They have always compared me to him in terms of goodness, calmness and love to other people. His image has always hunted me, with him not only passing his blood and morals to me, but also even after years of him passing away, still appearing in my dreams as if in my subconscious I refuse to believe that he has gone.
I always see him alive and healthy in spite of his last days of struggling with Cancer. He always sits there on the sofa he used to sit on in their living room, but this time with silence as if he is only there to watch my grandma whom he loved the most and spent most of his life taking care of – Refusing to leave her even now on his after life as well.
Cancer was only a tiny portion of the hardship he had to face in his life. My mother, in tears, likes to remember her father’s hard life and lists the hardest moments he had to go through.
While he was a child, fate decided to steal his mother, leaving him and his siblings with a tough father whom after a short period of time decided to marry again, bringing them a bad step-mother who didn’t just used to treat them badly, and lie about their behavior for their father to punish them, but also was able to deliver some other kids which they gave a special treat at the expense of my grandfather and his sibling from his original mother.
I can remember the tears on his eyes whenever he hears the song of Dured Lahham “Yamo yamo, ya set el habayeb yamo” (Mother, mother, the queen of the loved ones). The pain of loosing his mother has companioned him through his whole life.
Loosing his mother as a child was not enough. Fate decided to strip him from his father as well leaving him alone in this world where the only choice left for him to survive is to live in an orphanage house. A house where strict Christian nuns were responsible of taking care of him, teaching him Christianity and French!
At 18, he had to leave his orphanage house and join the army. It was 1948 battle where he fought with his fellow young Palestinians to protect their land. He used to remember in bitterness the type of cheap retarded weapons the British army provided them with in comparison to the advanced ones the Israeli gangs used to have.
The war ended, and he became a refuge. I am not sure if at that time he was already married to my grandma or not. But I know that he had later on to struggle with poverty in order to support his family over the years.
Because of his honesty and rejecting anything that would contradict with his strict moral system that were inject in him by the nuns at the orphanage house, he had never been able to stick to a job. Even if it meant that he and his family had to starve.
At one of his job he was a supervisor on some workers, the higher management were using those workers without paying them what they deserve. He objected and fought for their rights in order to be loyal to what he believes in. He won himself, but lost his job.
Later on, he moved to work in Libya, and while he was able to make good money there, he couldn’t stay more than a year because of his love for his wife and kids. He couldn’t stay away from them, and so he decided to come back. With the money he saved working abroad, he went into a partnership with a friend of him and opened a cafeteria that didn’t last for long because his friend betrayed his trust, stole from him, and ran off!
Beside his struggle with Cancer on his last days, He has faced other serious health problems in his life. Once while working in Aqaba, he felt a pain in his eye, and so he went to the Dr. to check it out. The dr. diagnosed it to be a cancer and recommend that he removes it so that the cancer won’t spread. And so, that is what he did, only to find out after he lost his eye, that it wasn’t a cancer! It was only a small congestion of blood in his eye that was formed because of a hit he got at childhood.
On another accident, he was working on a machine where it broke and hit his ear, cutting it from his head, where he had to take it with him and run to the hospital for them to put it back.
His smoking habit didn’t spare him from a run to the hospital as well because of a stroke that attacked him leaving him helpless to a heart surgery where he knew that he had to stop smoking.
With all those problems, I have never seen any bitterness in him for life. He has always had a good spirit. He has always showed his love to people around him. He has always believed in goodness no matter how much evil he had to go through.
We usually compare him to Prophet Job (Ayyoob). No one had to be patient in his life like him.
May his soul rest in peace…