You were here again today. Not in Abu Dhabi, where you spent most of your life, not in the café where you spent every afternoon in Beirut, or the suites where you used to say. You were here again exactly where I last left you, at the hotel I visited when delivering your invitation to our wedding. After we sat there for a few minutes, smiling sincerely and uttering niceties that don’t really amount to a conversation, I took my leave in order to continue with my long pre-wedding task list.
I was happy to see you, touched that you were in the country and could attend my wedding, but I remember walking out thinking how you have not changed a bit, how you will always be the same. I wonder now if that was the whole point, and if that was a point of pride for you; that you ignored people and even circumstances, and proudly held on to your quirky individualistic antics no matter what. You were such a character, Ammi, that we remember and recount so many of your stories. Stories that were first told in frustration became amiable references to your quirkdom.
I love that I have all these stories with which to conjure you up, because it is odd, Ammi, how you so seamlessly removed yourself from this world, from our lives. We barely knew how to mourn you when you passed away… It may be why I held on to that last hotel as your persistent mark, a fresh memory to preserve. It is now over a year later, and every time I think of you, it feels unreal that you are truly no longer with us. That thought is accompanied by a little smile, and a whispered “may you rest in peace”. Amen.