Friday 6 August 2010

The Heart of Our Home

It’s funny isn’t it, how you think of your home as rooms, doors, furniture and belongings, when really it is the people who live there that make it home. I remember when my grandmother passed away last year, for ages after, when I visited my parents home where she lived, it felt as if there was a great emptiness and that home wasn’t quite a home anymore but just the place where a collection of us lived or gathered. Alhamdulillah our memories are short and we have such capacity to move on, we soon forget.

That is until now. Mum is in Pakistan caring for my grandfather who is very ill. The first time I visited after she flew out, it felt as if the heart had been ripped out of the house again. How we have all missed her. It made me understand how much a mother is more than just the person who raises us, cooks our dinner and nags us to find a spouse. She is the glue that holds us together, the sanctuary we keep returning to, when we need some piece and good food.

I am usually around her place every weekend, testing her sofa, checking the remote control works and safety-checking her food, but in the month she has been away I have barely dropped by. Little Lady misses her Nan and partner in crime terribly (they are best friends and both gang up on me).

She will be back next week in time for the start of Ramadan insh’Allah. Her health and the heat in Pakistan would mean that she would not be able to fast. At the same time she will have to leave her terminally ill father with the knowledge that she most likely will never see him again. The last time I spoke to her, he was in severe pain, refusing to stay in the city near a hospital and insisted on going back to his village. Our old people are like that, they won’t leave their village and if they do, the first hint of illness and they are back (I remember my grandfather leaving the UK to go back home whilst he was still perfectly well with a parting shot of “there’s no way I am going back to Pakistan in a box”).

In any case I feel terrible for her, what must it put your soul through to watch your parent die? He is distressed much of the time and upset when his children are out of his sight (mash’Allah he has 13, from 3 wives (not at the same time!) and they are very close). It will be difficult for my mum to leave him and for him to see my mum go. Everyone here is maudlin with the thought that they will probably never get to see him again.

Please remember them both in your dua’s insh’Allah.


  1. Asalamou alaykoum,

    May Allah make thing easy for your mother and her father, ameen.
    I know how you feel about your mother. When my mother goes away for a weekend I feel depressed. I've struggled most of my life with the thought of her dying, we've always been so close since I'm the only girl out of 4 children. I pray that Allah guides her to the truth of Islam before she dies, ameen.

  2. Asalaamu Alaikum

    My dh went through this. He went back in 2006 to visit his sick dad and in 2007 he died. He didn't get to see his grave until 2009. Its heartbreaking.

  3. So true!

    When parents or parents in law are not there, its just not the same.

  4. Salaam. Have been thinking of you lots lately and hope that all is well with you and your family. I hope Allah makes things easy for your mum and grandfather. It can't be easy. My hubby had to go back to Pakistan a month after he got here (we'd only been married two months at the time) because his dad was diagnosed with cancer.

    My prayers and with you and your family.

  5. Salaams sis,

    Posts like this are the reason I love your blog so much. You write so candidly about family life and so much of what you write is parallel to my own experiences in family. I take away a lot from reading your posts, masha Allah. I also loved your previous post about marriage (I am the embodiment of number 2!).

    Also, you and your family are in my du'ahs, insha Allah.

  6. May Allah swt make it easy for your grandfather and mum, ameen. It must be a very difficult time for your mum. I hope being around her grand children will cheer her up, insha-Allah.