Awakening, Spiritual. (not a fiction)
I was a third year resident at the hospital when I started having uneasy thoughts about my father. He was in India and I was in St. Louis MO. I would spend time praying for his health and would get some solace through that. And whenever I received letters from home, there was no mention about health issues at all. He sounded happy and busy as usual.
On the 14th of March 1974 I was in a meeting with the department and came out to grab a glass of water. Alice the secretary said, “Dr. Ali Western Union wants to talk to you. They have been on line for a few minutes”. I felt like my legs had turned to granite and concrete. I knew that I wouldn’t be hearing anything good. My heart kept a rhythm of “My father, my abba, please don’t let me hear anything bad about my abba.” Why would Western Union want to talk to me? My heart beating at a horrible rate, I walked into my office and picked up the phone and in a weak whisper I said “Hello?”
“Dr. Ali, I am sorry I have some bad news for you. We have a telegram from your sibling in India. It reads, ‘Our father passed away early this morning.’ I sat at my desk stunned in disbelief. “NO,” I screamed. “It cannot be. I just received a letter from him yesterday to congratulate my daughter’s birthday. When was this telegram sent?” “It is dated March 15th”, he replied. “Well then it cannot be true. It is only the 14th here. There is some mistake somewhere. My father was healthy.”
“Dr. Ali, I am really sorry for your loss, the date in India is already the 15th”. I apologize for this news, but it is the truth. The telegram is signed by someone named Atiah. Do you recognize the name?” In a weak voice I said, “She is my younger sister”. The guy was so kind. He wanted to know if he could call someone for me, to help me.
This was the reason why I had such premonition and unease for so many weeks. I have always had these feelings whenever things are supposed to go awry. But this was so bad and so untimely and so consuming even for the way I feel with premonitions usually.
It was the worst of times for me. I had no one in this country to reach out to. Everyone was in India, and I was so alone in a country where people looked at me as a foreigner and didn’t have much to do with me. The Niagara of my tears kept me drowned in grief. I called my mother, and it took many hours before the call could be connected. What grief and sorrow in her heart there was, when she said, “My daughter, the crown from my head has now fallen to the ground.”
And then something profound happened. I was at home a couple of weekends later, and trying to put my baby to sleep in my arms. My tears were easy on my cheeks, and suddenly I saw that the old fake Fichus plant in the corner near me, swayed. The leaves were rustling. Everything was quiet at home, no air and no windows were open. I kept staring at that plant. And suddenly the entire room was filled with a fragrance that I cannot describe. A million bottles of Arabian perfumes couldn’t compare to the fragrance I felt all around me. I started sobbing, because I knew that my father had come to touch me, and tell me to have strength and courage. When I went home to visit my mother, the same fragrance overpowered me in one of the verandas where I sat with my mother one day. When I asked if she was able to smell the fragrance at all, she said “NO, not at all!”
It has been so many years, but I still feel him through the truly heavenly fragrance every so often. I have traveled all over the world and have purchased the most expensive perfumes, but none can match what I sense and feel when my father visits me.
I am sorry this post is so long and wordy.