Archives

On my mother’s back

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I am the baby on my mother’s back

I still sport a baby-do

My mother is a proud African woman

She feels secure and self-assured

She carries me on her back and a bowl on her head

She can do many things at once

She holds her head up 

As if saying, I’ve got this baby

Stay close to me and I will take care of you 

The world can be a scary place sometimes

But It it full of loving people too 

We rely on the goodness of others

We rely on the spirit of our ancestors

And we take one strong step after another 

On this journey called life

It is OK to be scared sometimes

It is OK to feel pain and sorrow

Those things are part of life too

But for now, I’m here for you 

To help you and support you and love you

At the beginning of your journey when you need my strength 

November 10th, 2022

The kitchen sink

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How do I feel now that I know my treatment will be longer than expected?
Chemo, another surgery, radiation therapy and reconstruction lie ahead
It’s a long haul
I’ve ticked out all the boxes among the possible treatments
They will throw everything at it
Everything but the kitchen sink
Looking ahead, it’s a little overwhelming
But it will be one treatment at a time
With time to recuperate
I’ll be the model patient
Optimistic and positive
I have the support of my friends and family
Many prayers are being said for me
Nevertheless it takes time to process the news
It’s not what I was expecting
But I know already that life is full of surprises
And each of them can be a teacher
But challenges are challenges
And need to be navigated with care

September 12th, 2022

The new normal

 

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Things are going back to normal

The new normal

I have four scars of various sizes

I still get tired easily

But I can shower like I used to

I can do the things I want to do

Surgery is definitely a shock to the system

It’s not like another day at the doctor’s office

It takes time to recuperate

And my body will not look the same

But that is a minor detail

Because what makes me me is not my body

What makes me me doesn’t bear the new scars

I feel good

I feel optimistic

And I’m grateful for all the love and attention

I get from my friends and family

I welcome the new normal

I’m thrilled about the advances in medicine

I’m lucky to live where I do

And have the friends that I have

August 28th, 2022

 

Should I be?

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Should I be worried?

Somehow I’m not

With the support of my family and friends

I feel strong

I trust my surgeons to do a good job

And I know I will be spoiled with kindness afterward

Challenges are blessings sometimes

I now know better how many people care for me

There are many people I can lean on

Thankful for every one’s love

I know all will be well

All will be fine

August 7th 2022

A few days before breast surgery

What keeps you going?


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My spirituality he said

I believe in karma

That we reap what we sow

That there will be justice in the end

What keeps you going, he asked

Hope that the future will be brighter 

That what we do to better the world matters

What keeps you going, he asked

Love for my fellow man

Belief in goodness and truthfulness 

That living a virtuous life is important 

No matter what life throws at you 

What keeps you going, he asked

Faith in a higher power, he said 

August 4th 2022

 

Dedicated to my dear friend Afif Naimi who was recently arrested in Iran because he is a Baha’i 

But I’m not

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I should be sad

But I feel uplifted

I should be scared

But I feel hopeful

I should be upset 

But I feel grateful

I should be perplexed

But I understand

And the only reason for this is my Faith in God

And the outpouring of support from my friends

I feel buoyed by their love

I feel like I’m flying in the rare atmosphere of their care and compassion

And I’m basking in the sunshine of their affection

I should be sad

But I’m not 

June 16th, 2022

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Cashmere blanket

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It’s like a Cashmere blanket

In purple and orange hues

Soft and luxurious

Silky to the touch

I put it around myself

And feel cocooned in love 

I feel cared for

This is the love from my friends

Who are here to support me through challenging times

The caring words of my friends

Their soothing  and thoughtful messages

Are like fragrant rose petals falling from above

Perfuming the air

They are like a spring breeze on my fevered brow

Like a river of life giving water

Like a fire that warms me up in the dead of night

My friends

My treasures in this world

My friends

We’ll together reach the shore

June 2022

After my diagnosis with early stage breast cancer

How is this possible?

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How can we lower ourselves to such lows?

Human beings can be gracious, magnanimous

Self sacrificing, generous and the well-wishers of their neighbour

We build skyscrapers, invest things beyond our imagination

We create art that moves us and mesmerizes

And yet we degrade ourselves to the level of animals

We have potential to be of service to others

Give each other a helping hand

Worry and care for our fellow man

And yet we still wage war to conquer a piece of land

Thousands die

As the generals give their order 

Which come from above

How are we so cold-hearted and ignorant 

And power hungry sometimes?

It all starts in our homes

Depending on what we teach our children

And what society promotes

We can rise to the highest highs

Or abase ourselves to the lowest lows

We need to teach our children 

Compassion and desire to serve 

We have to teach them that we are brothers and sisters

A line on the land should not divide us

And pit us against one another

We have to teach our children

That there is one human family

The pain of one is the pain of all

And if we do

In the times to come

We will not witness 

The atrocities we are witnessing today

April 4th, 2022

Still standing tall

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Something terrible and painful must have happened

Something to shake her to her core

She must have been blindsided

It happened so suddenly, when least expected

After all, it was spring and the birds were singing

There was nothing menacing in the air

Life went on as usual

And then tragedy struck like a slap in the face 

Like a hit from behind

Where was this calamity coming from?

Why now?

But it was too late

The damage was done

She aged thirty years in one

She lost her verdant robe

She dried up

But even in this state

After that fateful day

After experiencing pain and suffering

And so much loss

She is still beautiful 

She is still standing tall

February 28th, 2022

Crossroads of change

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At the cross roads of change

Scary times

Exciting times

Anxiety provoking times

Constructive times

Change is never easy

It upsets the exciting order

It makes us uncomfortable

But change is necessary for growth

And growth is often painful

With open eyes

And an open heart

On can proceed on the path of life

And from time to time

Move to a different highway

Toward one’s destination

January 28th, 2022