To stay, or not to stay – that is the question

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When I’m living and working abroad,  I miss all things home.   The people,  the food, the scenes,  the 4 seasons including winter – anything  and everything Toronto.  I’d ask my friends and family to share pictures of autumn and winter for me while I was away.   And rain,  boy did I miss it when I worked in the desert.

After leaving back in 2004 to go work abroad,  I never came back home, even for a visit,  until winter 2009. 

I remember my excitement in the first snow fall,  much like that of a child.  I went out,  played in the snow, made snowmen with my little cousin, had snow ball fights – I was making up for five years of missed winters.   I would go skating at the outdoor rinks at least once a week and even offered to shovel the driveway.  Naturally,  everyone thought I was crazy and they couldn’t wait till it was spring again. 

I guess I would’ve thought the same had I not escaped winters for so long.   The reality is,  you truly appreciate the things/people you have once you’re either away from it,  or it’s been taken from you.

But this winter, after escaping the last winter in Malaysia,  I’m kinda beginning to understand the frustrations of winter again.   And it hasn’t even started snowing yet!  

With the days being so short and nights long,  it doesn’t really leave you much to do.   And,  with how cold it’s been, I can barely convince myself to get out of bed every morning.  

Each morning,  I wake up with the choice to get up and start early to make the most of the daylight,  or stay nice and warm and cozy under my covers in the comfort of my bed.  The latter always wins. ūüėā  I just take out my laptop and I’m good.

While I appreciate winter, I just want to appreciate it in the comfort of my home,  snuggled up, drinking hot beverages,  eating comfort food and staying away from that white cold comforter I see through the window.  Hibernation mode.

Well, looks like I’m over my romanticization of winter.  It doesn’t help either that Facebook keeps reminding me where I was on this particular day years back.   It’s usually white sandy beach pictures,  with palm trees. Kapas Island Malaysia  2014.  Kite Surfers beach,  Dubai 2012, Hikaduwa beach, Sri Lanka 2011, and it keeps going.

I don’t know if it’s the universe trying to conspire with me to go work abroad again,  which I decided I wouldn’t do anymore.   I’m really trying to settle down now, find a life partner and start this new chapter of my life. But all these job postings of warmer places are quite tempting right now.  And winter is definitely not putting up much of a fight for me to stay, especially with the thought of my waistline getting bigger in the process of my hibernation. Boy are my feet getting itchy.

I’m starting to convince myself that I could just travel during the winter,  and then come back by spring and start to resettle myself here again. There’s not much to do in the winter here anyways.

Aaaahh…. expat people problems!

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Footprints Towards a Global Perspective

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Forty countries, eh? ¬†I guess you can say I get around. ¬†Although I’ve been to many countries, there’s still much more of the world to see – after all, I’ve only been to 18.52% of the world. ¬†If I want to claim to be a global citizen, then surely, I must earn that badge, right? ¬†Which is why I live this life as a traveller.

While I travel for adventure and pleasure, I also travel for personal growth and development.¬†The interesting thing about traveling is, the more you travel, the more you realize you don’t know. ¬†Just when you think you’ve seen it all, you go somewhere new to be re-baptized into this glorious world of ours, full of beauty, diversity, and wonders.

With each step I take, I shed any trace of pride, prejudice, fear and independence.  For when we travel, we are forced to share spaces, depend on strangers, and open ourselves to the unfamiliar. Only two things remain private to us: our sleep and our dreams Рmuch like when we come forth from our mothers’ wombs, allowing us to be vulnerable again.

By allowing myself to be vulnerable, I create a platform to reshape my perspectives in life and the world around me, and to connect and reconnect with others.

So¬†as¬†I tread¬†the world, I’ll continue to shed; and in its place,¬†¬†I’ll continue to fill it with love, compassion and understanding. ¬†And what a better way to contribute to this global world of ours with a global perspective?

 

Refugees are people like you and me

wpid-2015-11-23-13.24.18.jpg.jpgThey say you never really know what others are going through unless you’ve been in their shoes. ¬† Many studies¬†that have been conducted have shown that¬†those from lower socio-economic statuses are actually the ones who give more. ¬†They’re just more altruistic, they give more often and donate more. ¬†Why? ¬†Because they’ve been in situations were they had to depend on others, as a result, they can empathize with those in need more and are more giving. ¬†Just look on youtube at those social experiments that many have been conducting pretending to be either homeless or broke and see who’s willing to help them. ¬†It’s the homeless and those who are worse off who help the most.

