دا الي ناقص—- That’s Just What Was Missing!


دا الي ناقص (da ili na-is) is a phrase that you say in Arabic when a situation goes from bad to worse.  my translation in the title should be read with sarcasm.  Now, onto my post:

When my uncle passed on I was angry.  It didn’t make sense, his life trajectory was not what I have been raised to believe happens.  Upstanding member of the community, a man that worked two jobs so that he could support not just his nuclear but his ever-growing extended family.  He worked to death.  He worked so hard that his body never rested and doctor checkups didn’t take place… until it was too late and the cancer was too strong.  He fought cancer and won… only to lose and die a slow, painful death, his very mind and body deteriorating with him.  Where was his reward for being such an exemplary individual, the kind whose quiet poise and love is only really appreciated after he was gone?

So yes, suffice it to say,  I was angry.  Angry at life.  And Disappointed in life and God and everything.  I just didn’t know it.   And then, my aunt was diagnosed with cancer.

دا الي ناقص!!!!!!!!!!!!

My aunt’s diagnosis scares the beJesus out of me for a lot of reasons.  On a personal/selfish level, unlike my uncle she shares my gene pool.  And so I am thinking about mortality, about life, about God and about what this all means.

On the larger and more important note she’s my mom’s older sibling, and I see the worry on her face.  She knows her sister is a tough cookie, but she’s also a stubborn cookie.  Her state means a lot of shifts and changes for my family.  This has taken some time to sink in, but it eventually did.

And then unexpected tragedy struck again… a family friend passed away.  It was so weird.  Mainly because I had heard her voice on the phone just two days prior, had been to her home the week before.

دا الي ناقص

Just another example of how people can be with one moment and then, poof!  Gone forever the next.

Her passing while it perhaps should have made sense, hit me like a ton of bricks for a number of reasons.  For one, she wasn’t much older than I am.  Second, she had been battling really bad health for several years, including a weak heart and lungs (requiring her to be hooked up to oxygen all the time).  When she first became ill, the fact that she was eventually discharged from the hospital was a miracle of sorts.  Her profile was one that doctor’s said had less than 10% chance for survival.

I think because of this,  we were all lulled into a sense of security.  There was a sense that the worst had passed with her and there was no where to go but better health. Indeed her health had improved over the years.  Things were supposed to be looking up.

There was no indication that she would die.  She just went to sleep and didn’t wake up.  I still remember being woken up by the cries of her mother on the phone as she kept repeating the fact that her daughter is dead.

*Mecca’s life seemed all too unfair.  A young woman cut down in her prime, whose body essentially became a prison for the last several years of her life, who died undoubtedly without having done many of the things she would have liked to.  These things, are recurring themes in my mind… especially when my mom noted she seemed to drift off to somewhere else sometimes, like she was remembering better times, when her trips out doors weren’t controlled by how long her  portable oxygen tank would last.

I hope that she is resting in peace now.  There is nothing left.


Sadly, this has been my life for the past few months.  Of course, there are other things still, that take up my mind, eat up my soul, and stress out my body.  (Right now, fighting the worst case of pneumonia I’ve had like, ever…. I forgot the extent to which being sick sucks دا الي ناقص 😦 …

I’m tired of the condolences, have no words left to console anyone (not even myself), and am wondering why event the solace once found in prayer so elusive.

But as some random Arab guy told me, “you’re not alone… cheer up your condition could change in the near future.”     Let’s hope so.

I guess I just wanted to mark the moment, as a way of not bring all this baggage into the future… What happens in 2012, stays in 2012… (I hope).

Despite the successes, accomplishments, great new acquaintances and friendships, 2012 has been a crappy year in so many ways, and I am not at all sad to see it go.

I guess I can find solace in the fact that I can now relate Arabic language proverbs and colloquialisms to whatever I’m going through at the moment…. (*cricket noises*)… bah!  who am I kidding?

Here’s to 2013 being a very lucky 2013…

*not her real name

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