Three years later, she has gone through many ups and downs and has struggled with the aftermath of the accident. She has many positive things going on in her life, a beautiful life growing inside her, a supportive husband who has been with her through everything and her four children. But, she lost something on the day of that accident and her accident is a reminder that life is so incredibly fragile.
When I look at my apartment walls, when I look at the street I live on or the office that I work in, I realize that one day I will not occupy these spaces just like I no longer occupy my apartment in Turkey, or walk the streets of Ann Arbor or sit in the classrooms at Oakland University. That time moves forward and we are always leaving things behind us, and one day we will leave it all completely, one final time. But it is only death. And although it is unsettling, death does not scare me.
It is something like that plane crash that scares me. The idea that one look away from the road, one crazy person coming into your home, one instant that you might relive in your mind forever can change the trajectory of your life. Is this fate? I don’t know but I don’t think so. If it was fate, perhaps it would be easier to come to some reconciliation.
Being Pakistani, I associate samosas with holidays, celebrations and happy moments. When I was young, samosas were staples at weddings, iftaars (parties where you break your fast in Ramadan) and at the mosque after Eid prayer. Until I was in my teens, I only knew one kind of samosa and that was what I thought was the “traditional” samosa. It was a pastry filled with potatoes, peas and spices and then deep fried so it had a crispy outer shell.
In my travels, I have seen samosas in every variation. Small ones, big ones. Vegetarian ones, meat ones. Fried ones, baked ones.Many countries around the world have their own samosa and in many cultures it holds the same positive associations it holds for me, a food that goes hand in hand with happy memories.
Now, its time to move back to your pastry. Take a handful of the dough and roll in your hands untl you have a nice little dough ball. Press the ball down onto the surface you are working on and then with a rolling pin flatten in out until you have a pita sized piece of dough. This does not have to be pretty or precise! Cut the dough into two pieces with a butter knife. Again precision is not necessary here. It will not matter at all once you make the samosa. In the picture below you can see my pastry looks nothing like a cicrle and I cut it in half wherever I felt like it. Then, take 1-2 tablesppons of your filling and place it on the middle of the pastry. I made the mistake of overstuffing my pastry the first time I made it but a little bit actually goes a long way and you want to make sure you will be able to close the pastry up.
I always hear adults saying kids don’t know how good they have it with voices dripping in envy. But the funny thing about being an adult is that we get to decide how to live our lives. We obviously can’t have all the joys of childhood but we can have a lot of them. We can stay up as late as we want, we can have sleepovers with our friends, we can run through sprinklers and we can look at the world as something beautiful and new. Kids take the time to appreciate and value the small, fun things. So, when we envy the joy of little kids, we are the only ones stopping ourselves from having that same joy. And we can do lots of things little kids can’t! We can eat cake for breakfast whenever we want. We can get on a plane and see the world. We can We have it pretty good.
But, I digress from the original point of this post which is to share a fun favor I recently made for a party which I hope my guests liked and which I had a blast making. I knew I wanted to do a party favor and since I have been getting into baking, I wanted to share my new hobby with my guests. I decided to give out cupcakes
Since I was having my party during Ramadan to break the fast, I wanted to tie that in as well. I created these little cards using an excerpt from an article I had read earlier in the day encouraging people to donate towards the Somalian food crises. I printed the cards on cardstock which I ordered from here.
I searched far and wide for Ramadan cards but didn’t find anything I liked, so I used this cute image below from Pinterest and just copied it to Word and using a text box and Old Typewriter font, which you can download for free here, I created my own little Ramadan card.
Finally, I need something to tie everything together, literally. I have been seeing a lot of presents tied with twine and fell in love so I ordered some here. I wasn’t really in love with this stuff and the actual color is much more brown than yellow as you can see below but then again, I accidentally ordered hemp when I wanted twine. I learned my lesson and have found great twine since then but for the boxes, the hemp actually worked out fine
In the village that I was born, there was a murder this week. A dispute went too far and a group from a nearby village killed a young man that lived close to where I was born. After the group of brothers murdered him, they called the boy’s father and said, “Come collect your son’s body. We have killed him.”
A few weeks ago, we read the papers and there was a story about a husband and wife walking home with their son when the husband and wife were gunned down. The wife died and the husband suffered minor injuries. What was first considered a racially motivated attack turned out to be a murder plot, orchestrated by the husband and his mistress.
A few weeks before that, there was the murder of three young men in Birmingham, UK during the riots in England. As these men tried to defend their town, they were run down by a car, none of them surviving.
These deaths have been on my mind. There is a sadness for the families of the people killed and a grieving for those moments before death when these people realized that this was how they were meeting their end. In violence. In hate. Their farewell drenched in the worst of this world.
What will we think of when we die? And will others think of us when they die? Is there a way to redeem that last moment for people who are about to die? A few years ago I was in a really bad car accident and I was sure that there would be no way I would survive. As car after car hit me, all I could think of was God and the people that I loved, begging God to have mercy on me and begging God to have mercy on them when they learned the news. I was scared but I was ok because truly in that moment I knew the love of God and I knew the love of all the people I held close.
We can’t control what will happen to us and we can’t end all violence and we certainly can’t evade death. But we can help make each others time here easier. We can be kind. We can smile. We can make someone feel loved. We can ease someones burden. I.P. Richardson wrote of death:
nor speak of me with tears
but laugh and talk of me
as if I was beside you….
I loved you so –
’twas heaven here with you.’
We can’t stop all the horrible things in the world from happening. But through our love, we can help create something beautiful here on earth. That is something.