Today, I was helping my aunt pack up clothes, shoes, bed sheets, comforters, jackets, etc. to donate to the Syrian refugees. ¬†The instructions she gave my cousins and I was, if you haven’t used it or worn it for a year, put it in the pile. Don’t just put things you don’t like in there, refugees ¬†are people just like us who were forced into this situation of need.

While my cousins and I were happy to be able to help out by giving away things that others could make better use of, my aunt though, showed much more compassion and zeal than all of us combined.  It was my older cousin who made me realize that her mom was like this, because it hit closer to home for her.

Her¬†mom and dad came here as refugees, fleeing persecution from the war in Somalia. ¬†While my cousins are privileged to be born into a family who have now established themselves here and live in a country that’s stable and safe, their parents didn’t have the same luxury.

Fleeing Somalia in the late 80s, they were forced to leave everything behind, go from country to country and stay in refugee camps, before they were able to finally settle here in Canada.

If anyone knows what the Syrian refugees are going through, my aunt and uncle¬†surely do. ¬†And it was evident as we were going through the items. ¬†Things that I wouldn’t think was needed, my aunt would say, “That’ll come in handy.” ¬†For instance, there was a roll of hemp thick string in the garage that I was putting aside, and when she saw it, she said, “While the UNHRC provides tents, kids being kids will sometimes cut the straps, etc. and a roll like that¬†will come in handy in putting the tent back together.” ¬†And then there was a comforter with it’s pillow cases, and my aunt was explaining all the ways they’d be able to make use of it.

Perhaps if all these people who are engaging in all this negative talk about Syrian refugees in the media and social media actually had a chance to meet a refugee, they would think otherwise.  They would realize that these people are people just like us.  They are doctors, lawyers, teachers, shop keepers, mothers, fathers, etc., who have been put in this unfortunate situation, and have been forced to leave their homes for their own safety.

These people are just like you and me. ¬†Wouldn’t you want people to help you out if you were in a similar situation?

Hate and Intolerance Has No Place in Canada

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Since the Paris attacks last Friday, a mosque in Peterborough was set on fire, and three Muslim women have been attacked here in Toronto on two separate occasions, days apart.

Just as the ISIL terrorists spew hate and terrorize, we have their equivalents doing the same, ironically, in defense of freedom and liberty. ¬†Whenever Islamophobia is rampant, unfortunately, it’s us women who are at the receiving end of hate crimes. ¬†Well, us and Sikh men (sorry Sikh men, but people mistaken your turban as being Muslim. ¬†My sincerest apologies). ¬†Because we are visibly Muslim (those who wear a hijab i.e.), people who want to take their frustrations out on Muslims or Islam take it out on us women. ¬†And it’s almost always men, which I always find mind-boggling – very manly of them indeed.

The first attack was on a mother picking up her child from school who was attacked by two men, who punched her in her stomach, ripped off her headscarf, and stole her phone.  They hurled anti-Islamic and racist slurs at the lady before running off.

The second one happened last night where two women, also wearing hijabs (headscarfs), were verbally assaulted on the subway by three assailants, and one of the Muslim women pushed, before the perpetrators took off when a bystander pulled the emergency alarm.

Both incidents are being investigated and treated as hate crimes, and thankfully, the police are looking for them.

As a Canadian,¬†I can’t begin to imagine how something like this could happen here, especially in Toronto where we are heralded as being one of the most multicultural cities in¬†the World. ¬†I am shocked beyond disbelief as this¬†is very un-Canadian like. ¬†The Peterborough¬†residents who came out to rally around the Muslim community after the attacks on the mosque there, that’s Canadians for you. ¬†These other people attacking innocent women and places of worship has nothing to do with the Canada I love and adore. ¬†We don’t do things like this. ¬†Hate an intolerance is very unCanadian. ¬†But unfortunately, it’s happening, and it’s happening more and more now.

