by Abdulsalam Hdadi
Marilyn Monroe once said, “I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” There is a time in our lives when we think we are special; we are the chosen ones. Like Winthrop when he believed that he was chosen by God to lead America which, in his mind, was chosen for a great destiny. Well, I have known that I’m special since I was 13; right after I made that wish.
As a child I had my ups and downs; my downs were a lot. I was a weepy. And whenever I wept I used to close my eyes and run. I believed that by closing my eyes I could see a path to my mother who was always there for me. However, the wall of my grandfather proved me wrong. I was running with my headlights off before I crashed, face-first, into the wall. I broke my nose and was in coma for around three hours. A few days later, I was helping my sister get down from the second floor just before I fell down, back-first, onto a table. I broke my back and slept in the hospital for 30 days. I fell in a hole. I broke my arm in a soccer game…etc. I can go on forever describing my troubled childhood, which I have no one to blame for but God.
See, a child needs hope; needs a dream; in my case I needed a wish to come true. One night I went with two of my uncles to buy some t-shirts. It was late, and for 13 years old kid that “trip” was a milestone in my life. When we were heading back home after shopping, I looked to the clock, “11:11” it said. I don’t know why I did that but I wished that I could see this exact moment again. I wanted to feel that same feeling of happiness, which was hard to get for a child like me. After that night I tried to have this “11:11” moment again but I failed. I reached a point where I thought that moment which I was seeking was my salvation from my childhood. I didn’t know that life is simple. With plans, life wouldn’t have the spontaneous taste.
I burned myself out to get a scholarship, hoping that America was hiding these moments. At that moment, on September 25th 2012 when I entered America for the first time in my life, I didn’t recall my old “11:11” wish. Anyway, I started in a humble ESL school, which should remain nameless. It took me a month to adjust; a year to feel like it is home. I wanted to go to see the 76ers basketball game in October but I was late for registration. I waited for the November game. $40 was the cost of the ticket. And I went to my first basketball game. It was indescribable. I had the time of my life. I felt it this was the moment that I was really waiting for. I knew that everything God did to me when I was a kid had its payback GOOD time. I went home overwhelmed with happiness. I closed my eyes and wept. I missed my family I wished that they were here with me. I opened my red eyes; put my hand in my pocket; took out the 76ers game’s ticket; and I saw it again “11:11” my row and seat, was printed all over my ticket.
I’m special. I knew that every choice I make, starting with my wish in that old car, was leading me to the moment when I was sitting, waiting for the check at IHop. It was 10 o’clock on a Friday. My school suffered from electricity problems that day, so I decided to go for a meal. After I finished the meal, I received an email from Temple University; it said that they would be honored if I accept their offer and complete my studies there. The waiter came; he handed me the check; I took a peak at it and 11.11 was what my breakfast cost.
Created: Apr 23, 2014Abdulsalam Document Media