Feb 5th is a special day to me, and to all those who love me, because it is my birthday! People seem to have a love/hate relationship with their birthdays from what I can see these days. Long ago, when I was a bit younger, I remember friends being excited and very happy and nothing less. But what’s happening now?
From what I see people in general divide life into 3, a time where they love their birthdays, a time where they love and hate their birthdays at the same time, and a time where they just hate their birthdays. Obviously, it is related directly to them wanting or not wanting to grow older. I also believe not wanting to grow old is something absurd and nonsense, here’s why.
Today I’m 35, an age I honestly never thought of while growing up. Somehow in the back of my mind, I’ve always thought about the future, but placed myself there without thinking of age, or that I’d be much older. I remember loosing a close friend before my last year in high school to a car accident. That incident really shocked me and scared me at the same time, so all I was wishing for from God was to be able to graduate without leaving life from some random accident. I wasn’t able to see past those years. But the fear of loosing life was always there, so I was always wishing to go just another year ahead.
Then came an incident that shocked me again for a good two to three years, which was the crash of Gulf Air flight while attempting to land in Bahrain International Airport. I remember being there and watching the rescue attempts while fishermen bringing in bodies one after the other. I didn’t think this incident would psychologically affect me, but it did a lot of damage, in some ways, and a lot of good in other weird ways as well.
The next day from that plane crash I had a flight back to university. Boarding that flight was more like walking towards the death chamber. Somehow my mind played games with me, believing that this Gulf Air flight will just takeoff and crash immediately. I wasn’t thinking of the future, or growing up, I was only thinking of making it all the way to Charleston, SC in one piece. And when I reached, my main concern was about how many extra death chamber flights I need to take until I graduate. I hated airplanes, so I needed to find a way that made me fearless.
While I was contemplating my life, and the fear of ending up anything like what was surrounding me on planes and friends’ unfortunate and continuous loss of lives due to accidents, I was still searching for answers and always wondering what wait for me, what has God chosen for me in the future. Any extra day of living is a happy day for me, and growing old slowly evolved into wanting instead of fearing.
Then at almost 28 I was diagnosed with diabetes, and that my friends is still being processed and I am still learning how to cope with it. All what I know is that every year I get worse, and my medication increases. Every once in a while, I pay my respect to a friend or a family member for the loss of an elder in their immediate family. While asking about how they spent their last days, I always feared their answer that he/she struggled with diabetes. It was and is a bit tough to swallow.
Today, and after going through some serious life experiences, any additional year of my life is something I’m very thankful for to God. So reaching 35 is actually a milestone and my wish is to grow supporting my kids, and ensuring that they are as much independent as possible.
The more wrinkles and whit hair I see, the happier I get, because it tells me that God’s blessings to me are continuing. Thank you Allah, I hope to grow a good man and a strong believer.