As a child I watch my grandmother cook food smell of country, planting vegetable gardens and walks to market and sarcasm and tough love and flowers and tea. We have all dispersed into wild. Leaving a country behind that no longer feels like our own. My grandmother has become the only sense of country we know. A month ago, family gathered in the same living room, in half-light sharing memories and photographs and arguments and heartbeats. No one tells you this will be the last summer you will ever hear her breathe, last shared cup of tea, last photograph, last laughter, last memory of a woman who has enough language, enough love, enough wisdom to nurture five generations in one room. I feel home shatter. I feel generations crumble. I feel country is absent. I feel like I no longer matter. Heart feels heavy and distant. I remind myself: Ina lilah wa ina illah rajioon. God is merciful. God is Just. Sometimes in life in order to know that you are still breathing you need to find a reason and everything I needed to learn about love, about country, about language, my grandmother taught me. May Allah protect her and grant her jannatul Firdaus.
In memory of Aida Fahmi