A Thought Too Young

November 19, 2007
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A Thought Too Young

By: Fatima Puri


I wandered about for a while, not yet ready to shut my eyes and rest. My mother told me that as long as I was awake I could at least help her with a few things, like ironing my shirt and pants before I forgot, again. I ran a couple of more errands till I was done (for the night), then I grabbed a thick copy of Rebel Angels and sat down to read. While I flipped through the pages trying to find where my bookmark had gone lost in the pile of words, my mother spoke up from behind the counter. “You know, as kids, we would always pray for our Father. Sick or not, we’d be at his side…” a pause, “And we still pray to God asking to give him a longer life, even though he’s passed on.”

I knew who she was talking about, Papa, who had lay down after feeling a bit ill. “But you don’t know…” I muttered, though she couldn’t hear me because she had started her own small conversation with yelling at my brother to go to bed, “I do pray for, him, and you, and Arsal (my brother), and everyone one else in this world; night and day.” With that, I stood from the warmth of the sofa and wandered into my father’s room, book left lurched on top my previous seat.

I saw him, lying there sleeping, snoring as loud as he could without waking himself up. He looked… nothing like himself. He had a face of a child, soft, innocent, and sweet. All his adult-features seemed to be faltered, turning him thirteen years younger. I could have sworn I thought his mustache had vanished into thin air and his snoring seemed mild at the moment. I sat there, wrinkling the fine bed sheets, and watched him, stayed at his side, wondering if the illness had anything to do with his change in features.

Then I thought of something not so pleasant. As young as he looked I could tell what my mother was truly trying to say, “He won’t be here forever… make his life as long and as wonderful as that book you seem to think is so great.” And I will. No, I’ll do better. I’ll celebrate his most cheriousable moments and share a bond with him, my family, and our world. I’ll make life last a lifetime, filled with all the wonder of the world. And I’ll share that life with everyone, filled with no worries, no pain, and no sorrow; like passing a candle around to enlighten someone’s day.

Finally, I drifted to sleep, right there watching over my father. The night blurred away and I seemed to drift with it. The last thing I noticed before that, though, was a small, happy women walking in and stroking my head. Giving me an air kiss she left and I whispered, “Thanks mom.”





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