I converted to Islam many years ago. I remember the day I took my shahada. I was 18 and nervous and excited to finally decide what I wanted to believe in. My mother thought I had lost my mind, she even brought the paste to our house to “remove the demons from my mind”. I battled him on the authenticity of the bible, asked him to move that God existed and we went back and forth for almost an hour. He left our house wiping sweat from his brow and telling my mom to pray for me.
I felt 10 feet tall that day. I felt like a “real” Muslim! From that day on it seemed like “battling” or challenging Christian beliefs were the new normal for me. Egyptology was part of the journey: emulating “Gods” by adopting titles and replaced the hole that I created when I left biblical beliefs.
But I still felt incomplete, dare I say passion – less as I spent leisure time fact checking history to support my new belief system. The only one that battle or even question my decision was my grandmother. I remember seeing her when I went to Trinidad to visit her that summer. I walked through the veranda and she was sitting on the sofa knitting. She looked up at me and told me to sit next to her.
I hugged and kissed her and she smiled while staring at me. Well it felt more like scanning me actually. She started at me feet and worked her way up to the top of my head. The only thing she said was, ” Yuh Look like yuh eatin, yuh eh missing no meals!” Which meant that she could see I looked healthy and that was all she was concerned about.
I was waiting for the scolding but it never came. But she did say that she told my mother not to make a “poppy show” out of me or my decision to changes faiths because all people will do is laugh behind her back.
My grandmother was and always will be an example of grace,patience, understanding, and unconditional love. And a Christian who lived the principles of what she believed on a daily basis. At this point in my life, it’s important that embrace the power I experienced by knowing her, by being cared for by her and matter of fact way she lived her life through a clear right and wrong path.
So I will read psalms and the other verses she told me to read that will strengthen me, not because of accuracy of information but the emotional magic that will activate inside me because we share the same blood DNA. I want her resolve, I want her mental state. She was never confused or doubted her abilities and I know was because if her faith in God…
Grandma, I’m coming back home….