Monday, March 20, 2006

To My Mom


 

This is to you mother, without the parables and the poetry, without the card and the online basket of wilted flowers, without the borrowed words and the false promises. Without anything but me.

This is to you, and all the times I hated you, for being closer to me than my own skin, for protecting me from leaving you no matter for how long, for keeping me from playing with other children in the snow, from searching around the ponds for frogs and listening to their raucous serenades, for protecting me from my jealous friends, from girls and from sin, from everyone who was guilty until proven innocent, from growing up the way I should have, while forcing me to grow up before my time like no child ever should.

This is to you mother and all the times I hated you for nurturing what in me was bigger than the ocean, and suddenly pulling me away and throwing me where I did not, and still do not belong.

This is to you, for all the times I wished I were ten thousand miles away from you, your strength, your intransigence, your being always right and always able to prove you were, from your seeing through my little white lies and not talking to me for weeks, until my white lies gradually turned darker, and I turned smart enough to get away with most of them without remorse.

This also is to you mom, you who almost lost your life to give me mine, and sacrificed everything to make it grow and reach the outskirts of the universe, you who cooked me the best food I ever tasted, made my bed every living morningI saw, told me a thousand amazing stories about places I'd never been and people I would never know, you who taught me about Saint-Exupery, Andre Gide, Vlaminck, Franz Hals, Charlemagne, Henri IV, Franz Liszt, Bach, you who made me watch and listen to operas without the need for a television or a radio, all the operas you grew up with, Aida, La Traviata, Madame Butterfly, Porgy and Bess, Le mariage de Figaro, you who took me by the hand and guided my imagniation through Adana, Istanbul, Ljubljana, Bucharest, Salzburg, Zurich, Aleppo, and back to our drafty living room in Beirut where I sat down exalted, and dreamt.

You who showed me how a book is cherished like a father, you whose worn-out poetry booklets made me fall in love with Al-Mutanabbi and Omro'Al Kaiss, and whose pastel sticks and watercolor tubes found my fingers and magically colored my world.

This is to you, you whose body has not seen a single day without pain, whose prosthesis carried my plea from district to district, and whose rheumatic wrists knocked on a thousand doors to get me the passport I needed to get to France.

You who, only 10 years ago, with your grey hair, your broken hip, your scoliosis and your double chin, were still making heads turn, not even talking, just walking on the street.

This is to you mom, you who are now home-bound, swallowing your pain and loneliness waiting for me, your only child, your life, your hope, your baby, to come back...

This is to the last blessed bone in your body, and the last fleck of dust on your skin..

I can't type anymore...

This is to you mom. Unabridged. Unchecked. From me. The man who owes you everything he is now, and will ever become.

27 Comments:

Blogger Delirious said...

...
Breathtaking...
I cannot find the words to express what I feel. I'm afraid to tarnish the beauty of what you wrote. I'll simply read it again and again and again and try to hide the tears forming at the corner of my eyes...

Allah ykhallilak yeha deyman fo2 rassak ya Fouad...

2:50 AM  
Blogger Eve said...

she must be very proud of her achievement :)

sallemleh 3leiha, F.

6:01 AM  
Blogger rouba said...

reading this fouad was like listening to Marcel's "Ommi"; powerful, raw, and very very touching.

8:59 AM  
Blogger Mirvat said...

happy day to your mom.

11:15 AM  
Blogger Fouad said...

happy day to all your moms.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Mia said...

Speechless. Beautiful. You made me cry in the middle of class. You are her crowning glory and like all mothers she knows this and loves you the more for it.

12:17 PM  
Blogger [ j i m m y ] said...

*eyes full of tears*

may you enjoy your mothers love and may she enjoy yours for years to come.

1:46 PM  
Blogger Kathleen Callon said...

Thanks for sharing. You're mother sounds like she may have raised you with an overly firm hand, but also with intelligence and culture. I hope when you are a father you impart the best of her to your children.

2:03 PM  
Blogger Lazarus said...

thank you for writing what many are thinking ... happy m's day ya f.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous aisling said...

Sláinte chuig na fír, agus go mairfidh na mna go deo.
"Health to the men and may the women live forever."

5:12 PM  
Blogger Ghassan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:56 PM  
Blogger Fouad said...

Thank you all, but I didn't mean to make any of you cry.. anyway, hope all our moms stick around us as close to forever as possible.

9:37 PM  
Blogger Jin said...

So beautiful & so honest. Sometimes, speaking as a mother. we don't know what our children think or how they feel. I'm still learning about my own mum & my son is learning more about me. I don't care where I am or whose company I am in, I will never be embarassed to say "I Love You" to my baby boy & to my mum.
Your mom must be so proud of you xxxxx

11:50 PM  
Blogger nour said...

God bless you Fouad.

A mother is a culture of love & wisdom...

4:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so unbridled, raw, and exquisitely written...i sobbed... as a lebanese mother of a ten year old boy raising him here but always looking westward ...i am her -except for the double chin-... her fears, her insecurities, her aspirations...tx

7:53 AM  
Blogger Mirvat said...

Fouad, write something :)

3:28 PM  
Blogger Fouad said...

About what?

6:18 PM  
Blogger Mirvat said...

i don't know!
are you out of things to write about?

7:29 PM  
Blogger Fouad said...

Not really..

7:32 PM  
Blogger Mirvat said...

so...

7:45 PM  
Blogger AM said...

huh? why did you delete my comment?

1:49 AM  
Blogger Fouad said...

this is strange. you're not the first one to think I deleted their comment. I never deleted your comment am. I don't think it ever posted. Blogger has been having sporadic short-lived failures. It might have happened then.

8:23 AM  
Anonymous aisling said...

Oh, ok. Since it was right after mine, I thought somehow you were offended (wasn't sure how...)but then changed your mind :)

5:25 PM  
Blogger Ecce Libanus said...

Fouad, you are ALL heart! I read this and I wheep, then blush..
Why was I not able to come up with such pellucid exquisite words for my own mother, before she left.
You rock, Fouad!
To paraphrase Saïd Akl, May her hands remain your cradle forever,
and may you forever remain her child. Bless your heart man!

8:37 PM  
Blogger Fouad said...

I am very touched Louis. Thank you.

10:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

simply beautiful...

7:24 AM  
Blogger Punkin said...

Doddamn you Fouad. For making me cry and jelous.

Khalid

11:04 AM  

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