Yadee (My Grandfather), his radio and my sister Noor.

A few months ago, the news of my grandfather being admitted to the hospital hit my heart, sinking it into a state of absolute grief. Sometimes, I find my eyes watering as a flooded river during a storm remembering my childhood days which were filled with his unconditional love.

For a long time, during my childhood, we lived in my grandfather’s full house. Every morning, the pack of the ten kids woke up with a set plan of scheduled cartoons to watch, games to be continued, and saved snacks all to be finished before the grownups start setting unreasonable limitations. Early morning, we carefully sneaked out of our rooms, there was always one man up watering the grass, supervising the garden or invading our tv space watching the news. I have to admit; it was frustrating because we didn’t want anyone interrupting our plan or laughing at the imaginary scenarios which were our reality. But as we got carried away with our own world, little did we realize that he watched us with eyes full of love and adoration.

Sometimes, as we played, he would pick the best dates from the trees and choose the sweetest ones to give us. He would always make sure that we ate well, and he would go to the kitchen himself and squeeze us some fresh cold watermelon juice as we went around the backyard with our bikes at 40+ degrees, stopping by my grandfather’s tray of love grabbing a cup pretending that he was the fuel station. When my grandfather came back from his small Halwa shop, we made sure to lineup, because we knew, him coming also means bags of yummy fruits, warm fresh baked goods, or some “Lacha sweet” which we called “Grandfather’s beard”. As we grew up and started sorting out our “priorities” and visiting him for a few minutes on Fridays, he always asked how we are doing and if we are comfortable in our jobs, studies, marriages and life in general. As we prepared to leave and do our own thing, he would look us in the eyes and genuinely ask us as he pressed our see you next time handshake, “Do you need anything baba?” that handshake, that soft genuine tone of his question filled my heart with so much peace and I just wish if I could now tell him that I need him with us.

He cared for the workers, the help, the cleaner and everyone around him like he would care for his own children, he showed respect to everyone, even the people who didn’t show respect or gratitude to his constant kindness.

I can keep going about the amazing and rare qualities of my grandfather, but my words can’t contain them so I’ll leave it here with an array of sorrow and sadness in my heart.