Saudi Arabia/ USA: 11 Months and Still Rebuilding

My God…Abdullah has been gone 11 months.  Yet I have moments that it feels like 11 hours.  I can still smell his scent or at least have myself believing I can still smell his scent on throw pillows or small blankets we’d use to cuddle up in together and watch tv.  When I am preparing dinner for myself and start to chop up cilantro, I remember all the times he’d insist on cooking, but still wanted me to chop up the cilantro, onions and tomatoes! We were so like two peas in a pod in spite of coming from different countries and cultures. I enjoy burrowing in my little apartment and just look at the collection of pictures and reminisce about our life.

Who would ever have thought a woman from a small village in Northwestern Pennsylvania would find herself joining life and partnership with a man who had grown up in Makkah, Saudi Arabia?  Yet we had so many interests in common such as international affairs, travel, history, reading, and writing.  Family and living right was equally important to both of us.  We both liked to help others.

We met in Pakistan under conditions not conducive to a relationship yet we persevered and kept in touch.  We did not allow borders or boundaries to keep us apart from one another.  The more we got to know and understand one another, the more apparent it became that we were meant to be life partners.

Abdullah was willing to risk his job and career in order to be married to me.  He also risked the approval or lack of approval of his family for me.  These were not necessarily facts that I knew at the time we married.  He just always assured me his family would love me as he did and for me not to worry about a thing and just keep loving him.

He and I never ran out of subjects for discussion.  No subject was off limits.  He had some faults…as did I.  We managed to work around those!  (smile)

I was always very proud and honored to be his wife.  We actually had had discussions about death during the years we were married.  We talked about family histories, illnesses and burials.  He made sure that I was aware of the proper burial procedures for a Muslim.  And maybe he had some kind of a premonition of the future for when we talked about death, he was always so adamant that he knew he would be the first one of us to move on.  I always got angry when he said that.  I recall one time walking out of the room in disgust when he said that.  Yet he never lost his temper with me.  He’d look at me with his deep soulful eyes and say with all sincerity, “Desert Girl…trust me, I know.”

I know that a good man was taken away too soon.  I know we are all on God’s time but there is still difficulty in understanding why God decided it was Abdullah’s time 11 months ago.

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10 Responses

  1. There is no why except that no one really before his/her time. But, look at what happened, you have made everyone who never met him know what a wonderful person he was. In life he was yours but in passing away you have shared him with so many. Your words now touch the hearts of so many and hence induce a change that may only be apparent many years later. It is a noble relation you had, and the memories you share make one feel it is his own. We only live through our deeds and in the memories of others.

  2. * no one really leaves before his/her time.

  3. I am so sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine how it must feel. I know I would be terribly lost without my husband. Just remember that you are not alone!

    You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. I am not often at a loss for words, but this post has me choked. There is no adequate response, yet silence is even more inadequate.

    Do you remember that old question that young women tend to ask themselves, “Is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?”?

    I suspect you can answer a resounding, “Yes.”

  5. I can tell that you two were a great couple, and I’m really sorry for your loss. 11 months must indeed be nothing, compared to the love you have for him. I hope that you can find comfort and peace in the beautiful things life still has to offer for you. You’ve made a really nice blog here and you and the love you have for your husband are a real inspiration to many. Thanks for all the effort you have done, in spite of the very difficult period you have been through, and I pray that God will give you peace, joy and happiness.

  6. You did indeed have an unlikely love story. It’s so lovely to hear a woman talk like this about her man. You were deeply blessed.

  7. Carol,
    Somtimes, I think individuals just happen to connect with each other and are able to love each other deeply. Although people tend to consider things like religion, nationality, native culture, etc. there are things that are equally, if not more, important such as having similar views on life, respecting and loving each other, etc. It is amazing how much a smell can remind someone of a loved one.

    I hope the pain of your loss lessens and you are able to continue to remember all those things you loved about Abdullah. :*( I would have enjoyed the chance to have met the love of your life as he seems like a really amazing person.

    I don’t know why some people die and others continue to live. I guess that is something only God/Allah knows.

  8. thank you all for the uplifting comments. Yes; I have been blessed in having the opportunity to have loved someone like Abdullah than to not have loved at all.

  9. […] times these three years have passed by excruciatingly slow and at other times they have gone by so fast.  I still remember so clearly taking care of Abdullah as he battled against his insidious leukemia […]

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