It was only three years ago that I got into a fight with some Islamophobe myself here in Toronto on Canada Day. ¬†I was taking my younger cousins and niece out to watch the fireworks at Woodbine beach, and as we got on the streetcar from Woodbine station, I noticed a cellphone left on one of the seats on the bus. ¬†So I grabbed it and headed up front to give it to the driver while my niece and younger cousins (4 altogether) headed to the back to find seats. ¬†When I returned, my niece told me that the lady sitting two seats in front of us hurled¬†some insults, which I wish not to repeat, at them (mind you, this women was¬†in her mid 30s, my niece and cousins are all under 19 ),¬†while I was gone because of their hijabs. ¬†So I decided not to remain quiet and respond to this lady, who wasn’t at all amused. ¬†How dare I respond?¬† I should just sit there and allow her to insult my family. ¬†She threatened to come to the back to beat me up, and although I haven’t gotten into a fight in a long time and was probably rusty, I told her to bring it (thankfully, my mom put me in karate as a kid so I had something going for me). ¬†She jumped from her seat, leaping obey the people between us and threw¬†a punch at me, which I stopped. ¬†She tried to hit me again, but I held her in place, holding onto her arms. ¬†As people pulled us apart, she continued bad mouthing me. ¬†Afraid that she would get arrested, her male companion¬†ushered her¬†off the next stop. ¬†I had a talk with my niece and cousins after, telling them that they should never allow others to intimidate them, and to always stand up for themselves and others. ¬†I also told them¬†to always be aware of their surroundings. ¬†Here on the bus, there’s cameras, and there’s a bus driver who’s responsible for your safety, so it’s a safe place to stand up for yourself.

Now some of you may say that I should’ve just ignored it, especially since I had children with me. ¬†We’d have to agree to disagree on that, as I feel it’s important to respond and not allow people to intimidate you. ¬†I actually get frustrated when I hear Muslim women being verbally assaulted on the buses etc., and them not responding back. ¬†You don’t have to respond with profanity. ¬†I never do. ¬†But respond, ¬†even if it is, “I’m sorry you feel that way. ¬†Perhaps a little more knowledge and understanding would help you.”

The unfortunate reality is, whenever there is a Muslim backlash, it is us Muslim women who will be targeted. ¬†Like, when Muslim women were being harassed here again in September during Stephen Harper’s niqab scare mongering debates to try to win votes in his failed attempt (thank God) to get re-elected as our prime minister for a third term. ¬†Canadians let him know loud and clear that they weren’t going to let him divide us like that. ¬†And now, after the attacks which shocked Paris and the entire world, we have it happening again.

As I’ve said before, I blame the media for this, as well as the politicians. ¬†You want to increase your rating? ¬†Get more votes? ¬†Target the Muslims. Their great for ratings and getting votes since we are now the “other”. ¬†That’s the perfect political strategy. ¬†You see, before us Muslims, you had the blacks (and still do), the Japanese, the soviets, the Jews, you name it. ¬†There’s always an “other”. ¬†Just look at the movies and tv series over the years. ¬†You’ll see who the others are over time. ¬†Right now,¬†my faith is up front and centre – Yippee.

So, in order to get better ratings, you have the media perpetuating the idea that Islam is behind these terrorist acts, like the CNN anchors, who expect all Muslims to take responsibilities for the attack. ¬†And then you have politicians¬†like “the Donald” saying that mosques should be monitored and that he’d possibly shut them down if he became president. ¬†Funny thing is, whenever school shootings happen, or churches are burned, and people are killed by white Christians, the media never asks white people or Christians to take responsibility for those actions and apologize? ¬†So why is it expected that us Muslims or anyone who is Middle Eastern apologize for the actions of mad men/women who if anything, oppressed and assaulted us by abusing and misusing our religion that we hold dear. ¬†It’s clear that this has nothing to do with Islam. ¬†Read the Qur’an yourself if you want to verify. ¬†And do yourself a favour, stop blindly believing and passively listening to what the media and politicians are telling you to believe.

Due to the recent incidents here, I now have people calling me and telling me not to go out alone, to be careful, not to go on my daily jog¬†in the paths near my home; but I’m sorry, I won’t. ¬†I will not live my life in fear nor let those who are spewing fear and hatred get the better of me. ¬†That’s what these ignorant hate-mongers want. ¬†They’re not any different than the ISIL/ISIS terrorists who were behind the Paris attacks. ¬†Hate is hate, ¬†no matter what your religion, creed, colour, or nationality is. ¬†Maybe I’m being naive, but I don’t want to believe that my fellow Canadians are intolerant and hateful people due to isolated incidents.

