I am waiting in the security line at the Minneapolis airport. It is absurdly long and I am glad I got here early. To say that I am tired is an understatement. I am hoping that March for Marrow and the Be The Match Gala are on different days next year.
When will it hit that Hadi’s story has been wide spread and Zakaria now feels famous? I don’t know but I am writing this post to remember how it felt to see so many people lift up their auction number cards to indicate they wanted to donate to the Hadi Abdur Rasheed Fund for Diversity Recruitment. It felt more incredible than meeting The Edge...and that is saying a lot. :) Watching Zakaria up on stage holding up a sign that indicated only 38% of Asian Americans have matches on the National Bone Marrow Registry warmed my heart because it is clear to me how much he will ensure Hadi’s legacy lives on. And seriously, listening to Stacey’s (my favorite Be The Match employee) son, Henry and Zakaria talk just made me giggle. I think you can imagine from the picture how entertaining they are. My feet are also exhausted because Zakaria insisted on going to the Gala after party and well, I can’t resist showing off some moves when I hear “Let Me Clear My Throat.” That being said, my feet weren’t happy with my choice in shoes. I tried to get away with wearing my Vans but Zakaria insisted I wear my heels.
As I experienced my first silent disco (pretty neat concept), I started thinking about who I was before I moved to the DC area, got married, became a step mother, became a mother of twins and then an aplastic anemia warrior mother. Who was I before I married into the Rasheed clan? Who was I before I became “the twins mom” or “the one who lost her son?” SairaSufi, yep, many people still call me by my full name and always will and there are certain parts of me that I want to bring back or better yet, I want to truly own who I am and what I have experienced. Yes, I can describe to you what it is like to say goodbye forever to your beautiful child and the emptiness that brings and I can also explain to you what it’s like to walk into a house after a solo weekend trip and realize your husband of ten years has taken all of his clothes, all of your joint documents and cleared out the room of a beloved stepdaughter, all the while texting you that he loved you. Go ahead, I know you want to reread that sentence. Yeah, I can talk volumes about both of those but if you ask me in person, I will most likely say I don’t want to discuss them in detail.
But ya know what else I could do? Express to you how wonderful it feels to have Zakaria remind me to say a dua when I lose something and how that forces me to remember when Hadi would just have to say “dua” to me when I was frustrated by the doctors and it would calm me down. I can tell you that Zakaria is going to have to endure me belting out some songs that truly make me happy...TLC, No Scrubs might very well be on repeat. I can let you know my neighbors might very well see inspirational quotes all over, both inside and outside my house. “What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up Like a raisin in the sun?... Or does it explode?” -Langston Hughes