I usually do not speak of myself personally or reveal much of myself, because I am a very private person. Then I thought this is not about me, but someone very special in my life; my grandmother Umra or Ghamra which means “Moon” in Arabic. Although we never met she is still near and dear to my heart.
All my life I heard my mother and close family members compare me to my Umra, in laughter, music, dance, and even how much we look alike in appearance.
The story begins in the year of 1939. My grandmother was pregnant for the 4th time and also, unaware she was carrying twins. My grandmother Umra and grandfather Gibran lived in a town called Mafraq, a small town in a country called then “Transjordan” a British controlled territory, but now independent and known in the 21st century as “The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan” or Jordan.
After seeing her doctor, a regular doctor’s appointment, was when my Umra received the bad news. The doctor was concerned about the natural delivery for this pregnancy and the doctor was also concerned for my Umra. Until this day, the intermediate family does not know what medical aliment my grandmother had. All I know and understand, the doctor recommended for my grandmother to deliver in the hospital with nurses and doctors so to prepare for the worst possible scenario. In those days, most had mid wives and delivered at home like my Umra.
As the time came closer to giving birth, my grandfather, Gibran, had an important business trip in a nearby town about a two hour drive away from Mafraq. My grandfather Gibran dropped off my Umra in their family hometown called Madaba in Jordan. He left my Umra in the loving hands of my grandfather’s mother & father, my great-grandmother Noor and great-grandfather Yoseph (Joseph) plus other close family members. They all promised when the time comes, and Grandfather Gibran was away on business, they will drive my Umra to the local hospital and will be looked after by the doctor, nurses and staff.
Sorrowfully, this did not happen. My grandmother went into labor and her water broke right away. They were unable to drive my Umra to the hospital on time. They contacted their neighbor who was a mid wife and helped with the delivery of the baby. My uncle was born and my Grandmother Umra saw his beautiful face. She wept, held him in her arms and kissed him passionately. My grandmother named her son, Ramzi. Then with dismay, my family members were told of a second baby, a twin, who was born a minute after her fraternal brother, Ramzi. By then my Umra became unconscious and was not able to see her and hold her second baby, my mother, Nuhad.
As the doctor had diagnosed, my grandmother had internal hemorrhaging and died an hour later after giving birth to twins. When my Grandfather Gibran heard the news and arrived at the family house, it was too late for him to say goodbye. My close family members told me the story of how my Grandfather Gibran wept bitter tears over her lifeless body.
We are all here to my grandmother Umra’s testament, sacrifice and most of all her heart, her love especially for all her children. In her memory I present this blog, the video and photo (Umra at the age of 24 six months pregnant with my mom and uncle three months before her untimely death) a tribute to my loving grandmother, Umra; God Bless Your Beautiful Soul and thank you grandmother Umra for my mother, Nuhad and my Uncle Ramzi.