In the Name of God, the Subtle, the Loving
I would always look forward to it…
It would be my weekend off from work: a much needed two-day reprieve after twelve straight days of work. My wife would go and drop off our second daughter to Arabic school on Saturday, and I would stay home with Bayan. I would hook up my iPod to the stereo system in our family room, and the music would blare all over the room.
And we would start dancing together.
No, by that time in her life, she could not stand or walk on her own. But, I didn’t care. I would help her stand up straight, and we would dance to the music. A number of our favorite songs would play, and one of those favorites was Chris Brown’s “Forever.” She always loved that song. The beat was great, booming throughout the whole room. The music and melody was also fun; it was the perfect dance tune, and I almost could not help dancing to it.
Hands down, however, my (and her) favorite part of the song was when Brown would sing, “I won’t let you fall, girl/Let you fall, girl…” At that time, I would carry her in my arms and spin around the room with her. She would extend her arms out and just close her eyes in pure enjoyment. Her soft, brown hair would sway in the wind created by my spinning in a circle. It seemed to me like she felt, at that brief moment, like she was flying and finally free.
For those few moments – before I got dizzy – she was free of her disability; free of the confinement of her cerebellar ataxia; free of the constant attack of the bacteria on her lungs. I loved to do that for her, because I loved to see the exhilaration on her face. I never got tired of it. Never.
So, now, when I put that song in my car (which, frankly, I don’t know why I do), those memories come back. And they hurt. The tears flow. But, I still like to hear it, because I can see her again in my mind’s eye. Even though it is incredibly sad for me, it is still nice to see her again.
The same sort of thing happens if I encounter a smell, or a sight, or a street corner, or a breathing machine or other medical machine at work. The memories of my daughter come crashing back, and it is painful. Only the Precious Beloved knows how much I loved my beautiful Angel; how much I adored her; how much my heart beat for her and the rest of my family.
Only the Precious Beloved knows how much she meant to me and my wife. Only the Precious Beloved knows how much I would go and do just to get a smile on her face.
When she was first diagnosed, and I faced head-on the reality that my daughter will not walk and I will likely outlive her, I made a conscious decision to push that as far away from my mind as possible. I made a conscious decision to make every day with Bayan as special as possible, her disability notwithstanding. And we did – both my wife and I did – and it made our life with her as beautiful and special as possible.
I miss those days…I miss carrying her around…I miss holding her in arms…I miss seeing her smile. I miss her so much.
That’s why Chris Brown makes me cry. For, when I hear him sing “Forever,” I think of the child who went back to her Lord, and it hurts.