Letting go


 

Letting go

 

You were there in front of me…

And I was missing you already

I was gazing at you

Couldn’t keep my eyes off you

Going to your shirts that you hang up

At the back of the door

Smelling them

Holding your jumper in my arms

Covering my face with it and sobbing

Trying hard

Not to show you my anguish and distress

 

I didn’t want to wash your clothes

I wanted to keep your scent… around

Holding on to your glasses

Kissing them… looking through them

Longing to see your eyes… behind

 

People kept telling me

"Don’t worry

It’s a routine operation"

We’d come through it

Seventeen years before, but

Deep… deep down

In the bottom of my soul

I knew…

I used to pray, pleading

"Please God let my feelings be wrong"

 

One week before the operation

We went to hospital for final tests

When we came back

I burst into tears

Couldn’t stop

Time was getting closer

And I couldn’t face what was to come

Losing you was more than I could bear

 

You didn’t know what was the matter

Nobody knew… but me

But I couldn’t say anything

I cried all afternoon

You followed me

Trying to comfort me

You held me in your arms

Until I fell asleep

Do you remember?

 

 

One night before the operation

You were admitted

But you didn’t know

I’d set my mind on

Staying with you tonight

 

When I packed your bag

I put the little book I wrote for you

A collection of my letters,

Cards and poems

Gathered over the years

You’d never seen the book before

 

When the surgeon came

He talked of many things

He wanted to explain details of what’s to come

And to answer our questions

"Can I stay here tonight?" I asked

He didn’t expect that

He hesitated…

"I’ll ask the sister in-charge"…

"It’s against the regulations

But we’ll let you off tonight

Don’t ever ask for another"

"I won’t… I promise" I said

 

That night, we shared our last meal together

We sat and talked

Trying to encourage each other

We both put on a brave face

We prayed together

We read some Quran together

 

Then, I gave you the little book

Holding hands

We read our last memories together

Everything I wanted to say to you

Was there, Habeebee

In those modest words

We relived our life that night

We relived our love that night

Habeebee… do you remember?

 

Hand in hand

We fell asleep

You on a hospital bed

And me on an arm chair

Next to you

 

We surrendered to what was to come

Most beautiful night

Most peaceful night

Most tranquil night

I think we were surrounded

By angels that night

 

 

We woke up next day

Prayed together

And got ready

When they came to take you

I walked alongside your hospital bed

Towards the operation room

And there at the door

And for the last time

We looked into each other’s eyes

Into each other’s souls

Smiling

Holding our breath

Our eyes mesmerized

Our bodies frozen

Until the big white door

Separated us

 

Then came the waiting

Hours of agonizing pain

It felt eternal

I wanted to know what was happening

But I dreaded the phone

The surgeon had said

"Don’t worry if we don’t ring

It’s most likely good news

Only worry if we do ring you"

 

The phone rang

My heart stopped

"The surgeon encountered some problems"

The shaky voice from the other end announced

"He needs to see you"

Collapsing… I rushed to the car

Expecting to hear what I most feared

 

"Complications… beyond our expectations

I’ve done this operation thousands of times

Never seen anything like

What I’ve seen today

I’ve tried my best

We are only humans

It’s all in the hands of God now"

 

Two days later

They rushed you again

For an emergency surgery

That day was sooo long

Longer than my life

At night we received a phone call

The surgery was successful

But you’re still critical

Day after day

Night after night

I waited… for a miracle

That you’d pull through

 

Our friend Tareq

Kept ringing me

"Dear sister

Kneel down and pray

Beg for Khaled to survive

Plead for his life

Say to God

‘For the sake of all the orphans

That Khaled sponsored, looked after

And supported

Don’t let his children become orphans’ "

 

I tried to do just that

But couldn’t

I felt embarrassed

To ask for something

When I knew God wanted something else

I felt it was greedy to ask for more

People get a one month honeymoon

One year, two years, five years honeymoon,

I got 23 years, 6 months, and 9 days

How can I want more?

 

All through my life

I was constantly surrounded by love

Some people don’t experience

A fraction of the joy

That always immersed me

It was time to give now

And I knew it…

"We will not attain virtue

Unless we’re able to give

Of what we love most"

 

I surrendered…

I can’t show misery now

How can I?

When I was given so generously

 

Grant me patience

Grant me grace

Grant me dignity

Grant me serenity

Grant me ability to let go

 

As tender as you were

Your departure was as tender and gentle

And I was given two weeks

To help me let go… of you… Habeebee

 

10-02-2006

 

 

 
© Copyright 2006 Nahida Izzat -PoetryforPalestine – All Rights Reserved

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