stop. There are never answers for suicide and parents are left in the dark, often blaming themselves. No one dies before their time and suicide is just another way that it happens.

darciefrench lm 2 years ago

My heart goes out to you and your family. Your son is in my prayers; I believe souls can still be reached through Jesus Christ, who knows know boundaries. I have bipolar and I understand the depth of the depression and the overwhelming attraction that death, can hold. Bless you for bringing awareness of the disorder to light, from your first hand experience.

kabbalah lm 24 months ago

I’m saddened to hear about your loss. Bipolar and all mental illnesses are very difficult to deal with.

kimark421 23 months ago

Very sad, and this must have been very hard to share. My condolences to you and your family.

NibsyNell 23 months ago

I’m so sorry for your loss. Hopefully, your writing will help to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illnesses and so make it easier for people to seek help. Lots of love to you and your family. 🙂

Melissa Miotke 23 months ago from Arizona

Very chilling to think of what’s going through someone’s mind before they commit suicide. It seems your friend had really thought things out. I’m sorry for your loss.