Dear Diary

April 30, 2014

Nothing lasts forever.


Marah’s diary is produced in collaboration with Syria Deeply, a digital news outlet covering the Syrian crisis.

Since my father’s death, it’s just my mother and my siblings and me. We try to move forward, but it’s difficult. We feel weak, somehow lacking. Maybe it’s because we have lost our loved ones, or because life around us has changed drastically, leaving us with new burdens to carry.

I miss my mother, even though she is right here with me. Life’s hardships have turned her into a machine whose only purpose is work. In the morning, she sends us off to school before heading to the market. When she gets home, she starts preparing a fire to make us dinner. This routine takes up her whole day. She no longer asks me about my day or my studies. She forgets to say good morning or goodnight. Her life is burdened with new responsibilities that keep her away from me.

I yearn for her love and tenderness, but she forgets that my need for her warmth is greater than my need for food or books. Perhaps my father’s death left her numb, or maybe her responsibilities as the sole provider of our household are now so great that she has decided to bury her emotions altogether.

Two years ago, she used to play with us. She was the one who taught me how to play badminton, cards, and chess. Once she was our playful guide and our companion; her spirit was vivacious, her laughter contagious. Now she is unable to teach us anything other than patience and steadfastness. On her one day off, she tries to spend time with us, but underneath the happy façade she puts on for us, I can feel the terrible pain and sadness she keeps hidden inside. Her first wrinkles have appeared below her eyes.

I often slip into her bed at night. She puts her arm around me and rests her palm on my cheek, and I feel her warmth seeping into my veins and reaching my yearning heart.

Sometimes, I feel for her. I see her withering away as she tirelessly works to support us. Other times, I resent her for neglecting us emotionally. But she is the only one I have left. I am drowning, helplessly trying to hold on to her. When you look at her, you see a body without a soul. I miss her warmth and her gentleness, her sincere laughter, and the sparkle in her eyes.

Words can’t express the feelings I have when a neighbor or a friend talks to her about getting remarried. I lie, telling her it’s her right to remarry, but my mind and my heart can’t accept what my tongue says. She quickly reassures me that she will never let her children down by remarrying, as long as she’s alive. ♦


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  • atticus April 30th, 2014 8:34 PM

    The link for Ruby’s article is broken – it takes me to Britney’s article

    • Anaheed April 30th, 2014 8:43 PM

      Oops! Fixing it now. Thank you!

  • internalbeautyx April 30th, 2014 10:16 PM

    Lovely diaries, everyone.

  • honorarygilmoregal May 1st, 2014 12:55 AM

    I wish I could take all you diarists and wrap you up in a big hug. <3

  • erinxo May 1st, 2014 2:22 AM

    Marah – I feel the exact same way as you about my mother and my dad died 14 years ago. I wish I could say it got better but it honestly didn’t. She is not present in our conversations and doesn’t care about my feelings or what I have to say. Last night I tried to share something personal with her but I could tell she didn’t care so I just stopped and left the room; I’m almost positive she didn’t even notice. As you said of your mother, she is a body without a soul.

  • indaslicht May 1st, 2014 5:17 PM

    is it possible to read the arabic version of marah’s entries? i’m curious to see how she writes without the translation

  • mokgadi May 2nd, 2014 6:52 AM

    Love to all of you <3

  • dragonfly May 3rd, 2014 12:22 AM

    I love you guys <3

  • VagabondZombie May 3rd, 2014 6:11 AM

    “There are 10 more weeks of school. This should matter to me, I know it should, but I can’t find it in myself to care. I’m a prisoner in my jail cell of a body, awaiting a verdict from some unknown court.”

    Britney, I feel the same way.

  • LvavaL May 4th, 2014 5:14 PM

    Wow, Marah’s entry.