The Departure of My Children, June 2012

My Darling Children,

My Darling Children,

A total eclipse hovered over the vicinity and crept stealthily to a vulnerable spot on earth despite the natural cycle, boldly defying all the immaculate calculations of experts and forecasts of world-renowned mathematicians. It rested on top of this house, from which I write to you now.

The sun did not rise. How could it? It set forever on that solemn distant Wednesday, when you walked   down that long lane many months ago. You walked past the gate and bid every tree, bush and flower a casual goodbye instead of a ceremonious farewell. They wanted to stop you, to hold on to you and deter you from going on. When they failed, they waved goodbye in spite of themselves and held each other for comfort. Your steps were firm and your gait brisk. I watched you go and hoped you would turn around and give me one final warm hug, convincing myself that the hug could have a miraculous healing effect, but in your determination, you did not turn around. My unfulfilled need did the trick and I kept yearning for the warm hug I never got, and did not focus on the great loss, which soon, thumped heavy and cold and undiminished, and kept chasing me in every corner of the house. I struggled against it in my sleep and in my waking. My fears followed me but I managed to tie, squeeze and lock them all up in one obscure corner out of sight. They vanished and spared the poor heart.

I loved you and was sure you loved me. This conviction beat my fears. I nurtured on the belief that you would be happy and we shall be united.

But then my other baby followed in your footsteps, lured by the promise of a good life. Her absence shook me from head to heel, scorned my weakness and had a good laugh at my expense. Time and distance empowered it and I felt helpless as I waited at the window for dawn. I prayed to see the sun, begged it to rise, yearned to catch a glimpse of its first ray and then dose off in peace; but the sun did not rise. It remained eclipsed behind that dark dismal endless night.

The house big and beautiful as it is, is just ugly without you. I have mixed feelings. Your rooms carry many memories and tell countless stories of love, joy, pain,  success, failure, dreams and aspirations, in which I was sometimes a partner and at other times a witness, yet always a secret sharer who unknowingly prided in your success and cried in your pain. You are all the past I can remember, all my present till a few hours ago so here I stand scared to face the bleak future ahead of me. Never did I envision the future without you. The telephone cannot take the place of your smile nor do your pictures have the warmth I now long for.

She wanted to tie the house to the plane so it would fly up and land in the midst of a beautiful park. “UP” is inspirational. “We would all go and take with us all the familiar faces and all the familiar knickknacks that only mean a lot to us, including my red velvet pillow and my silly collection of straw and plastic boxes” she said, hoping it could happen but the dream was too good to be true and she was summoned by the noisy blurring engine of the car that carried her to the airport.

We wept as I unclasped her firm hold. I knew she had to go and hard as it is, we both have to endure.

I recall all the chitchat we had as she reluctantly packed; and I could see how the garments competed for her attention and the selected ones smiled to themselves and celebrated the spot they gained in her suitcase and felt superior to the others. Her shoes called out from their hiding place and looked upon her with polished faces hoping to be given a spot. I marked their silent tears as they were left to the dark deserted room, their efforts dumped and their destiny marked without mercy. They are all sitting where she left them, sad and disdainful but patient and hopeful. I will comfort them, tell them of the time we shall meet and the good days that are still ahead of us.

As I wander from this corner to that , checking the drawers, fingering the leftovers and taking a quick glance at their looking glasses, I see the babies growing up, busy with their toys, I watch their joy. I hear their giggles and the days pass and the years flip and I see the young man fresh and smart and pleasant but disappointed in a country of chaos and entrapped in the munching grind of the sordid reality, the lies, and the fake victory. His pain severe and his dreams betrayed. So he goes, never to come back. I see the bride in all her glory, holding on to the love of her life, the sweet young man who stole her heart. She follows him with joy. Together they will reach the stars and fulfill their dreams.

We all miss you at home: the living and the lifeless. The hearts that swell with pain and the little pet that sits patiently on your doorstep hoping to see you come back and get some of your attention. Even the glasses are waiting patiently to touch your lips, the cotton towels to wipe your sweet faces, the soft bed sheets to give you comfort and sweet dreams. The floors miss your tread; miss the soles of your shoes that have often marked them. Mom is dying for your faces, your smiles, and your ringing voices.

I am crazy with your love my darlings.




About hanaawahba

Dr. Hanaa Wahba was born and educated in Cairo, Egypt. After her BA, she started a teaching career that she is still pursuing. In 2002, she completed her PhD in Education from the University of Kensington, USA. Throughout her teaching career, Dr. Wahba, worked in a number of schools and private universities, taught ESL, English Literature, supervised and developed curricula and directed schools. Her career extended to teacher training and corporate career development. From 1993 till 2002, Dr. Wahba was employed by the University of Cambridge (UCLES), where she gained first-hand experience of setting exams and marking scripts for IGCSE, an experience that she communicated to many young teachers who joined the field. In 2009, Dr. Wahba published her first book that was very well-received by the media and proved very popular among readers. Her following book “Marwa’s Birthday” is a novel about women’s life in Egypt.
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5 Responses to The Departure of My Children, June 2012

  1. Ahmed Emad says:

    May God bless them both 🙂

  2. marly says:

    sometimes when there is no sun, and it seems so dark
    > a little light glows, a star leaves a mark
    > whenever i look at the stars at night
    > i feel the ones i miss look at it from the other side
    > so they aren’t really so far
    > what’s between us is just a star
    > there are sometimes some tears
    > but they do wash our eyes
    > to see the image more clear
    > to see the sun again rise
    > and if there is some pain
    > it won’t always remain
    > cause the flowers do still bloom
    > for the joy of the bride and groom
    > and the dog still plays
    > like in their old childhood days
    > the house isn’t so dull
    > but with happy memories full
    > and with happy hopes it stays
    > till that reunion day
    > the shoes will still be there
    > for your grandchildren to wear
    > and again they shall rejoice
    > for your daughter’s lovely choice
    > and towels will again grin
    > as they are wrapped around their children’s skin
    > and glasses will be filled with milk
    > for their lovely children to drink
    > they will hug you every day, before they go away
    > they will give you the hug you miss
    > and a big goodnight kiss
    > and as they walk towards the gate
    > they will run back in such a haste
    > in a voice so tender and quiet
    > “we want to spend the night”
    > they aren’t really so far
    > it’s just a glowing star
    > that can reflect their smiles
    > even from a thousand miles

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