February 2011

All good things come to an end. The summer in Belgium came to an end, without anyone of us realizing. We parted, only to return to a norm we had gladly left behind. And upon returning, we realized why it had been so easy to lock the door, turn the lights off, and fly.
There are times in the day that I think about the house in the meadows. When I drink tea, I picture myself back on the veranda, a semi-warm wind coming from the east, the sun rays caressing my shoulders. I think of Sheri, making crepes or washing the dishes or ironing, sipping her forbidden coffee. I think of Toufi, lost in her music, painting the rest of her new canvas.
I even miss the rapid, sudden rain storms. How everything changed as we sat, watching from the inside as the windows became wet and blurry. The taste of coffee during those rainy days was sweetly bitter, more satisfying than ever. And we were all together, as if we never spent a day away from each other, as if 12 years hadn’t gone by. Twelve years ago, America was so far away that we thought none of us would ever reach it. Twelve years ago, good things didn’t seem so short-lasting.
But. Good things come to an end.
When I was little, eight to be exact and my father left us for America, my dream was to recreate my family together once again. I sill prayed then, and in my prayers I always asked for the same thing: Please God bring us all together. What an unusual wish for a child, but at the time I felt it my duty. I believed strongly that if I continued my prayers, we would eventually reunite. Four years passed until my mother and I reunited with my father. But the family never reunited. We were broken up and every now and then, on occasion, summer or winter vacation, we’d try to get together. I wonder why I never became angry at God for taking so long and for ultimately not making my wish come true. Why is it that I still prayed, still believed in something that had no proof of existence?
Every chance I get with my family together, I try to remember the details. I look back at photographs and realize how much each year we change. How every time we meet, we’ve become different people and yet our personalities are recognizable. My mother is still stubborn and hardworking, my sister still hoping to run her own business.
This past summer we celebrated our sister’s wedding in Vienna, Virginia. We had waited for that day for years. The hours went by quickly, but I caught a glimpse of everyone, and decided I had never seen my family happier. We were all there, after years of living the broken life, and immigrating to our respective countries, cities, we were there all. And none of the circumstances, none of the troubles mattered.
Now, it doesn’t matter anymore where we are. We are family, and when we are together, we know how to enjoy ourselves. I am glad at least that I no longer have to ask God for something I know will never happen.

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