Thursday, March 31, 2011

On inspiration, deception, depression and all the "sions"



Fear not dear, loyal reader (if there's anyone out there!) I am not really depressing. It's just that a lot around me calls for a great deal of sadness these days.

Mia aside that is, of course. She's probably the one thing that's keeping me from officially being  institutionalized.

2010 has been a bitch!

Naturally, I forgave her because she ended up giving me Mia just one month before she finally hit the road. But I just couldn't wait for 2011 to finally come. We all needed a break. Well...

2011 doesn't look any kinder

Which sucks, royally. Because I will need some good stuff to keep my sanity and chocolate won't do it anymore. Of course I still have Mia's cheeks but I don't want to be that annoying mother that keeps following her child and steals a few kisses by force. Because eventually, she'll get bored of my overbearing affection. Then what?

Hubby cannot reiterate it enough: I am a Drama-Queen.
Capital D, capital Q.
Capital DRAMA actually.
And I won't argue much with that theory because well, let's be honest, I do have my dramatic moments. Every day.

But these past months would have been unbearable for just about anyone in my shoes.
Or crocs, they're all that fits right now.

Too many people left us, way too soon

First there was a close friend's cousin. He was in his forties, in good health. To add even more cruelty to the tragedy, it ironically happened on his way back from jogging. He was in his living-room with his family when his 5 year old daughter asks him to read her a story. He gently declines telling her he is tired and lays down on the couch. Suddenly he tells his wife he's not feeling OK and has a stroke right there, in front of his wife, his daughter and his baby boy! I didn't know the man personally but we had many common friends. Clearly, the 995 people who joined the Facebook group created in his memory can only attest how appreciated he was.

It was disgusting.
He was young.
He exercised.
He wasn't that much older than us.
And he was leading the same kind of life we do.

The lifestyle similarities, the common friends, his age...
Everything was disturbing.
Utterly disgusting.

Ironically, he had been supporting a common friend who had lost her mother a few days earlier. Her mom had been sick for years and couldn't get out of bed anymore. And yet, it still felt as unfair as ever. She was my friend's only family. She raised her on her own. A real-life hero. And as if being horribly sick and in pain for years wasn't enough, she was robbed of the joy of  seeing her only child get married. She will never kiss her grand-children. And they will never have the privilege of meeting her.

Life's cruel ways

A few months later, it was another friend's turn to leave us suddenly. He was only 30, we attended high-school together. He was so friendly and socially and politically active that he became one of those popular guys that everyone loves in college. Three groups were created in his memory on Facebook. One has 2,366 members, the others 255 and 361. Obviously, "popular" is an understatement. He was riding his bike on one of the perfectly-maintained and super-safe highways in Lebanon when he crashed in a pit.  A freaking pit in the middle of the highway! Just like that.

It hit hard.
He was too young. Obviously.
And his accident was outrageously ridiculous and absurd.


Then came Ziad
Dear Ziad

Also in his forties, also with a young family; a three-year old baby girl. And also in the most unfair and dreadful of ways: Cancer. Ziad was the closest. He was family. We went to the doctors' appointments with him. We followed up his treatment. We supported him and his wife throughout the most hideous of ordeals. And he simply left. Just like that. Leaving everyone and everything behind. He had only begun to build a good life for himself and his family. He was finally happy at his job. At last he was close to home. He was close to his loved ones. He was close to us. And only a few months after we celebrated all these accomplishments which everyone had prayed for for so long; he is diagnosed with advanced Cancer. He struggled like a hero for months before his body finally gave up. His soul was never weakened. His heart was saddened, yes; but his soul remained intact. How can anyone justify that to his daughter? What do you say? Life sucks, deal with it?

Do I really have to say it?
There. Said.

Surreal and brutal

Only a few weeks after he visited me at the hospital to meet Mia for the first time and congratulate us, one of the sweetest and most innocent man I know was brutally attacked and murdered in his own home. He too was in his forties. He too was healthy. He too was young, bright, kind. He too was loved by so many people. And he too left in such a hideous and terrifying way. Murdered. I thought I would only know that word through movies and books. Maybe the evening news. It turned out my friend made the evening news this time.

The horror

Just a few days later, my dad goes to check on his best friend of 30 years. He finds him in his home, sleeping peacefully on his bed. Gone. Just like that. No warning. No reason. He was a bit older than the friends I mentioned above, granted. But 60 is still too young and too ridiculous. People don't just die for no reason. At 60. Not in this day and age. He was an artist; a filmmaker and a photographer. He was an activist always ready to tackle the most sensitive issues. He passed away before he could witness the Arab revolutions. He would have loved them. He would have been part of them. He, who made documentaries on the Israeli war on Lebanon; on Iraq; on Egypt's Abdel Nasser. He was supposed to be there. He was supposed to see and experience the pride of those he supported for so long. He was supposed to film the revolutions he's always encouraged. Was supposed to. Didn't. Never will again. Just like that. Ironically, because apparently life is too cruel not to be filled with disgusting irony, he was the healthiest man I know. Always giving advices on how to eat, how to exercise, what to do to live a long, healthy life.

It was much more than that to all of us at home.
My dad hasn't recovered yet.

Fate did not spare him anyway.

What the hell?!

A few weeks after he buried his best friend, the one he spent each and every day with; my dad lost his mother. On his birthday. The irony never stops, right? This date that will now be stained forever in his eyes. Yes, she was senile. Yes she was sick. And yes, she was 90 years old. But it still felt like a knife in the back. Forty days later we lost my grand-father. Forty days. Forty damn days. We consoled each other: they had lived a full life, together, up until the end. They had been happy. They got sick together (Alzheimer). And somehow, I don't know how, they left together. As it should be. Is it less disgusting?

Make it stop!

Now, a few days ago another friend my age, in his early thirties, left us. A day after his birthday. Didn't I mention life was too cruel not to be ironic? I hadn't seen or spoken to him in years. Then I see his name on my Facebook calendar, so I wish him a happy birthday and he replies that same day. We exchange a few messages and I wait for him to let me know when he'll be visiting Lebanon (he lives in Washington) so we can get together. The reply never came. He passed away that day, probably before he could even read my message. He was not one of those people who dismiss others. He was one of the kindest souls I know. Truly. absolutely not one person who knew him disliked, let alone hated him. Not one. And now every time they will remember his birthday, they will remember his departure.



Reem said...

This is very moving and shows your sincere humanity and feelings towards people. It's life unfortunately, and as they say "Life goes on". But what people don't realize as it pursues in ways that will changes us forever. I still wake up in tears for the loss of my mother , a year and a half later. But to all the beautiful people we lost, it becomes our duty to spread their smile around the way they did. Bless you for writing about it!

bl✮g said...

Reem, thank you so much babe!

I would be lying if I told you not a day passes, I don't remember your loss.

But believe me when I say, not a week passes I don't remember you. And your mom. Even for the quickest of seconds. You're always on my mind, especially these days.

Love you so much for who you were when we met, for all that made you you all these years and for who you've become today. You're one of the few that remain and I do love you. bisous!