I never really got to know Kerry’s dad; but the minute someone comes down with cancer, you’re not expecting great news coming out of that camp any time soon. So it’s with mixed emotions that I bid Kerry’s father gentle transition to wherever we do go as we pass on, and thank Allah for, well, giving my mom a second chance at life.
I’m also not a great blogger- I never likes sharing my emotions openly before; I think Ammi’s health over the last few years taught me that not sharing your sorrow or pain because others had nothing to do with it, didn’t help much. I think I was pressed to write this because Kerry; a real brother to me; showed the kind of strength I’m looking for these days- the kind to not worry and accept what life throws your way. This morning, I was worried about the economy; four months ago it was about the H1-B visa interview in Islamabad. Two years before that, whether I’d find a job or not. It never ends.
Actually, it ends when you want it to. Fear is not an option.
I spoke to my sister in Lahore this morning; she attends university at the end of Mall Road in Lahore. If you’ve been following the news lately, Mall Road in Lahore has had bombs go off at three different points on it. My dad drives down all of it to get to work too. So thinking about what’s going on there- especially in light of the bombings last week (the other one hit in E block, or F- not sure- of Model Town, where another blood brother of mine lives)- had me worried about things. But talking to Reema this morning, she told me how everything was ‘as normal as could be’. I mean, even when I was back in Lahore for the winter break- I noticed the same thing. A bomb goes off – people don’t feel insensitive, but they move on.
The fill their lungs with air smelling of gunpowder, and by the time they exhale it smells of bravery. It smells of optimism. It smells of no fear. It smells of true faith. I’ve become quite unobservant over the last few years- not sure why. But in Islam, one concept of faith; at least my understanding, is through the word Imaan. Imaan literally means faith- at least at the basal level of Arabic that I know. There’s a hadith; one of the sayings of Muhammad, the man who brought the message of God as Islam- that basically says that the true mo’min; i.e. the true believer (and by this, I presume one who holds true belief, has true faith), sheds only light tears at someone’s death. To be honest, the wailing we see so often in Muslim societies is something not ‘condoned’ by Islam. I have a hunch that the wailing comes not from personal grievance, but from all the frustrations pent up in anyone living in a Muslim country today; all of the pressures come together at that moment.
So to come back to the concept of faith- it was Kerry who demonstrated true faith. And I’m specifically mentioning Kerry because of his strong Christian principles. I really don’t know what’s wrong or right- I just know there’s one God. And in whatever flavor we are to practice, and worse- differentiate ourselves from one another- Kerry Tamura seems to be in great faith today.
Godspeed to both Tamuras. And hello to the new take on the day: Fear is not an option.
Whether it’s a bomb…a job interview…a marriage…whatever. Living in the moment is where it’s really at.