Something’s happened. I’m trying very hard to understand what it is. It comes and goes in my head. And then it hits. It hits like a huge ice berg. Like both the titanic, and the iceberg have just simultaneously crashed into me at the same time.Zaydi is gone. I’ve repeated this so many times since the 3rd of July. Told people how it happened. He drowned. Yes, he didn’t like water. Didn’t like to swim. Respected water is a better word. Wasn’t afraid but just made sure to wear a life jacket or be prepared. For him to not do any of that, that day was strange and surprising. But I digress.
I talk about it all the time. Zayd Mustafa is gone.
Those are not just words I say without consequence, though.
I remember my sister standing in the kitchen. Her water broke. We rushed her to the hospital. He was born. I remember being one of the first people to hold that tiny little creature.
I remember him at the age of 3 insisting that he can “swim” when he couldn’t and slipping through my hands in the swimming pool and me holding him back saying “Zaydi you don’t know how to swim stay with me on the edge”. The irony is great in that right now. We always made fun of him for that.
I remember when he used to come to spend summers with me; he used to bother me to no end with the aid of his other cousins.
I would go to Pakistan, and I wouldn’t bother telling anyone but him that I’m coming because I knew he would take care of everything. That’s just the kind of person he was.
Then he moved to the U.S and grew up. I think then we became friends because he became an adult.
Weeks before his death my nieces and nephews were telling me that he is no doubt my favorite. His sister always said to me that I babied him. That I gave him too many breaks and I’m not letting him grow up.
There is something I could not say to them in his life because none of them would understand. They would roll their eyes at me and say, “right, you just think that cause he’s your favorite.” He wasn’t my favorite, he indeed was a special human being. I knew it then and I am even more sure of it now. He had some really special qualities and not many people saw them. I knew what he was capable of. If given the opportunity that young man would touch the stars. These are not just words, people who know me and my relationship with him KNOW that this is what I thought of him and I would provide him with a ladder long enough to reach those stars if I could. But guess what? He got em. He got those stars all on his own. Allah never disappoints. He sees the worth and HE gives to those who deserve.
I would get frustrated with him for being too kind to people who have been not so kind to him and he would say, “I understand not to get too close but I don’t want to be bitter and mean like them”. I cannot go over the list of things that made him different. This is just one example, I could give many. I know that it doesn’t matter. What matters is that he smiled through any suffering and pain. He didn’t take life seriously enough to get him down. He always knew he’d come out on the other side tall and proud. And I made sure to tell him that I had his back no matter what. But he didn’t care because he knew that Allah had his back.
The boy is a son. He is not “like” a son to me. He is a son. I did not know it was possible to feel more pain than when I lost my first child. But here I am. When people see me with my two boys they automatically say, “oh you have two boys?” I nod in agreement. But under my breathe I whisper, “actually I have three.” Everyone forgets the third one who died years a go. That’s okay, it’s not their job to remember. A mother can never forget. Zaydi, you will also always be remembered. I will not mourn you as I am one of those lucky ones who keeps sending her children straight to heaven, no stops!
He was taken to water, to martyrdom. Maybe it sounds insane to those who don’t believe. But to me, sounds like a good deal. HE took this sweet boy who was always there for others. Who never let anyone down. Who never disappointed anyone and in return God took him to the best of places.
Zayd is where he is the most important person now. He is now where nothing will be difficult for him. I know he was over whelmed and had a lot of pressure to do too much too soon. Now he can relax and just enjoy.
My 5 year old says that bhayya is riding around on friendly dinosaurs and flying with superheroes. He even has a superhero name now apparently.
Not having him around here is going to keep hitting me like a boulder but knowing where he is, is going to be a huge relief.
One day when we meet him in paradise. When we see him in his garden with beautiful animals (can you tell that he loved animals) and everything that he wanted for himself. When we meet again with all of his family and friends, he will be with all the martyrs and Prophets.
I think of the son of the Prophet(s). The original Zayd(a), how he was loved and cherished. Our Zayd is no less loved and no less cherished.
We will always miss you but we know that there is nothing holding you back now.
Be in peace, be in love, be in happiness.
No goodbye, just a, “see you in a bit. Save me a good spot!”