Happy Birthday, Habeebee…


In the Name of God, the Kind, the Beautiful

I wasn’t keen on having children at first. I was a newly wedded man and a newly matriculated medical student. I was afraid of having children. But, thanks be to God, my feelings changed. I thought to myself, What is the purpose of getting married if not starting a family? What am I afraid of?

And then she came…December 30, 1996. It was one of the happiest days of my entire life. I never knew I could love another human being like that. It was as if the love I had for my new daughter Bayan came from God Himself (which it did).

Bayan brought my wife and I untold joy and happiness. Her face was angelic; her smile was infectious; her laugh was uplifting. She was a piece of Heaven that came down and graced our lives.

When she was first-born, I passed out chocolates to my medical school classmates (I was in my second year), and it was still appreciated many years later. Yet, if they only knew the sweetness that she brought to the lives of my wife and me…

My wife and I, obviously, have been thinking about our Angel a lot lately. This year, for some reason, has been particularly difficult for us. May the Lord help us cope…

What strikes me most about our daughter is the purity of her heart. She could not be malicious or mean-spirited, even if she had the physical ability to do so. Her soul was sweet, kind, pure, and sincere.

I remember one night at the hospital, we were able to be discharged early, and we kept it a secret from my wife to surprise her. My wife was at home with the kids, and so my sister came to help me take her home. Bayan wanted to ride home with her, but she was so scared it would make me sad. I told her that if that made her happy, then I could not have been more happier to drive home alone that night. She was just that beautiful, and everyone who ever knew her would attest to that very same beauty.

My heart is broken into so many pieces, and yes, it has been mended, but I will never be the same. Both my wife and I will never be the same. Sometimes, I  sit in front of a picture of her and stare for minutes. It could be hours if I didn’t have to continue to live my life. I am trying to reach out into that picture and try to taste the experience of having her be with me again. It’s a grieving parent’s desperate attempt, I know, but it is all I have left: pictures, videos (which are too hard to watch), feelings, and special belongings that she left behind.

Today, she would have been 14. The Lord called her back to His Garden when she was 12. It really hurts to know that she will not be coming back, that we can’t take in the warmth of her smile, the beauty of her face, the purity of her soul. I just I really, really miss her, my Lord. I really, really want to just be with her once more; to see her face; to share a laugh like we used to.

So, Happy Birthday Habeebee (my love in Arabic). I know they are throwing you a huge, beautiful, pink-themed birthday party in His Garden right now. I pray that our well wishes reach you as well.

Happy Birthday, Habeebee. Happy Birthday from a grieving father who misses you so very much.

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One thought on “Happy Birthday, Habeebee…

  1. Dear Br.Dr.Hesham,
    Assalamualaikum. I pray to Allah to give you strength and patience for the loss of beautiful daughter, Bayan. I love to read your articles even though it breaks my heart every time read. The Chicago Marathon was a such a triumph and a victory in honour of Bayan.
    I loved the recent “Sushi” article and I hope we North American Muslims, wherever we came from, are Muslims in the most sacred sense.We all need to be real muslims and educate the non-muslims with truth about Islam.
    Keep writing and May Allah’s Mercy and guidance be on us all.

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