I love my family — the one I was born into, and the one I married into. Visiting family was really my main focus in making a trip to Egypt. I am so grateful that my boys had six wonderful years of living near their father’s sisters and extended family, and they were just as happy as I was to see them all again.
I perhaps had not consciously made the connection, but realized soon after our arrival, that now both of my sisters-in-law and myself were all widows. Zouzou had lost her husband over 28 years earlier, and she talked with me about grief in those early days after the sudden death of her Louis. She was living in Kuwait at the time, with four small children. I could not imagine the shock of it all. She moved back to her mother’s home and spent the next years raising her family. Grief delayed in some ways with the business of life. She is a model for us all.
Her sister, Renee, proceeded me in widowhood by just two years. Her children grown, she has entered this special state of life with different challenges. As we visited and talked, we asked each other the hard questions that showed we cared for one another.
Though she was not with us during this visit, my other Ghattas sister-in-law, Samira, is also a widow of not many years, losing her Fahim while we were still living in Egypt.
Who are we? Sister widows…women who are not only family but have experienced the loss of a dear husband. I heard Samira’s voicemail today wishing me a Happy New Year, saying she loved me. I received Zouzou’s New Year GIF as a message. Sent emoji kisses back. Sent Renee a birthday hug message.
Does it matter that we are more than sisters? Maybe not… but perhaps if only in that it reminds us that someone understands us a little better than the rest..and sends an extra kiss for the ones we miss.
Grace and Peace