Meeting Grace

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I am a special educator.

Yesterday a girl came running to me and gave me a huge heartfelt hug. We haven’t met before, so I asked her what her name was, she said: -Grace.

-what a beautiful name! Do you know what it means?

-no.

-Oh my God, I have to tell you, it’s so beautiful . I stammered for a bit before coming up with synonyms.

-It’s something like a blessing, a benediction! Do you know what that is?

-yes!

Surprised that she knew the words, I still wanted to paint a picture . I continued:

-when we speak of God’s grace, we speak of his love and compassion for us. And we can feel enveloped in them.

By this time we had arrived to her class. I sent her in with a “nice to meet you Grace. See you around” and we waved at each other.

________

Today my uncle passed away. The most peaceful human being I’ve ever met in my life. Won’t speak unless spoken to. Won’t hear him gossip or talk about anyone! really ! Any attempts to drag him in such conversations will be dismissed with a hand wave and a “Leave those people alone, we want nothing from them!”

But the one thing that everyone would agree on, is that he was ” a man of service “. To the family, to friends, to the extended family and even will not be an eye if one of his brothers kids asked of him to run an errand.

Allah is just. I can only imagine my uncle; after spending a lifetime in service of others, asking for nothing in return; I can only imagine him being served and tended to the way a pure hearted being like him deserves.

Death has visited our home before. She claimed my mom (May Allah bless her soul) and her dad before that. I weren’t with them when my grandfather passed. I am not with them now. But I witnessed my mom’s passing. It was there where I met Grace for the first time.

This is not where I talk about my mom’s death. For it to make sense I need to talk about her life. And that’s for another day.

I saw Grace for the first time, in many faces, in many places and many times.

Holding my grandmother’s hand as she grieved her daughter, feeling like her hand is all that kept me together.

Sitting with her in silence, unable to shed tears, trying to feel the pain, but it was bigger than us, but so was the grace.

I was glued to her shoulder, like edges of two piece of a puzzle, as if what’s left of her traces could be put back together.

A mother lost a daughter, a daughter lost a mother. A middle piece was gone, a frame without a picture. A lake without border. Holding each other’s hands both blind in the water. Both our pains fuse and so we choose, to become a reflection of her to one another.

We held Grace in our hand, heart heavy, eyes dry. So deep under water, we couldn’t yet cry.

Sorry I couldn’t be there for you, but I know grace holds your hand, because although I am miles away, Grace still found her way to me,

She payed me a visit, yesterday.

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