As I began writing this blog I received a text message from LOL.
He: Thank you for the cake and the cards, you made my sixteenth birthday memorable for sure.
Me: (hearted his message and added) Great timing for this message! It made it to the blog! More later.
You see I must finish this blog by 7:30, sending it to him so he can post it before he goes to school. We work these things out together – it gives me enormous peace of mind. In days of olde I would be sending an email off to Computer Guru Chris in the UK having no idea whatsoever where and when it was going to be posted. Sometimes soon, sometimes later, much later. I have no idea how I managed to function under those conditions for years, in the midst of the enormous stresses of covid lockdown, discrimination resulting in physical injuries and eviction in Marin County, fear for my safety and life in the UAE (the fears confirmed by recent New Yorker revelations concerning the life and times of the Ruler of Dubai.
One can not imagine the gratitude I feel for the gift of peace of mind I now experience, in very area of my life now, living in Edmonton, surrounded by the best of all people. There are of course, exceptions but they seem to disappear from my firmament. They exit volunarily, somewhat miraculously it seems, of I exit them Their exit is often achieved by blocking, Instagram, WhatsApp, email contact. It can also be achieved by altering habits to escape their whereabouts, or when encountering them, looking past them – pretending they are not there. It works – the resulting peace of mind makes everything possible. New doors open, new and exciting ideas and people emerge. It can be heaven on earth, made ever more glorious because of the hell you encountered in the past. That is my present life.
I shall now share a secret – a closely held one. I was blessed with a religious experience. Its locale was highly appropriate. It happened in the Women’s Prayer Room of the Abu Dhabi Grand Mosque. My being there and then had to be a miracle in and of itself. First to be residing in Abu Dhabi, second to be at the Grand Mosque being pushed around in a wheelchair. There are amusing photos of me, pictured by a sign speaking of People of Determination – that label people with limited mobility achieve. I had a paid for pusher (taxi driver SAD (which stood for Sheikha Awesome Driver). He was pushing and we were able to escape the vast crowds of tourists. The Grand Mosque resembled, at one time, Disneyland. The dress restrictions were lifted, wide spread photography was allowed. It was a mess. However, the areas reserved for worshippers were pristine and quiet. I shall never understand how SAD and I were able to do this but we went to the Women’s Prayer Room. He spoke in Arabic to the woman outside the room and she let me come in the room, all by myself, providing me with a paper prayer mat. She then respectfully retreated. I painfully got out of the wheelchair, prostrated myself and with tears streaming down my face Praised Allah (SWT) for EVERYTHING that had happened to me during my lifetime because if it were not for the hardships I would not be there, be of the Islamic Faith, be blessed in His presence. I realized that, accepting all the intense evil I had experienced at the hands of so many, mostly during my helpless childhood but then afterward.
I lost track of time but returned to the wheelchair and signaled that I was ready to return to the world.
I was a mess. It was the during the days of covid so I was masked. Of course, was wearing a hijab and abaya. They certainly were colorful but I was covered, no one could deny that. My matching turquoise eyeshadow formed revolts down my cheeks. But I was able, somehow, to regain my composure. I smilingly smiled and waved at folks being driven through the vast Halls of Tolerance, being escorted to my chariot – the taxi to return to my caste, the Abu Dhabi Airport Premier Inn – my home away from home because I was an Emerati ID Retirement Visa had been refused and it was impossible to have any identity whatsoever without one – no apartment, no phone, no address, no covid booster shot – nothing. My credit cards made life possible, otherwise my existence would have been impossible. The Premier Inn was a blessing, the staff promised to keep me safe, my longer term rate was only $1700 (American) a month. I could order room service, there was a refrigerator in my room, the Costa coffee shop provided needed caffeine. Then on May 8, 2022 I was pushed through the corridors of the Premier Inn, crossed the street to the Abu Dhabi airport and with my Canadian passport was able to board an Ethiad Airline jet transporting me back to the land of my birth. PHEW
There were continuing hardships (of course). I landed at Toronto’s Pearson Airport which is hell on earth. With the help of magnificent people was able to retrieve my luggage and catch an Air Canada jet bound for Vancouver. More hardships encountered there but a few days later an Air Canada jet transported me to Edmonton. Again more hardships but then leasing this apartment with its views. It sunsets, the grass, the trees, then the autumn colors, then the snow and now again, miraculously the leaves upon the trees and the green, green grass of summer.
But back to the beginning of the blog. LOL is the son of MAN, the property manager of this building, who was born in Nepal, was subjected to the slave working conditions in Dubai, but escaped to Canada by getting employment working as the property manager of this building which houses government offices as well as apartments. He was able to bring his wife WOMAN and his two sons to live in Canada. His youngest son, just turned 16. His name is Lucky.
You see everything came full circle, as if per magic. But more miracles took place two days before allowing LOL’s birthday celebration. His mother and I spent time together on Mother’s Day – she came to honor me laden with gifts.
She: It is Lucky’s birthday on Thursday.
Me: We must think of a way to celebrate! What shall we do?
She: I will bring him with me again and we both will work with you. We will tell him that you need his services.
Me: Okay – he will believe that. But what then?
She: Well, he loves chocolate cake.
Me: Okay I will get one. What else?
She: Kids like money.
Me: Okay! I will get cards and money.
So got the cards. One was so funny. It was turquoise. One the outside it said:
It: Here is a card with fifty bucks.
Inside: Fifty artist drawn bucks. Happy Birthday
But then another card with actual Canadian bucks inside.
But the story of the cake was equally miraculous. I was doing all sorts of chores at Unity Square and faced horrible difficulties at the Canada Post Office, that caused me to break down in tears. The staff were so wonderful, comforting and the problem got solved but I was exhausted. I remembered seeing the Art of Cake sign – knowing that they made the best of cakes as they supply the food at the Allin Clinic. So I wearily went to what appeared to be an outlet. Opened the door to discover it was a restaurant. Joyously went inside, somehow met Jerome, one of the owners.
Me: You are making me most happy. I a having lunch but I need to order a chocolate cake for tomorrow.
He: I am sorry but it is necessary to preorder a cake seven days in advance.
Me: Oh no! He loves chocolate cake. And he is only 16.
He: I will be sure to have a cake for you tomorrow. There are cakes available for sale and we will save one for you.
Me: Oh thank you! I love you! He will be so happy.
So he did and I did. Yesterday an extremely busy day as you shall learn. A visit to my new and wonderful physiotherapist to the University of Alberta Sports Medicine Clinic, then to Spruce Grove to meet with my financial advisor and his assistant, then to lunch with them. After lunch back to Art of Cake. There was the cake, ready and waiting. Took it home with me, got back just in time to greet lucky at the door with this song.
Happy Birthday to You
You Belong in a Zoo
You Look Like a Monkey
And You Smell like one too.
I have absolutely no idea where and when I first learned the words to that song. But I did. I cannot sing – it was pathetically funny. Sang it once before in Riyadh Saudi Arabia.
More about that tomorrow. Gotta send this now.
No time to edit so spelling errors perhaps but it must go now