Mr. Rogers' Tennis Shoes
Writing to you for the first time on an iPad. I'm borrowing it. El-Kid is definitely asleep or he'd be wrestling it away from me. We're in Texas but tonight we'll be heading back up North.
It's been a good trip, alhumdullilah. I needed to see my father after seven years. The last time I was in the States, our scheduled visit was pulled out from under me like the proverbial rug. That sense of sudden loss of possibilities shocked me as much as if I had learned of his death. I wondered if I would ever have the chance to see him again.
Subhanallah, I have had the chance. I have shared three days with the man I missed so much. I never once asked him,with his advanced Alzheimer's, if he knew who I was. I didn't care. I knew who he was and he is still my dad.
He's still got so much of his personality. Although he's less likely to inniate a conversation, he
responds well; his brilliant mind might not remember where we're going, but he knows where he's been. It's funny to me how he forgets I was with him for some of those times. I was worried that I might tear up or break down but I've only stayed positive ---which has got to be through the grace of God.
There was a moment in the museum when I was so busy talking to my son about the exhibit on Kennedy's assassination that I didn't realize my father was there too. I looked over and saw him fighting tears. He was so touched by that moment and I saw him in this new light. He has always cared deeply and has always loved others. Maybe he fought back those feelings in his life because...we all have to in order to keep going. I comforted him and his tears never left him.
Soon, we'll be leaving him and I really couldn't tell you if I see him ever again. It's OK. God knows.