This Muslim chic will continue living her life the way she always has – without fear. ¬†She’ll pray not only for Paris, but for Kenya, Iraq, Nigeria, Lebanon, Burma, heck the world. ¬†The entire world needs prayers and¬†healing right now, and we need to stop looking at our differences and go back to our shared humanity. ¬†Better yet, as the Dalai Lama said, let us work for peace and not just pray. ¬†I’ll leave you with some of his most recent statements in an interview with¬†Deutsche Welle:

‚ÄúWe need a systematic approach to foster humanistic values, of oneness and harmony. If we start doing it now, there is hope that this century will be different from the previous one. It is in everybody‚Äôs interest. So let us work for peace within our families and society, and not expect help from God, Buddha or the governments.‚ÄĚ

 

Furthermore, the problems that we are facing today are the result of superficial differences over religious faiths and nationalities.We are one people.‚ÄĚ ¬†Dalai Lama

 

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On Fridays (this is the ‘holy’ day for Muslims), I’ll be¬†putting my Muslim hat on and posting posts dealing with the realities I’m facing as a Muslim. ¬†This is the first of many to come. ūüôā

My Experience at the Allenby Border Crossing into Palestine/Israel

waiting area.. Rahma and Danielle in the picture

Allenby Border Crossing waiting area

So for my writing task today, I had to pick a day to write about (all 24 hours ūüėČ ). ¬†Didn’t really know which one to pick. ¬†I guess there are many days that I can focus on, but then I decided to pick a day that I’d never want to repeat.

In all of my travels, the most interesting experience that I’ve had with customs was four years ago. Never had I ever experienced such interrogations and counter interrogations in my life. But hey, it is these life experiences that give us great anecdotes at parties.

So, my day began quite early Thursday morning, April 14, 2011. I had to be ready by 7:00am to catch my ride with my friend Rahma and her nephew, Ali, to head to the airport.

Once we reached Dubai International Airport, we met up with our friend Danielle, and we all checked in. We weren’t sure what to expect from this trip, but we were just as equally excited as we were apprehensive. It was going to be our first time going to Palestine (to the rest of the world, known as Israel).

The easiest way to get into Palestine would be to catch a flight into Tel Aviv. But due to the political situation in the Middle East, there aren’t any direct flights from Dubai. Moreover, the UAE restricts entry into its country if you have visited Israel. So, the best way for us to get in would be to catch a flight to Amman, take a taxi from the airport there to take us to the Allenby border crossing between Amman, Jordan and Palestine/Israel. And once the Israeli border officials clear us to be able to enter, then we’ d have to request for the entry stamp not to be placed in our passports but on a piece of paper, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to get back into Dubai, and thus jeopardized our jobs there.

The Allenby Border Crossing isn’t the best place to enter, as many people are turned away on a daily basis or held at the border for hours on end. As a Westerner, your best bet is to get in from Tel Aviv. Well, on the plus side, at least we get to see what Palestinians and other Arab countries have to go through to get into Palestine.

On the flight, we discussed our travel itinerary. We were heading there to go see Masjid Al-Aqsa (one of the three holiest mosques in Islam), Masjid Al-Quds, Jerusalem and the Old Souq (market), Bethlehem and the Church of Nativity, Ramallah, Hebron, and see first hand how the refugee camps were. We were also going to attend TedX Ramallah, first of it‚Äôs kind there with Alice Walker ‚Äď the author of The Color Purple ‚Äď as one of the key note speakers. We decided not to mention to the border officials that we were going to TedX Ramallah as well as the refugee camps, but just to say that we were going sightseeing, to visit Masjid Al-Aqsa (one of the three holiest mosques for Muslims), and the cities we were going to visit. We had already booked the hotels we were staying in, and done all our due diligence, so we figured, it shouldn‚Äôt be bad at the border. Should be pretty much straightforward.

We arrived at Queen Alia International Airport just after 11am. Once we paid for our Jordanian visas and picked up our checked-in bags, we headed out of the airport and got a taxi from the taxi stand. Luckily, we didn’t have to negotiate since it was a fixed fee and off we went to the Allenby Border Crossing.

The drive to the border took about 45 minutes through the Jordanian desert. It was quite harsh yet a beautiful landscape.

When the driver dropped us off at the Jordanian side of the Bridge, we entered this building to go through Jordanian customs. We found it quite interesting that we didn‚Äôt have to get an exit visa, as apparently, the Jordanian side does not officially recognize Allenby as a border crossing. It was good for us though, since we wouldn‚Äôt have to pay for another visa upon our return. Once we all went through Jordanian customs, which was a quick and easy process, they had us board a bus to cross the bridge on to the “Israeli” side of the border.

