Monday, August 24, 2009

Nasser's Homecoming

It was the fireworks that undid me. All the woman held their ears and the children giggled. And Nasser sat across from me with his mouth wide open and eyes shining, laughing the laugh that I have missed for the last month. I dabbed at my eyes.

It was nearly midnight, but all of the children in Nasser's extended family ran races up and down the road outside of his house. First they ran, little Gomar falling down and crying. The kids picked her up and started their game again, this time jumping like rabbits. Then they leaped like frogs. Nasser's wife handed me tea and I as took it, I realized that the sparkle in her eyes was back. I had hardly known that it was gone because of the tremendous strength of this woman. But the change in all of Nasser's family was palpable. A hole the size of one man - father, husband, brother, and son - was filled. I noticed that Nasser's mother was wiping her eyes with the edge of her hijab and I all I could think was, "Praise God."

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