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Monday, January 2, 2017

Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

I'm so sorry I did not post last month. It was not because I don't think of you, cos I do. Often. But I had a hard time writing it, and it never seemed right, and I wasn't happy with how it looked or sounded. And well, as we all know, when I'm stuck, I give up. But, mum always use to say, "The way you start your year, influences how the year will go." So I'm stating off the year right, with my letter to you.

Better late than never, I suppose.

I don't want you to think I don't miss you. Because I do. Everyday. And while I'm not quite as angry as I was last year, I'm a lot sadder. Mainly I'm sad because you have two amazing grandchildren growing up into amazing human beings, and you're missing it.

Ethan is in the fifth grade. Which means in May he will graduate from primary school. Next year he starts middle school, so he will be on the secondary campus. Can you believe it? I can't.

Ethan still loves drama. This past year, he has been in three shows. He was in Kids Rock at the Little Theatre, he played Captain Hook at theatre camp and he was in the Christmas show at the Little Theatre. He's also currently in rehearsals for the school musical. He plays the lead character in Aladdin. He's really into the whole drama/acting/theatre thing. He's continuing with guitar lessons, has joined the school band and choir and wants to start voice lessons this year.


But asides from the acting thing, he's doing well in school too. His teacher says he's got a lot of empathy in him. This year, he helped another student with her reading and fluency and wrote a script for his class assembly. He's also doing well in Maths. Scott says he gets that from him, but I think he gets that from you. Ethan's also taken a leadership role at school. During the first semester, he lead an after school activity, Rock Climbing Club. He was really good. You'd be proud. Ethan's been gobbling books this past year, like they're going out of style. This Christmas, 80% of his gifts were books.

Speaking of Christmas, we went to London this year. We got to spend some time with Shireen. She ended up spoiling Ethan. It's quite possible she bought him more gifts than we did. 



Not sure if you know, but Minaz works for Parks Ontario, or Toronto, or something along those lines. Yup, she's not going to be impressed I've messed that up. But my point is, this summer, while in Toronto, she, Karim and Kahzmir took Ethan to some wonderful events in different parks. One of the things Kahzmir and Ethan did was join an outdoor workshop on game designs. Ethan loved it, that we made sure to go back into the city the following weekend so he could continue. The children invented new games, refined them, came up with rules and tried them out. If you have wifi, please check them out here.  (See....it's these things that break my heart that you're missing.)


Speaking of the Kanji's. Karim had a podcast. I'll admit I haven't listened to them all (he's not going to be impressed that I just admitted to that), but the ones I've heard are fantastic. I can honestly say I've learnt a lot from them. You always believed we should keep up with the ages. Karim embodies that. And he uses it for good. (I'm making him sound like a super hero.) If you can, please take a listen to it here

Faiza is another one who I see a little of you in. She organized a cousins' get-together over Christmas. For Qayam's first birthday, she asked friends and family to write him a letter, and the plan is to give it to him on his 18th birthday. The idea reminded me of the letter you wrote me on my 1st birthday that I got on my 21st. I know if you were here, you'd write Qayam a five page letter, filled with history and advice and love. I can only hope I've represented you well in my letter to him. Faiza also has this incredible ability to see the good in everyone and everything. I definitely need to spend more time with her when am home. She makes me want to be a better person, and not such a negative ninny. She is most certainly a reminder of what you held near and dear, and of your greatest qualities. She's an amazing mother. You would love Qayam. And guess what, she's expecting another bundle of joy this summer.

Speaking of babies, I'm incredibly upset that you're missing out on an amazing opportunity. Rehanna is about to become a mum. Yes, your great niece is having a baby. That means you could've been a great great uncle! We don't know the sex of the baby yet (well at least she hasn't shared with me), but if you have any pull, we could use some more girls in this family. There are an awful lot of boys! 

