Saturday, April 20, marked my 60th birthday. Turning 60 can be a milestone by itself, though, for me, I am not sure how Friday, April 19 (when I was still 59) was different from Saturday (when I turned 60).
However, this day was a milestone for me for another reason. It was also the 21st birthday of my daughter, Malak.
That is unique blessing: To have a child as a birthday present!
We have four children, two boys and two girls, ranging in age from 21 to 31 years. They are Dua, Anas, Bara and Malak.
Malak was the heavenly make-up for the loss that our family endured when we lost her sister, Jinan, who died in early infancy (at age of 4 months) due to Schizencephaly, a very rare congenital brain disorder. Jinan’s story was detailed in a prior post.
Malak was born a year after the passing of her sister Jinan — on my 39th birthday — as the fourth and last child in our family. That was a milestone birthday. Many stories come to mind from those days in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, where Malak was born, including one particular story where our shared birthdays caused some confusion.
We were planning a trip to Jordan in early summer 1998, when Malak would be 3 months old and good to travel. The extended family back home were all waiting to see her, being a heavenly compensation after losing Jinan. We went to the post office to get a passport for Malak. I filled out the paper work and left the post office. About an hour later, I get a call from a woman at the post office.
“Sir, you have just filled out an application for a new passport for your newborn?” she asked.
“Yes,” I replied.
“Sir, you filled out the birthday for your daughter as April 20, 1959,” the woman said.
I smiled and said: “I am sorry, that was my birthday; I am not used to writing it with a different year!”
April 20 marks still more special events for our family, including the engagement anniversary of Dua, my eldest daughter, as well as the wedding anniversary of Bara, my second son.
Is that enough to call April 20th a special day in our family, perhaps deservedly a milestone? Absolutely!
But here is the rest of the story.
Bara and Siyfa (his wife) were expecting their first child (and my first grandchild) on April 20th.