Today is my sixth anniversary.
Yay, us. We win in the perseverence category. I feel like our marriage has faced so many struggles aside from the always feeling broke (I mean who doesn’t, other than the Romney’s?)… Let’s add an amazing child with two chronic medical conditions that need constant managing and my father who disowned me when he found out I married an African.
Let me let you soak all that in.
My father wasn’t invited to my wedding and neither was my mother. I basically went and eloped, but never left town. I had only my best friend at my wedding and we were married in Daddy W’s mosque. It was the simplest of ceremonies. The Imam was so respectful of the fact that I am not Muslim nor was a I expected to become one. He explained the Islam view of marriage was that as the wife, I was not expected to work. I could choose to work if I wanted to and anything I contributed financially was regarded as charity. Daddy W’s responsibility was to support me and as a good faith example of that, Daddy W paid a $350 dowry to me at the ceremony and bought my wedding dress.
Of course, he asked me for the money back the next morning and I straight up laughed in his face. Once money hits my palm, it is mine forever.
I held on to the newness and beauty of my marriage for two weeks before teling my parents. I wrote a letter to my father, explained that I had been dating Ismael and that we got married. I put it in the mail and then called my mother to tell her before shit hit the fan. Writing a letter is admittedly a chicken shit move, but given my long volatile history with the man I figured it was the best way to hold on to any joy I could.
I knew that my father would disown me, that his bigotry would outweigh any love he had for me. Not to disappoint, he went off the deep end and banned me from his house. He didn’t speak to me for most of the past six years.
I saw him last June at my uncle’s funeral. He didn’t even acknowledge my presence or the fact that he was laying his eyes on Wunderkind, at the age of 3 1/2, for the first time. He kept his distance and behaved as if I didn’t exist.
Then mom had a heart attack and he was forced to acknowledge me. We spent hours in mom’s hospital room together as she lay in a forced sedation for a week. Over the next five weeks, in th hospital and then rehab center, we visited and I saw first hand how poor his health was. Extremely overweight he can barely walk and falls often. His joints are giving out and he clearly has something wrong with his heart.
On Monday, my sister, mother and I will all gather again at the Heart Center where mom was hospitalized and wait while he undergoes at heart cath and who knows what kind of medical procedures after that.
I don’t know what the immediate future will bring, but for now, I know that today is my sixth anniversary. I’m going to go to dinner with my husband, enjoy his company, and try very hard to simply enjoy tonight. Tomorrow will take care of itself.