Keeping with the Manek family, Haseena is in Wales this year, finishing her Masters. This summer, the Manek family took Ethan to the aquarium for his birthday. Ethan bought a stuffed animal which later that evening went missing. Haseena went back to the aquarium to buy him a new one.  She is incredible. But you already knew that. Nabeel is beyond amazing. Ethan had a rough time at the beginning of the school year. And he really wouldn't open up to Scott or I. But he and Nabeel email each other constantly. He's the big brother Ethan doesn't have. And I know as long as Nabeel is an email, or text message away, Ethan will never be alone. He's found himself someone trustworthy to rely on, to give him advice and help him through the tough times. And I cannot be more grateful for that. He may be the quietest one in the family, but he is a true gem. Shelina and Akhter continue to be the rocks we need. When Ethan and I are in the city, they check on us, and their door is always open. It reminds me of growing up, where that house was always open and the fridge could always be raided. It's nice to know Ethan can walk in there, hang out, eat and relax. And when mum's in town, Shelina always checks in on her too.

Shelina could use you to watch over. The last few months have been rough. I know Papa is there with you. His passing was hard on her (and mum). She then lost her grandmother. She's always been there for me, and I feel like I need to be there for her, but am so far away. 

Rasool continues to amaze me. He is so you. I know I've said that before, but it's true. I always thought I took after you and he after mum. But I am most definitely mum, while he is you. He is calm, rational, prioritizes family and does not hold a grudge. I really could learn a lot from him!!! Hayley is the cutest. She's funny and has developed a unique personality. I cannot wait to see what trouble she causes Rasool! She has him wrapped around her finger, and it makes me giggle when he tells me how he's given her a time out. Like you did when I was young, he sits with her at breakfast. Like mum, he encourages her to help him cook, and she is not a picky eater. Think Ethan needs to spend more time with her. Not only are you missing out on seeing your granddaughter grow up, but you are also missing seeing your son grow. I know you constantly worried about him. But there was no need. He is a mature, incredible young man. He knows that family is the measure of a man's wealth. 



I still do not understand why you had to leave us. There's so much you're missing out on, and I cannot believe you would willingly want to leave us. But I know you were there for Papa, and that brings me some comfort. Maybe I'm finally growing up?

Love you lots. Miss you loads,








Thursday, November 17, 2016

Writer's Workshop - Haiku

Write a haiku about something you're thankful for.

It's been forever since I joined MamaKat and her Writer's Workshop. It's about time, isn't it? But I couldn't think of one thing I was thankful for. So I had a little fun.


A cappuccino
Creamy, cinnamon and hot
Frothy designs on the top.


A bottle of red
Let’s get this weekend started
My glass is empty


True friendship is seen
In the darkest of hours
That leads you to hope.


He bought me chocolate
Creamy smooth, yummy goodness
Now that is true love




Friday, November 4, 2016

Meet Shelina


It's been ages since I've blogged. It's hight time I return. I do miss blogging. And so I've decided to share with you, some of the important people in my life. People other than Scott and Ethan, whom you all know.



This gorgeous lady is my first cousin, Shelina.  I have many. Possibly too many. But she's an important one. The thing is, when I was growing up we weren't close. She was a teenager and I was a child. What could we possibly have in common? Then she went off to university, met the man of her dreams, got married and had kids (you'll meet them later). 

I recall her and her husband taking my brother out to the Ex in Toronto. He would win all kinds of stuffed animals for us. We always had a blast with them.

But over the last few years, we've gotten closer. Her whole family has been great with Ethan, Scott and I. We look forward to seeing them when we go home. It's one of our highlights. 

She's someone who I can sit around the kitchen table with and pour my heart out.
She's someone who I can sir around the kitchen table with and we say nothing.
She's someone I can tell my hopes and dreams to.
She's someone who will listen to my fears and never judge.
She's always there.

She's got 3 amazing, all grown up, kids. And I'm often envious of the relationship between the two sisters. But then I realized, I have a sister too. 

Thanks Shelina for always being there. It's great to know 

Monday, October 24, 2016

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry - Fredrik Backman

In February, I read and fell in love with Fredrik Backman's book, A Man Called Ove. It was one of those extremely heart warming books that made you laugh, cry, and feel.

So when I found out there was another book by the same author, I had to go for it.

