A few weeks ago I had a very lovely dinner with my family in Bogor. Like always we had coffee and tea in the living room afterwards. As I was resting my head on my sister’s lap, she asked me about how my Ramadan was so far and what have I been doing differently this time. I didn’t expect that kind of question and I needed a minute or two to answer. Finally I said “I don’t know...”
Her question kept repeating itself in my head for days. I was thinking “She’s right. Looks like I’ve been doing the same things every Ramadan. Fasting, praying, reciting the Al Quran, asking (read: begging) for this and that and such. You know, the normal stuff. But what if the things that I’ve done so far is not enough? Or worse, what if I’ve been doing it wrong?”.
In 2 days Ramadan will be over. Sadness is creeping in. Will this be my last Ramadan? Will I have the chance to experience that distinctive strange, beautiful and exciting feeling again? Will I get the chance to collect the rewards of Ramadan next year? And again, my sister’s question came to mind. Suddenly I remember...
I was staring at a blank blog page on my birthday last month. I was thinking about what I should write on my 38th. I got nothing. At all. I kept wondering why. I usually had so many wishes. But no, not on that day. I got nothing because I wish for nothing. Nothing for myself, at least. What I did wish was for my daughter's best health and happiness. I wished for her humility and braveness. I wished for her intelligence and strength. I wished for her sincerity and compassion.
The same thing is happening now. The difference about this year's Ramadan is that I’m not begging for anything for myself except for His forgiveness. Because I'm thinking that I'm not worthy enough to ask for anything else. That's why I've been focusing on others like a certain family member or a dear friend. Most particularly on my daughter. It's quite strange what age does to me. Or life for that matter. Life as in a child. A daughter. She changes me in the most unexpected way. Suddenly nothing else matters. No one else matters. Myself the very least. The feeling I've been having lately, like the one I wrote here, is still there. It's a bit scary. But thank God, the scare hit me. Just now. On the last days of Ramadan.
If I didn’t wish myself well, then who would take care of my daughter? If I were sick, then who would wake her up in the morning and take her to school? If I were weak, who could protect my girl? If I were scared, who would teach her to be strong and brave? If I didn't consider myself worthy, then how could my precious Godsend value herself?
So, dear ALLAH, on this Ramadan,
Please let me do the same thing again, and hopefully better, with a twist.
Please bless me with Your forgiveness and the ability to forgive others.
So that I can show my daughter how to be a humble person.
Please bless me with an abundance of patience.
So I can teach my daughter one of the most difficult things to do in life.
Please bless me with a hunger of knowledge about anything.
So I can satisfy my daughter’s curiosity of everything.
Please bless me with the best of health, body and soul.
So I can take care of my daughter's well being and nurture her mind.
Please bless me with the highest level of peace and happiness.
So I can give my daughter a full and happy life.
Wow... It turns out that as my life is getting shorter, my prayers are getting longer.