In Pakistan, it was your birthday yesterday. I wanted to write another blog post on you this time. You deserve it at this age! 😉 Somehow, didn’t get the time, as it was another crazy (read crazier) day at my end. I’m taking the advantage of the fact that it is still your birthday in Seattle. I’m wishing you my formal ‘happy birthday Nataliya,’ now. (Yes, yes, we did it several times yesterday too.)
I want to take this an opportunity to share my thoughts with you.
Feel like telling you:
Just want to express my wonder at how you have grown into this amazing human being that you are today. Allah did bless you with deep inner talents which were unique. It isn’t everyone who makes full use of the talents. You did. It is when you gift someone something, and the person really uses it well, helping you to develop into that person that He had envisioned you to become. I’m sure, He must be thrilled with you, just as I am.
Omg. I have to keep your feet on the ground too. But we all know how to do that with each other! (We have the whole year to do that,) this birthday is to let you fly high! Why? Because you deserve it.
Let me confess:
You know, last year when I got to know about my cancer, honestly all I could think of was, you three.
Now, today I can see that I never ever envisioned you all to rise to that horrific moment with such maturity. (I’m sure you must have taken charge as the eldest sister in your own unique way.)
How you responded:
Your arrival here in Islamabad (without our precious Anya) to take care of me was such a boost to my morale. Somehow, you took over the household stuff and my meals. Loved the broth you made. How you had read up so much about my illness, met cancer patients in Seattle and read up about them in books and articles. Your knowledge about my illness was all encompassing.
So, when you put those books in front of me to read. I said, ‘you have read them, that is enough for me.’ I just have to follow my doctor’s instructions, and that is ‘be happy’. I know it really made you angry, at my approach. Yet you controlled it due to my condition. 😊 (I was learning to take advantage of my illness!) 😉
You were my tonic:
How could I tell you, that your presence, the sight of you was enough of a tonic for me. Your coming across the world – literally – just to take care of me, meant the world to me. You closed your ongoing Photography for me. I know what that means. You came all the way, and you studied up on it. You even left your daughter, so you could give me your full attention when you were here.
Those two months were like a booster for me, as I had just undergone the hardest part of my illness, the disastrous first chemo. You came, when I thought Waliya would just collapse for the 24/7 care that she was giving me. Now she too, could take a breather, knowing I would be in good caring hands.
That delicious enriching bone broth you made, full of the goodness of life was delicious and fulfilling. Coming at a time, when everything else tasted ghastly, this was just what I needed.
You did so much:
Together with Bilal and Anya, you all did so much for me. Your coming over alone, the first time, must have been tough on rest of your family too. So, your whole family shared in your efforts. Then, second time, you came with family, (must have been a big hole in your budgets.) Means a lot to me.
You paid for the huge amount needed for that first chemo which took eight hours to be administered. Then pitched in with your sisters later on too.
How you got me ‘little’ things that made a big difference.
- The wig that you bought for me, and the two that Saira had given you for me, (Which has become my new look!)
- The special tea tree oil for my nails, which you applied so lovingly on my nails every night. It saved my nails from falling off or getting really bad.
- Those sweets which helped sooth the discomfort in my mouth.
- The sprays you got for my mouth and throat, again to soothe the pain and discomfort of blisters in the mouth.
- Those other pro biotics to sooth my system. (As you knew the entire digestive system gets badly hit by this chemo.)
- It is a credit to you, that you have such great friends, that even they sent me such amazing gifts:
- That cuddly warm blanket by Afaf with all those spirit lifting and morale boosting things written on it.
- Also those friends who visited me: Saira and Nabila. I know how little time one has on these trips still they made time for me. Nadia called me and we had a real heart to heart chat.
Glad you controlled yourself:
I know you must have cried, but thank you for not doing it in front of me. You respected the ban I had made on everyone not to cry for me, in front of me. (I mean even I hadn’t cried for me, why should you???)
I feel blessed with you:
Love you so much. I feel happy that at least your motherhood has shown you what you mean to me.
Yet, my Allah has blessed me more even, by giving me enough life to be watching you grow in front of my eyes to this ripe age! 😉 (Just kidding!)
The beauty of age:
Let me tell you, as age ‘ripens’ you, it also makes you realize what a great blessing it is. How much Allah has blessed one in so many ways. At each age, He brings out another beautiful aspect of life in front of you, which you couldn’t see earlier. Now, you can!
On your birthday, as I wish you I have to adjust to having a fulllll grown baby now. So you are not alone in adjusting to your new age!
HBD Nataliya, 😊 I love you to Seattle and back! Looking forward to seeing you soon.
Let me say one last thing, I love this grown up Nataliya, my first born child. (I’m still quite in awe of you!)
Stay blessed and protected. 😊
Note: All photographs shamelessly borrowed from your own pages! Your photography is always so great. 🙂 I’m sure you won’t mind. Love you more for this!