Elsa is an incredible 7-year old. I call her incredible. The school and everyone else calls her different. Her best, and only friend is her 77-year old grandmother. Her grandmother is a no-nonsense, tough as nails, don't-you-dare-hurt-my-granddaughter kind of woman. She helps Elsa cope with being different by taking her to the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas where everyone is different and no one is normal.

But then, Elsa's grandmother dies. She leaves behind a letter for Elsa to deliver, and let's her know it's part of a treasure hunt. What ensues is Elsa learning about those around her. She learns about herself and her grandmother. She meets wonderful, incredible people. Some she likes, some she does not.

Ethan has just finished reading the Land of Stories series, and has returned to Harry Potter. I mention this, because the fairy tales Elsa and her grandmother share are lovely. And Elsa is obsessed with Harry Potter. She even judges people who have never read Harry Potter. "There are no photos here, as there were in the woman's flat. Only books. "You got any good ones, then?" she asks, scanning the shelves. "I don't know what you think is good," the woman answers carefully. "Do you have any Harry Potters?" "No." "Not even one?" Elsa asks, incredulous. "No." "You have all these books and not a single Harry Potter? And they let you fix people whose heads are broken?"

".....Elsa had grown conscious of the fact that the girl hadn't read Harry Potter at all. She knew who he was, of course, everyone knows who Harry Potter is, but she hadn't read the books....And while Elsa didn't want to be elitist or anything, how could one be expected to reason with a person like that? Muggles."






Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Angels' Share - J.R. Ward

I grew up watching Dynasty and Dallas with my mother. Which is why I'm probably drawn to this series. It has all the elements of the eighties soap operas; money, greed, betrayal, love addiction and murder.

Yes, murder.

What was a suspected suicide, now hints to murder. As the investigation deepens, Lane worries it may have been Edward. He's also trying to get to the bottom of the family's finances and what his father did. His divorce continues to be messy, his brother, Maxwell returns and his sister, Gin is marrying a scum of a man. Yes, the man has his hands full. It's a good thing he has Lizzie by his side.

Edward's story is what I loved the most in The Angels' Share. We see his softer side and our hearts break along with his.

Just like the first book, we're left hanging. Kind of like those 80s soaps. You know, the end of season cliffhanger. But instead of waiting until the end of summer, we have to wait a year to find out who really did it!


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Sisterhood Everlasting - Ann Brashares

I remember reading The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants in my early twenties. I really enjoyed the series. I liked the idea of these four lifelong friends and their connection. And when book 4 came to an end, I was ok with that. I was even ok with how the movie version put books 2-4 into one movie.

And then I saw this. Sisterhood Everlasting takes place ten years later. The girls are almost thirty. I guess that means they are no longer girls. Lena lives a solitude life. She teaches. She paints. She pines over her lost love. Bree is still the fun loving girl who needs to move. A lot. Carmen is a famous actress living in New York engaged to, well... let's be honest, he's an arse. And Tibby. Well two years ago Tibby and Brian moved to Australia. She hasn't been in touch much. And this brings sadness to everyone. Even the reader.

But then, our three friends receive a letter from Tibby. She has arranged a trip for them all to Greece. Just like they had done ten years ago. Each girl is excited for the same, but different reasons. And our friends' lives are utterly changed by what happens in Greece.

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. But what happens in Greece alters the lives of our four friends.

I'll admit, I was a little weary of reading this book, no matter how excited I was. Reunion books can sometimes let you down. But I devoured this one. I loved it. Maybe it's because of the week I've had. But this book seemed perfect to me.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Curse of Tenth Grave - Darynda Jones

Our favourite Grimm Reaper/Private Investigator is back. And by back, I mean Charley has regained her memory and is back home with her loved ones. And her not so loved ones.

Charley is back at work, aiding a man wrongfully arrested for murder. She's out to find out the reason behind a "curse" that has children falling ill and dying at an orphanage. She's plotting a way to get Beep back. She's trying to figure out how to trap not one, but three malevolent god.

Yes, our dear Charley is back. And better than ever!