Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Perfect Strangers - Part Seven

How do you survive the loss of a child?
. . H. R

The girl had a grandma. Every summer the family travels to Europe to see grandma, uncle, aunty and cousins, all seven of them. Little girl rides a bike, goes to the old European markets, eats shawarma at the Turkish shops, rides dumbo the elephant while mummy shops at the mall. But best of all, little girl eats grandma’s fresh baked bread with olives, home-made cheese and zaatar.

When she grows up, the girl understands why olives zaatar and bread are her favorite flavors. Her body remembers.

Breakfast ready at 8am. A small house. Full of family. But everyone eats together. Little girl is eight now. Been seeing grandma once a year all her life. Sitti (grandma) belonged to daddy, the girl would say.

And to her aunties and uncles. They all lived together once. In Palestine. Sitti belongs to daddy because he makes her laugh. She makes him laugh too. Sitti belongs to daddy because they talk for a long time. Sitti belongs to daddy because he makes jokes only she can understand.

Daddy belongs to sitti because he solves her problems. Daddy belongs to sitti because he takes care of all her eleven children. Daddy belongs to sitti because he loves her. And she loves him. Daddy belongs to sitti because they both love Palestine. And their memories there.

Daddy belongs to Sitti and sitti belongs to daddy even when he went to Jannah one day. And left her like a perfect stranger in this world not her Palestine not her memories there not her son who smells walks talks breathes sounds like her sweet home Palestine. And little girl never saw grandma again.


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