I went away for about a week to Texas because my 83 year old nani (grandmother) has been getting ill lately. As soon as I received a call about her health I felt sick inside because I knew she had always wanted to see sou sou. My daughter is the youngest member of my whole family at this point...the only great grand daughter.
They met, and Sultana gave her some dirty looks. Nani returned them, and soon they were shouting and playing and poking each other.
My daughter has a good heart alhamdoolilah
Today I forced myself to wake to write this gratitude post. I have been neglecting this blog, but of course I have been neglecting it for the sake of my business that has been in the process of "starting."
I am so very excited about what is to come, and finally releasing my other child into the world for all of you to see. My daughter is my life, and now my business is becoming it as well. It will be an extension of what I want for my family and what I want for the world, so as soon as I get the website and facebook page up you all must come and visit!
The last gratitude post I had was about Sou sou. Today I want to dedicate it to my sister.
I call her my sister, because in every way she is and perhaps more than I could have wanted in a sister although we do not share the same blood.
This is why I love her, and I know deep in my heart that Allah swt put us together on the earth for a reason.
The first time we met in high school was sitting next to each other in a vehicle driving to a Poetry and Creative writing conference. A few kids were handpicked to be featured on that day and she was chosen from her class as she was a year older. I feel so old, I can't even remember the details of that day. Whatever exchange that did happen seemed to lock us in forever....
We connect creatively at the very start.....
And, just last night, I watched her hammer jewelry tags close to 1 am as I sat cutting fabric in our living room. Every time she stood up to move I had to lean to the side because of the small space (its NY people). I got up and made some Chai that didn't turn out so well. We went from joking and laughing, to discussing our business concept, to working even more and more! It occurred to me, that we were always meant to be right here and right now together.
As soon as I was officially divorced in 2011 and soon to be homeless, she was by my side. Within days she opened up a lease on an apartment and brought sou sou, who was just a little over 1 year and I there. When I fell sick with grief and the flue, she took my daughter and fed her and played with her easing the burden of being a single mom for the first time in my life.
When I cried, she scuttled in my room, cursed with me and rubbed my back. She watched me crumble and give up...and not one time did she ask me for anything. Not one time when she was going through difficulty did she attribute any of it to me or expect anything from me. I used to worry not only how was I going to resume emotional normalcy, but that our friendship would dissolve forever because of my forced dependence on her.
I did everything I could gather my strength to do to rebuild my trust in life. I cleaned, wrote in a journal, and started to create for my business. Soon she was sitting next to me, exploring her own creative talents and we found another way to come together as future business partners.
When lost our apartment we talked almost every day living in separate states. We saved our money and prayed ardently to finally have a home again.
Hardship is a part of life, but Allah never let us down.
After a few months of cursing and worrying again....we found the relief we needed, an apartment to ourselves next to the beach in Far Rockaway.
Let's not forget Hurricane Sandy!! After 1 month living in our new apartment, the hurricane rained down all types of destruction and our neighborhood soon became an almost warlike zone for months. We walked around with makeshift flashlights. Wrapped ourselves in blankets and ate canned food and tuna for a week. When we finally got electricity we played club music while cleaning the dreaded refrigerator. Eventually we braved he various smells of pure "awful" and alien lifeforms that grow when a refrigerator is abandoned and shuts down for weeks!!
Now we are months later, negotiating with suppliers, working with designers, writing plans and researching. Our look book photo shoot will occur later this month inshallah. Our launch party for our business will happen in June inshallah. We are both in love with it, enjoying every aspect of it in some way. We are consumed by it and setting our sights and standards higher and higher. Everything we make and every beautiful piece has a history of loss, struggle, and finally love injected into it.
I think there are some people who are afraid to talk about "true friendship" because they are afraid to realize they might not have it. I believe that true friendship surpasses the lines of blood, obligation, and duty. It is selfless...and undeniable for the soul once you finally meet that one person. Without asking or realizing, Allah placed my sister with me at a young age so that we would be where we are today...
And for that, I am grateful. Do you have true friendship? What is the difference between a friend and a true brother/sister for life to you?
Alhamdooolilah ya Rabb Alameen