Now this is where all the delays tend to take place, especially if you are a Palestinian, an Arab, a Westerner who has visited the Middle East, or a human rights activist of any sorts. Upon arriving at the building, there were about three different lines beginning at the doors and extending all the way to the side of the building. The best way to describe the lines was Black Friday, except people were lugging their bags with them and surrounded by fully armed IDF (Israeli Defense Force) soldiers.

They say it can take a minimum of 35 ‚Äď 45 minutes. Looking at the lines, we figured it may take an hour, give or take. After all, they usually give a hard time to Arabs, and none of us were Arabs, by passport nor ethnicity. We figured they wouldn‚Äôt make much of a fuss with two Canadian and two American tourists.

So my friends and I joined one of the lines and waited. As we were queuing, Israeli border authorities with their AK-47 were walking through the lines examining everyone. As they approached our line, they pulled Ali aside and asked him for his passport, which he gave them. Then, they pulled my friend Danielle out of the line demanding to see her passport as well. The soldiers then told them to walk to the front of the building, with their passports in hand. My friend Rahma and I are now looking at each other with an expression of both amusement and concern, wondering what was gong on. As she’s being walked to the front of the building, Danielle looks back at us with a puzzled look on her face.

I shrugged my shoulders and told her we’d meet her inside. At that point, another IDF soldier asked us if we were with them, and when we replied in the affirmative, they ordered us to step out of the line as well, took our passports from us, and told us to go join our friends.

We were ushered inside the building and told to go through the security check. We weren’t told why we were asked to leave the line, but we figured, hey, we no longer have to wait in those long lines, so it’s all good. Or so we thought. We put our bags on the belt and walked through the metal detector. All was good. As we were picking up our bags, they told us to put them back down and to give them any cellphones/mobile phones that we were carrying which we complied to.

The IDF soldiers separated us and put us in different holding areas where we were individually interrogated by officers who looked no older than 22. They asked us the usual questions, who we were, were we lived, what we did, etc. and a whole bunch of mundane, repetitive and irrelevant questions like if I thought my friend Danielle converted to Islam because of her husband, or why out of all the countries in the world that I could travel to, I wanted to come here, etc. So for the first question, I informed¬†them¬†that Dani became Muslim before she met her husband, then got married years after, then got divorced, and now, even after the divorce a year later, she’s still Muslim. ¬†So hopefully, that answered their¬†question. ¬†But then again,¬†tourism didn‚Äôt satisfy the officer‚Äôs queries about the purpose of my visit. With my fully-stamped passport in his hand (and by then, I had at lest 15 different countries stamped on my passport), I advised him to check my passport and see all the other countries I‚Äôve visited, 8 within the last year alone; he finally conceded.

I was asked to leave the holding room, and was given my passport phone and bag and told to go sit in the waiting area. One by one, my friends joined me. Two hours passed, and we’re still sitting in the waiting area. By this time, we’ve seen loads of people come and go. There were others also in the same predicament we were in. To pass time, we munched on the snacks that we brought, thankfully paying heed to the suggestion of one lady who told us to have some snacks and refreshments just in case they held us, as they didn’t have any place to buy any refreshments there.

One by one, people were being called up. The fortunate ones were given a paper clearing them, ending this useless wait. They called my friend Rahma, and just when we thought it was all over, they took her back into the holding room to be further interrogated. She was gone for a good 30 minutes. When she came back, we asked her what they were asking her, and she said, ‚ÄúThe same questions as before. What‚Äôs your grandfather‚Äôs name? Are you a Muslim? How do you and your friends know each other? Etc.‚ÄĚ

Honestly, all we could do was laugh at the sheer stupidity of the situation. Clearly, we were being held for no reason at all. We weren’t posing any threat. They’ve already called the hotels we said we were staying at and verified everything, so why keep us here still?  It was already 5 pm now, and we figured we wouldn’t be able to get much sightseeing done on our first day anymore, which was quite upsetting considering we only had 5 days including our travel days.  But then it got me thinking. We were just coming here to visit. What about all those who live here and have family here who have to go through this every single time?  Like the mother and daughter who were sitting across from us, Palestinians, who were going through this just to get back home. I definitely started to count my blessings and started to make light of the whole situation.  I would hate to have to go through this every time I was going home.

