Father In A Long Waiting Time

Shaniera Akram patiently waits for her son Wasim Akram to join her in Pakistan. She has lived in Dubai for the past twenty years but longed to be in Pakistan so that she could share her homeland with her son. She wanted him to enjoy his education and to experience the society of Pakistan. But now, seven decades after their divorce, and more than a decade since their marriage, their reunion is finally possible. Thanks to persistence of their daughters, the story of their extraordinary journey towards reunion is finally told.
I had a good relationship with my father. We spent many happy and sad moments together. During those times, he always came home with my sister, me and sometimes even our children. In those days, fatherly love was what I had in mind.
When I went to school in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), I thought I would be a very happy woman. The beautiful buildings, the nice weather, the food, the women…. All of it made me want to marry a man. But when I entered the campus, I realized that I was the only girl in my class who was not a girl. It hurt me and made me feel like I was a nobody.
My father had three daughters but unfortunately, they were not happy in life. One of them left home to study at university in Australia while the rest stayed with my father. They were not happy and that’s why my father always treated me like an equal. He taught me to be strong, to be self-sufficient and to stand by my beliefs. He taught me how to be a wife and a mother while respecting and loving my father.
My father died suddenly while I was studying in Dubai. I received a call from my father the next day that he was not breathing. He was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital. I was too upset and did not sleep for two days.
When I recovered, my father was still alive. I wanted to rush to the hospital to see him but I didn’t want to disturb his grieving process. I made up my mind to honor his decision and spend some time with him. During this time, I saw a lot of improvement in my father. His eyes became healthy again and his health improved. His speech was clear and easy to understand and when I asked him why he had chosen to live his life this way, he said that he loved his wife enough to do everything for her.
When we were alone, I started to realize that I had been wrong about my father. He loved his family more than anything and I had forgotten that fact. That’s when I understood what I had to do and that is, I changed myself.
I joined a women’s retreat that taught me to love myself again. During that time, I also learned that my father did not want to leave me and that I should move on with my life and let him be with his wife. After completing the retreat, I realized that I was still in love with my father and that I would give anything to see him again. However, I am so glad that I could help him and I’m very proud to say that my father is now happy and healthy.
My father lives an active lifestyle. Everyday he goes to work and comes home to a beautiful, clean house with a yard. On days when he has visitors, he entertains them in his living room while preparing his favorite dishes. He participates in his community’s community service and participates on many social programs for the poor and disadvantaged children in our neighborhood.
The moment he took his leave of this earth, he promised himself that one day he would return to see his daughter again. It took me a while but eventually I received a call from my sister-in-law and I rushed over to meet her. She told me all that my father had told her and she invited me to visit. Since that day, I have been very thankful that my father has remained strong and true to his commitment to make my sister-in-law proud. I have always kept in mind that he is doing what he loves to do, which is taking care of my sisters and her family.
My father lived his life with much patience and strength. I am very happy that he is alive and well and doing what pleases him. His courage inspires me to follow in his footsteps. I am deeply grateful to have known my father, and I am so very lucky to have him as a great role model. Shaniera Akram, you are so incredibly fortunate.

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