I feel like writing a letter to my late husband.
You wrote your article on our family strengths in 2009. That was two years before you left our world. I was reading it today. The way you wrote was so detailed and so amazing. I feel like writing an epilogue to your article. Just to let you know how we all have been after you left.
Let me tell you Buddy, you’d be very proud of our girls …. Well, you shouldn’t be surprised, you trained them well.
- They stood up to your siblings’ battles like real soldiers. They took over your role of protecting me by coming between me and any adversity that came our way. Waliya being the youngest and the one closest to you, was the worst hit, but she fought it out the best too. Even today, our enemies think twice before talking to her. She is a force to reckon with!
- Our house that you had started building with so much care. Then you got fed up with the whole project and let me do the ‘finishing’ – finally got completed after another six months. Sometimes I wondered if you could have taken the financial and other battles that we had to face. My knees literally buckled under the strain of it all. But we made it.
- The debt took time to be returned, but finally, it was paid back within a couple of years. – I wonder if you could have borne the toll of all those endless bills!
- You’d be so pleased at the way the Air Force rose to the occasion. They helped me in any way they could. The Air Chiefs took personal interest in my case, but the so called ‘legal’ ‘system’ of our land of the ‘pure’ was rotten. Officers would come over to ask me how they could help. Yes, they had great regard for you and the kind of officer you were. People kept coming every evening for over one and half years to express their sorrow.
- I’m sorry, I cannot help feeling maudlin every January. Hopefully we will get over it some time. But six years is still too soon, for a woman. (The two men I know who lost their partners, remarried within a couple of years) Your girls and I pray for you, and regularly give sadqa in your name. Hope you receive the gifts we send you? (I’m told, an angel usually informs the soul.)
- You’d be happy to know our Paprika, took extra care of me and our family. She would bark her head off at anyone daring to look at us. As long as she lived, she followed me like a shadow. She died in 2013 at the age of fourteen years.
- There were even more painful incidents. But I’d rather not mention them to you. I suppose those who left this world, like Naveed bhai, Nighat Chachi, and recently Chacha jan Jafar must be with you in heaven now. So, it won’t be so painful for you, as you must have received them.
- You’d be happy to know, I put up a proper security system in our home, within a couple of months of moving in. Remember you’d say to me, ‘you are like a klashnakov’. Well, that trait did help me face it all.
- Mum and Dad moved in with us in Novemeber 2013. Nadiya had already moved in a year earlier. Her marriage to Haaris was a beautiful milestone for us all. She is now in Lahore with Rumi and Haaris. I remember, how Haaris was our favorite name, and that you really had great regard for Jalal bhai (his father). I’m sure you two have met up, in heaven.
- Guess what? I got the car of my dreams. I finally got out of our Toyota Corolla craze and now own a Honda. You’d be happily surprised to see how I get the car repaired, and how I can converse with the mechanics.
- I’m maintaining the house, cars, computers and the systems in the house. You’d be very proud of me I’m sure, as these were all things that you did. (I’ll have to give credit to having a wonderful team of men who help me with these!) I have become a tax filer for several years too now. I’m consciously continuing our legacy of being law abiding citizens of our country.
- Waliya has become a very successful business girl with her photography business. She gives lectures and conducts workshops in the leading educational institutions of our country. You would certainly be very proud of her.
- Nadiya has so many of your traits. She is very methodical and organized. She comes and helps me a lot in whatever I’m doing. Many times helping me in dealing with tricky things. She has a good job, still she managing to come over to be with us all too.
- Nataliya’s photography business is thriving in Seattle, she has her own niche with family and wedding shoots. She is as fully involved with all of us here, as she has always been. Such a great eldest daughter we have, so responsible.
- You had let me design my studio in our house. Now it is getting functional on ground as well as online.
- Guess what? My book ‘My Life, My Stories’ got published in USA too, the one I had sent in Oct. 2011. It got published in 2013. Now, I’ve published Iqbal’s book on my own. Can you believe it? That one you always saw me reading.
- Nataliya has come every year as she did in your lifetime. You’d be happy to know, Bilal was even willing to pay for Waliya’s education. But we all decided, that she is doing very well without it. I did all I could to help her way forward giving her my car and also getting a camera for her. Now, she can afford her new equipment, as well as trips to Dubai and Karachi too. She goes to the Northern areas too – a wish we both had – that our children too should see our country’s Northern areas. She is fully independent. Nadiya and Haaris have also been now. Dad helped both Waliya and Nadiya get new cars. And just like you used to help me maintain my car, in the same way, I help Waliya in maintaining hers!
- Finally, we managed to get out of the court cases, and managed a sort of a compromise. You’d be shocked at all we had to go through. Alhamdolillah. All our halal ki kamai stuff has been saved. That is what matters to me. On top of it, I’ve got my peace of mind. – All this at a very heavy price.
- All your G-9 brothers and my G-9 sisters, my college friends, other friends and relatives were like angels for us. Each one giving me so much strength and solace. Qasim bhai and Munazza were like my guardian angels, constantly by my side, and so are Haroon, Uzma and Daniyal. Our friends and relatives like chacha Jafar, chachi Shahnaz, Hasan and Amina have constantly been with us. We all are now praying for health of my G-9 brother Saadullah. May Allah protect him and keep him healthy. Ameen.
- Buddy, I’ve taken care of all that you left behind, the way you would have wanted. Our staff has increased; Abdul Rahim our cook is still here, regularly coming. He lost his wife a couple of years ago. It was very tragic. Now, he has his own house too. But he comes to us almost daily in spite of living so far away. In life, we all need to leave everything to Allah, and accept His will.
- Nadiya plays tennis regularly, also table tennis and what not. You wouldn’t believe it, but she has also become a blogger. Her career is going so well. She also has a Honda in Lahore, and is well settled in her new life.
- I visited Nataliya, Bilal and Anya over a year ago. It was wonderful. Anya has been selected among the brightest students of the district. With her genes, one shouldn’t be surprised! You would have loved to see Anya, and how she is growing.
- Hey, I’ve started driving in mountains too now. You know how much I wanted to do it. So, a few years ago, I called Wali Rehman, our driver in Wah. So, he went with us on a trip to Nathiagali, and I asked him to sit beside me and let me drive all the way. That is how I got my confidence.
- I learnt one thing, that all the time a wife believes her husband is taking care of her, it is actually Allah taking care of her, through her husband – since Allah is the actual care-taker – so one realizes that depending on Him is the real thing to do. I’ve been depending on Him for a long time. He is truly sufficient. So, you don’t have to worry about any of us, He is taking great care of us, as He has always done.
- Remember how bad I was in Math? You’d be shocked to see how good I’ve become in calculating now. Time has taught me well.
- Also, I’ve learnt how to hold my own among people who aren’t the best. Those who have a nasty streak, won’t find me an easy prey. Your girls and I are a force to reckon with now, with His help ofcourse.
- Yes, I’m continuing our habit of giving as much charity as we can afford. .
Stay blessed, Buddy, for we all are very blessed too.