Saudi Arabia: How Personal Does it Get?

I debated on whether to share this very candid and raw experience that I had earlier this week on Tuesday.  Yet, so many thousands of you have been with me on my journey with battling cancer and still coping with my grief over Abdullah’s death, that it just seems fair and fitting.  But be prepared.  I’m going to expose innermost emotions and fears.  I am doing this in the hopes that it will make me stronger.

I still miss him ever so much.  30 September is not that far away and 30 September 2012 would have been 10 years since our “first marriage.”  Now I knew shortly after our first marriage, Abdullah was not the best person about remembering dates.  After all, it was not just a Gregorian date but one he had to remember from the Islamic hijri date as well.  Therefore, when our first anniversary came around, I had prepared myself not to be disappointed that he might not remember the day.  Additionally, it is not typical for a Saudi couple to actively track and celebrate anniversaries.  But, yes, I was prepared to let him know that I could never forget that first special moment when we pledged our lives and love together forever.

I had a very special gift in store for him.  Well, of course I first gave him the card with special words expressing all the joy, beauty and light he had brought in to my life.  Then, without making him squirm too much as he realized he had not reciprocated in turn, I handed him a small lightweight package.  Inside the package was a silver sconce with the words engraved in English and Arabic, “never forget 30 September.”

Naturally, my dear and gentle Desert Prince never forgot 30 September.  He made sure I knew each day thereafter that every day was like a 30 September for him.  I never doubted the love he had for me in every spore of his body.

Now fastforwarding the last few months as I have been battling new changes with cancer, I’ve had some emotional scares and scars.  Abdullah’s image, voice, mannerisms have always been crystal clear to me.  But with the latest ravages on my body, I felt his presence was starting to slip away from me.  I’d find myself holding photos of him in my lap and running my fingers over each detail.  Then I’d close my eyes and try to recreate the photo with my memory but not succeeding.  My god..what was going on?  I actually had a few panic attacks feeling he was disintegrating and leaving me to continue to battle alone.  I was afraid to speak of this to anyone because it did not really sound least not to practical and stoic me.

Then on Tuesday I was back in the hospital for being a real goober.  (yes…I am dating myself with that expression but you know if the shoe fits….)  I had blacked out and fallen over the weekend.  When I awakened it was to find I was on my back and could not move my foot.  Thankfully all I had done to myself was give myself a severely sprained ankle.  Tuesday’s tests ruled out there was no seizure, brain disorder or any possible indication of something dark.  But I was at the hospital for about six hours of tests.  While I was in the holding area a female Muslim doctor walked past me.  She was tranquil, calm and wearing her lovely headscarf and long skirt.  I never said a word to her but as she passed by, Abdullah’s vision came the clearest to me as it had ever been in months.  I felt so cherished and blinded by the love and warmth.  I calmed down.  My anxiety dissipated and I knew I was going to rise above this fugue I had been fighting.

Abdullah and I formed a bond I never knew could exist between a man and a woman.  We had our differences sure, but the love was always there.  I have all the confidence it will always be there and while I can not snuggle up to him like the old days, I know he will always be watching over and protecting me in death as fiercely and possessively as he has did with life.


19 Responses

  1. It brought tears to my eyes. Beautiful…..thank you for sheering your feelings with us.
    I am sure he is close to you and watches over you.
    Keeping you in my thoughts, feel better.

  2. Carol, I’m sitting here in Saudi Arabia checking my email, and felt the need to read your post. I don’t know why but I feel compelled to share so many words with you however, when I try to think of the perfect words to say it just becomes a jumbled mess. I will say this, I too am married to an amazing Saudi man… naseeb… soul mate. I guess that’s why my heart aches for you knowing what you have shared with your relationship with Abdullah and how much you miss him, I can’t imagine the strength and patience that Allah has blessed you with……it is quite amazing and admirable. I know Abdullah is always with you. Don’t ever think for one minute he has left your side and he will always be your rock. Be strong Carol, Allah M’ach.

  3. Dear Annie and Umm Zacharia,

    thank you both for taking the time to reach out as you have through your words which shine so brightly with kindness and love.

    none of us ever know when or how love will find us, but my wish is for everyone to have the chance of love which abdullah and i shared.

