Cleaning House

So it’s crunch time. The house is being packed and sorted into a bazillion little piles, all bound in invisible string and tied directly to my heart.  Every time a little pile- Khalid’s first artworks, Iman’s first story, Musfira’s baby blanket- fails to make the packing priority list, it stings as it’s tugged and let loose.

Every thing sold has a history, good or bad. Some strings were tied too tightly, and feeling them snap and fall away feels like being able to breathe again.  Things I’ve wanted to burn are instead given away, things I wanted to keep forever in my hands will be left behind and then kept in my heart instead.

Growing up with a Mormon mother, I was taught to document, treasure, and save all these little piles of things and cherish them from one international move to another.  I have carried with me a drawing my little brother made me in 1994 as well as the first tooth that I lost since I first lost it.

But growing into a Muslim, I have come to understand that this frantic need to preserve every last scribble is futile for three reasons.

First of all, Allah has sent angels to record every word, thought, and moment in my life with nothing less than Divinely powered accuracy. They’re doing a much better job of recording my life than I ever could.

Second, I can’t take it with me. Nothing will go with me into my grave except for my good deeds.  Not even the doll my mother bought me when I was four.  That would be exceptionally creepy.

Third, Allah will take the universe- the entire vast and incomprehensibly big universe- into His right hand and roll it up like a scroll.  It’ll be done.  Khallas. Finished.  Destroyed.  Why do I need to preserve what the angels have documented and what Qadr will destroy? Why do I need to preserve that which was intended to be temporary?

I don’t. So I’m not.  The only exception to this is my poetry, and now that every dresser and drawer is being dumped out and aggressively sorted, random poems are coming out of the woodwork.  So I may be posted random poetry here and there as I find it.  And once it’s been typed, I will be throwing it in the garbage.

The End.


Abez is a 50% white, 50% Pakistani, and 100% Muslim. She is also chronically ill and terminally awesome. She is the ever-lovin Momma of: - Khalid, a special little boy with autism - Iman, a special little girl with especially big hair -Musfira, an especially devious baby Spoiler, Abez is also Zeba Khan on

  1. Owl


    I’ve always felt that moving is a good kind of therapy. It gives you a chance to go through all your baggage, and loose ends, and the process of sorting them out lets you pick who you want to be in the next location. It’s a skin, scar, and deadweight shedding experience that lets you slough back to the fresh and true underneath so you can start again.

    Plus, your sister gets to receive four giant jars of crunchy peanut butter and seven kinds of honey. 😛

  2. Nida

    you touched such a raw part of me with this post… when i was divorced and came back to live with my parents all the furniture i brought back was either given away or now sits to be sold.. i had saved money to buy all that stuff made with it my home spent some lovely time with it and then just like that they were given away… because my parents home dint have space… i dont know why i loved that furniture and i know all the three things you mentioned but….. its difficult and even after a year it still hurts!

  3. Sumaiyah

    For me, it was losing my phone. A treasure containing copious amount of memories I’d treasured throughout various phases of my life- photos,messages,important info,contacts. Gone in one shot. That one moment and they all slipped out of my hand into deep waters and I had to let it flow. I had to let my materialistic self flow with it too. Materials weren’t meant to get attached. Recollecting it after a year now, I have come a long way in letting things get tied to my heart.

  4. Saadia

    Moving makes u leave a part of ur life behind. For whatever reason, it is an emotinally disturbing phase in itself.Unconscoiusly, we become attached to the material things around us that otherewise have zero benefit. The three reasons are actually words of wisdom i hope we can absorb and apply in our lives.

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