Once Upon a Time...

Isn't it remarkable how our lives can change in an instant? We can have plans for days and Allah throws a monkey wrench at those plans and everything malfunctions. That's why we should always say, insha Allah (if Allah wills it) after planning to do anything. Because how quickly Allah can remind us that He is the Best of Planners.
As I think back on my life, I can find many instances where one single event altered major plans or future possibilities. But the first and foremost was when I was but 3 years old. I was a "rambunctious" child (so I've been told). I'm sure, just from what I remember, I was a huge pain. But nonetheless I had big plans. You see, my Mommy was a beautiful Queen and my Daddy was her tall, dark and handsome King. We lived in a modest home with all the comforts of daily living. Life was good. But the princess had plans beyond their humble abode. Daddy er-the King, once told his princess a bedtime story. He told of a far off land where it rained candy from the sky and money grew on trees. He said that only good little girls who ate their vegetables and went to bed on time would ever be allowed to enter this land. The King told his little princess that since she had been doing these things, he would take her and her Mommy the Queen, to this land very soon. They would live on the different candies that rained down onto their castle. The King would never have to leave the princess and Queen to go to work because he would have a Forrest of money trees to keep him rich. The princess liked this idea very much. She hated to say goodbye to her Daddy when he left for work because she always had a fear that this would be the last time she saw him. She secretly worried that he'd never come back. So when he revealed that he was going to take the family there, she was relieved and excited.
Everyday, the princess would line up her stuffed animals and tell them the tale of the far off land where she would soon be going. She picked out which of them would be going with her. She rummaged through her clothes and chose only her best dresses to take along. She continued to eat all of her vegetables and go to bed promptly at 8 pm so that her Daddy wouldn't change his mind. The princess had big plans for her new life. She'd throw huge parties and invite all of her friends. They would ride horses in the money Forrest and go swimming in her indoor pool filled with cream soda (her favorite drink).
But one day those plans were changed forever. As she had so accurately feared, her Daddy did not come home. She waited all evening for him, but when Mommy the Queen, told her to go to bed she did as she was told, still hoping that they'd be going to the new land.
The next day, the princess was told that her Daddy had died. She was told that he would not be coming back, ever. Her heart was broken into splintered pieces. How could he do this? He had promised her. Now it was all over. She felt so confused, hurt, scared, angry and then deserted. It rained all that day. There were no candies in these showers, only bitter, salty tears. Everything changed that day and forever. Her Daddy would never take her and her Mommy to that wonderful faraway land. He had gone without them.
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