Wednesday, July 23, 2008

my mother-in-law

My mother-in-law, Um Muwaffaq, lies at home at the end of her life with her family around her and it took me back so many years to when I first met her as a mother in her forties with eight children. She was from a poor background, born in Damascus and married my father-in-law (he died at the wonderful age of 91, still walking everywhere) early on in life. They lived in a small apartment hanging on to the side of Jebel Webdeh where she cooked and cleaned and managed her large family. She could not read or write but was determined that all her children would succeed and be educated.

Their balcony was covered in jasmine, majnooni and plants in tin cans and she cooked like an angel. Many the time I would go round and she and her daughters and sisters would be sitting stuffing and pickling maqdoos and making all the wonderful Arabic foods that are so labour intensive but good family times too. No ovens at the beginning and the pastries would be taken down the road to the local bakery for cooking.

She was very forward looking and bought a piece of land in the middle of the countryside (just by where the Marriott on Shmeisani would be built) and everyone thought she was mad, but they managed to build a small house and it is there that she is lying waiting for it all to be over.

Eight children, twenty two grandchildren and countless great grandchildren. The death of her eldest son, Muwaffaq, was the greatest blow in her life (a fighter pilot in the RJAF, he was shot down in combat with the Israelis in 1966) and the early death of her youngest son, Mahmud, was also a terrible time for her, but her faith has carried through.

We all wish her peace in the coming days. T


Blogger Summer said...

I hope she is comfortable in her own house surrounded bye her loved ones in what sound like her final days. sad post!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008  
Blogger jacky said...

Thoughts are with you and your family ...J

Wednesday, July 23, 2008  
Blogger joladies said...

Your thoughts of love and caring come through beautifully. Lovely posting. I wish you and all her family the joy of knowing that her life was well lived.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008  

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