  4. This was so touching, Carol. Thank you for sharing. He was a very special guy and I know that you are thankful for the hours and days that you spent with him

  5. No words but mashallah, the strength you have is beyond wonder! To yearn for a love one is perhaps the most excruciating feeling but you’re truly blessed to have had such love. Allah give you blessings inshallah and may Allah bless your husband, Allahyarham.

  6. Oh Carol how lucky the two of you are to have known such a deep bond! Even if the memories fade with time he will always remain special! We are evet so grateful to hear about your story! There are good people in every country & our soulmates don’t have to hail from the same place as us.
    Wishing you all the best, always!

  7. Thanks you Frankie and Mrs. B. I know that both of you have your very specail lives in your life and htat makes me so very happy.

  8. Carol, I know your Abdullah always watches over you because of the great love the two of you shared. I know he will always be in your heart, and I imagine he knows that, too. dont ever think one if you will forget the other one even now. I am sure that if Abdullah could help somehow, he would simply because he loves you and you are the most amazing american bedu woman, mother and friend extraordinaire to so many.

  9. My parents were together since the age of 18. They lived and worked together and the number of times i heard them argue can be counted on one hand (possibly one finger). When he died suddenly in May, after a couple of days, my mum said that she felt he was ‘moving further away’. I really tried to explain to my mum my idea that heaven and hell are here in this life and heaven is not some distant recess of the sky, it shares the same space as us but is on another frequency so we might not perceive it clearly, only in glimpses.
    This might only by my personal belief but I think it means that the distance between the living and the dead is only physical. In a spiritual sense our loved ones might be right there, near us all the time. Maybe prayer and spiritual good works make our spiritual connection with them stronger. Who knows the truth exactly but for me that was a real comfort.
    When my grandfather passed away, a few months later I visited my grandma and that night had a dream that I was walking around her town with him, although he did not speak. I did not mention this to her, The next day i quickly went out shopping for a gift and grabbed 2 items in literally 2 minutes. Her immediate response was ‘oh he must have been with you because I have been looking for exactly these two things for months’.
    I suppose you can believe what you like because no-one has the exact answers but to me death is not the end, it is just a door we have to walk through.
    Best wishes Carol for you both.

  10. Dear Strangeone and Human,

    Thanks for your wishes and perspectives. Since I felt such a beautiful reconnection I have been feeling stronger and almost bouyant with all the joy. Al lkinds of wonderful memories have arisesn back to the surface which i am now working on putting eloquently to print to share.

  11. Thank you for sharing, I hope and pray you have the courage and joy to succeed in life and be amongst those that love you. My thoughts are with you and my gratitude for your efforts to show us what life truly means.

    -Thurman Poat (psuedonym)

  12. Thank you Thurman. I appreciate your thoughts and taking the time to write.

  13. Aw, thanks for sharing this sweet story!

  14. you are always welcome, susanne.

  15. You are so lucky carol to know that kind of a deep bond. and no matter how bad your day may be and how much you think you cannot recollect your husbands face, you will 🙂 It’s just the meds messing with your head, your heart is intact .

    take care and rest and hang on to those memories.. our best wishes and happy thoughts and prayers to you 🙂

  16. thank you radha. your words mean so much. i still miss juman so much too as i know you do too.

  17. Carol…

    Your words are so touching and so vibrant that it makes one want to meet Abdullah. Through you he continues to live on…his memory, his kindness, his spirit. It almost feels like one can reach out and shake his hand. You were so blessed in this life to have Abdullah with you and you are blessed that he is still with you…quietly, gently, peacefully walking beside you with each step of this journey you are on. He is there…always close supporting you with his spirit and heart. When one passes from this life only the body leaves…the love lives on. God bless you both.

  18. i htink many will get to meet my shy and dear Prince well through the wrok of the documentary.

    thank you oby!!

  19. Im so glad u decided to write about this expierence ….it madelry…i had no idea ur abdullah was not with u physically….thank u for sharing such personal thoughts and times in ur life…it really touched me..and one of the reasons u shouck…….

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