inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon ❤️
My uncle, Syed Munawar Ali, was and will forever be remembered for his warmth, his optimism in the face of adversity, his Dad jokes, his love for his wife and children, his commitment to family, his kind friendship… he was our greatest support. How does one find the strength to move on from his loss?
When I first got the news, 6:51AM, I knew that there could only be two reasons for my parents to call me at that time. Coincidentally, I had woken up around the same time his soul left this earth, some time after Fajr EST. As soon as they said to go to my aunt’s house, I knew the worst outcome had come true. If I have ever known heartbreak, it doesn’t even compare to what I felt in that moment. All I could say back was, “why?”
Our body goes into survival mode when we get bad news. Though tears came, I had to make it through the 1.5 hour drive from Greenville. I had to make it through looking into my aunt’s eyes and see the pain that’s been in them, and this time, not see the hope that had remained. Still, even with swollen eyes and a broken heart, my Rana Thai is the most strongest woman I know, and it must be because she had the companionship of a great man for over 25 years. Allah swt blessed her with two amazing, loving kids. May Allah swt give them all sabr.
Thai Abbu, I thought of you. I thought of the time I thought to myself to check in. The world was going up in flames and it somehow came to my mind I should ask how you’re doing in Pakistan. In my heart, I didn’t want to even think anything could happen. I regret spending so much time wishing to say more. To get to know you more. I knew you were getting older but in my mind, there was always going to be a tomorrow. I wish I could tell the people I love how much I love them before it’s too late. I hope you knew how much you meant to all of us. You are one of the greatest men I know. No, scratch that, THE greatest.
Still, Allah swt called you back. To Him we belong & to Him we shall return. We are just lucky Allah gave us the month of Ramadan to pray for your peaceful passing & place in Jannah, iA.
Today, as the memories flash through my mind, 20 years worth of memories, I realize that’s all they’ll ever be. Memories.
I thought of the times when we lived with you, and you listened to me sing “Chaiyaa Chaiyaa” over and over as I ran around the house and annoyed Fahad bhai. You were the only one who entertained my silly antics.
I thought of when we’d stay up all night waiting for you to come home from work, and you always remembered to bring Umrah & I our favorite snacks. You always kept the fridge stocked with tomato juice just for me because you knew how much I loved it.
I thought of the time you gave me my first car and then complimented my driving. I thought of all the little ways in you were like a second father to me.
I thought of when you had your surgery, and you couldn’t walk for a while, and it hurt me to see you in pain, yet you never complained. You never spoke negatively about anything or anyone.
I thought of when you’d ask who’s making the chai (me), or how you’d joke around about me doing chores (because I never do). You told me the importance of playing an active role in the household. You charged me to prioritize family. Your little nudges made me a better person. Anytime I got annoyed about my parents needing help with something, I thought of you telling me that I need to be there for them.
I thought of every single Dad joke you ever made, hoping to hear each of them one more time in your voice. I think it’s safe to say anyone who knew you would give the world just to hear your laugh one more time.
I thought of the sound of you getting up from the bed and walking across the house at 1AM. I grew up listening to the sound of your footsteps, coming home from a long day at work. Now I sit in the home you built, and I see pieces of you everywhere. My heart can’t take it.
I thought of the times I’d look at you and think so highly of you because of how everyone spoke of you. You and Rana Thai had a love story every generation in our family knows by heart. They say Allah swt makes us in pairs, and when I see the way Thai’s eyes sparkle and face glows when speaking of you, I know that’s true.
There’s so many memories that we got to create with you to think about. I keep thinking and thinking because that’s the only way I will ever get to feel your presence again. May I never forget these memories, and may I never grow resentful at the world for taking you so soon. It was better for you to be rid of the pain that kept you here. May your soul finally be in peace. May my family and I reunite in Jannah, iA. I love you, I will always remember you. ❤️