Yes, this post is looooong overdue.
Only today have I had the time and energy to write it all up. And even though I won’t go into great detail on all that happened (and it might end up sounding like anything really happened anyway) but a lot happened and I’ve come out of this Ramadan very tired.
Saturday was going as normal as ever. We were going to have leftovers for iftar so we didn’t have to worry about prep that day. My sister-in-law come over with her kids and it looked like it might end up being a busy day, but she left early in-between the showers that day. The whole of Ramadan has, thankfully, been like monsoon season rather than Summer. British weather, ey!
Around late afternoon we got a call from my sister that her 15 year old daughter was in hospital because of pain in her lower abdomen, near her appendix. This sister of mine has 4 younger kids, two of which are twins. Thankfully, her husband was made redundant recently so he was able to do the school run whilst my sister was with her eldest. At midnight we found out that she was being kept in for further tests, considering that she went through the same pain last year but was released due to nothing harmful being found apart from an infection in her blood.
On Sunday I was asked to spend the day with my niece in hospital since my sister couldn’t leave her kids with the dad all day. Plus, my niece was terribly miserable when she was left alone and grew anxious about tests and nurses. When I got to the hospital I found my niece was stuck in the kids ward since she was still underage. Poor thing was stuck listening to the other patients play Balamory and In the Night Garden all day 😀
This visit then extended into a stay of 3 nights and 4 days.
2 out of those 4 days I was with my niece and witnessed how upsetting this was all for her. In front of her, the doctors and nurses spoke about surgery, infections, scans and all sorts of things that were unnecessarily scaring her. There was a point they openly told her they found blood in her urine sample, leaving her whole family speechless and my niece in tears thinking she’s going to die.
Luckily, she had her ‘midnight nurse’ visiting her…
She told me he first came to see her at midnight on her second night. The first thing he (yes, male nurse) did was pop his head through the curtains and ask Alone are we?! Which, out of context sounds ‘screepy’ (scary and creepy. Its easier that way :D) and was still odd since my niece couldn’t tell if he was checking in on all the other beds along with hers. But instead of just a high and goodbye, he stuck around for over 30min talking to her about his life and career change from being a maths teacher to the medical profession.
The day I was there, midnight nurse came again and again and I realised why she felt more weird around him; he had this high pitched German accent when he spoke and cracked not so funny jokes that made things more awkward for her. But from seeing him myself, I felt he wasn’t threatening at all. Just friendly.
Thankfully, my niece was discharged after 4 days with nothing showing up as being wrong with her appendix. Although she came back home happily, the fear of something happening again hung in the air.
My sister was born late I’m sure. Nearly every year without fail she gets her clothes last min. There have been times I’ve been forced to walk around 3 different towns the day before Eid in her attempt to find something ¬.¬
So come Wednesday, we were looking around for 4 hours with no success. I was tired and frustrated that the day felt wasted and that we were both walking around whilst fasting. Things were either out of stock in her size or just too blingy when she wanted something simple. She finally returned me home late afternoon, only holding a box of mangoes to return to her husband and kids without an eid outfit.
Ramadan was finally coming to an end.
When the month begins you wonder how you’ll get through it and if there will be hot days to struggle through and enough ice cream in the freezer for suhoor. But as always, it passes quickly.
And during that week a lot began to happen. Post Brexit, England was in chaos. People on public transport and streets were being attacked for verbally abused. Social media helped spread the names and identity of some of the disgusting people going around terrorising people who looked different or spoke differently. And on the other side of the pond we had Donald Tramp preaching and his goons following. 2016 seemed to have reached its climax of madness and hate. There were plenty of people sharing love and support but all the news ever reported were headline worthy and often, sensationalised stories. I tried to block out as much as I could of the news and wanted to focus spiritually on the final days.
The iftars were still big. I struggled to breath and ended up eating a banana and spoon of PB just because I knew I would get get hungry if I didn’t.
Then along came the most critical days.
The internet was breaking with bets and predictions of whether Ramadan would be 29 or 30 days. On the 28th day, mum was defrosting the meat and buying the salad in case it was a 29 day Ramadan. Finally, news came that it would be 30 days and the people sighed with relief. Ah, one more day to prepare for eid…
So on this day, the house was cleaned, the garden swept clean, the cobwebs blown away and the goodie bags prepped. We calculated our regular eid attendees and made 30 bags. Yes, that’s sometimes how many kids we have have around.
I could feel the buzz of Ramadan leaving and I was sad to see it go so quietly, what with it being overshadowed by Eid. The final iftar was the same meal that was made for day 1 of Ramadan; it felt like it had come full circle but I knew I was a different person from before ^_^
All in all, we did such a good job on the final day, that Eid morning was as mad getting food etc ready. But still, I ended up being stuck in the kitchen from 9am till 1:30 am and only enjoyed a game of pass the parcel with the kids for all of 20mins. This is literally my eid summed up. My family host the eid every year without fail and the day passes in a blur of food, kids and sari mishaps.
This concludes my Ramadan Diaries for 2016. And so I’ve completed blogging this series for 6 years now. Here’s hoping for a 7th!