Another half hour passed and then Danielle was called in again to be further interrogated. She took longer than Rahma. Ali and I figured we’d be called in next so we braced ourselves. Danielle finally came back, and it seemed that her interrogation was focused on her conversion, as a Canadian, why she would want to become a Muslim, who inspired her, and why she wore the hijab.

Time continued to pass. At one point, the alarms went off and the whole place went on high alert. Apparently there was a bomb threat so they shut the whole place down. We were told to stay put and just watched as they closed everything off and went running ‚Äď walked actually – around the facility. When it was cleared, they opened it back up and were back in business. Personally, I think it was more of a drill than a real threat, as we would‚Äôve been asked to leave the building if it was. It helped pass time though.

Ali and I were wondering which one of us they’d call first. They called Rahma and Danielle in again (separately of course) for further interrogations, while Ali and I sat there counting the tiles. I started to clap every time someone received that piece of paper, and then it became a thing we all did in the waiting room. The IDF soldiers weren’t too pleased with it, but hey, with not knowing how long we’d be there and whether we’d even get in anymore, we had to have something to look forward to and make the time passing a little more enjoyable.

It seems like the whole purpose of these interrogations was to kill time really, demoralize and intimidate us in the hopes of us not wanting to return to Palestine. If it was something serious, I‚Äôm sorry, but you‚Äôd have older and more experienced officials interrogating us, not 18 ‚Äď 22 year old kids who have yet to experience life.

Nine tedious hours and three rounds of cross-examinations later, we were finally permitted to enter Palestine.  We were the last ones to be let through, and by then, it was 11pm. We nearly missed the last bus into the city, and had to run for it.

When the bus dropped us off, we hired a taxi to take us to our hotel, and crashed in our rooms. What an end to a long and tiring day.  But thankfully, I will never have to go through this again, unlike the many Palestinians who do.

Short Story: ‘Guess They Were Right

I could hear the howling noise as I lay in bed under my covers. There was something in the woods. It was only a matter of time before it attacked us. I told mom and dad that it was coming for us, but they didn’t believe me. They never do.

‚ÄúThere aren‚Äôt any monsters in the woods sweetie. Monsters aren‚Äôt real,‚ÄĚ mom would assure me as she kissed me goodnight.

‚ÄúI know I‚Äôve seen deer, some rabbits and squirrels, I don‚Äôt think I‚Äôve seen any two meter tall wolf-like animal with sharp teeth kiddo. I think we need to start monitoring what you watch,‚ÄĚ dad advised.

Every night, as I lay in bed, I see it through my window, staring at me with its piercing green eyes. I could almost feel its breath in the air. I’d close my eyes hoping it would disappear, but when I’d opened them, it was still there. It wanted me to see it. Why?

I wasn’t going to sit and wait around to find out that answer. If no one else was going to stop it, I was.

When mom and dad fell asleep, I put on my red hoodie, went to my dad’s study, and put his 9 mm in my backpack. I grabbed my picnic basket I had packed earlier, and off I went into the woods.

I found a spot next to this old willow tree and sat down, with my back against the trunk, the gun tight in my hands. I was going to stop it once and for all.

A while later, I heard something rustling just ahead of me. I pointed in the direction and took a shot. Thud.

By the time the police arrived, they found me covered in blood, caressing the dead deer in my lap.

little gir

 

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So for Day 13 of my Blogging101 course, we had to participate in a blogging event.  I chose the Photo-Fiction Challenge where I had to write a short story under 300 words based on the photo above.  Hope you enjoyed it. :-)

Short Story: Still it Hurts

capAfter dusting the room, she sat down on his bed, flattening the duvet with her hand. Thoughts started to race through her mind, as they often did whenever she remembered him. Holding his baseball cap, she could see him jumping up and down in sheer jubilance, with a wide smile and sparkles in his green eyes after winning his softball game. She couldn’t have been more proud of her little boy. Justin continued playing until 10th grade, when his mood began to suddenly change. Never would she have imagined this boy full of life, would decide to take his own.

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So for Day 13 of my Writing101 course, we had to pay attention to our word count. ¬†I chose the prompt where I had to write a short story in 100 words. ¬†Since it is Survivors of Suicide Week this week (November 16 – 19, 2015), I thought I would write a short story (fiction) about a mother’s grief.