Papa's Midnight Watch...
Last night GG asked about my Papa. I said that I would be calling him this morning and I did.
After the usual waffle about the weather, he gave us both one of the best laughs in ages.
Ever since he retired as an ambulance driver, after my dear mother passed away, he began devoting his spare time to the mosque.
My father is the kind of person every human being should be. Worship inside your heart, be honest, love everyone and do not judge. He has never, ever forced me to follow Islam. I have had my own opinion about religions ever since I can remember but this is not the time to expand on the subject. Maybe another time, another post.
At around the tender age of 75, he began being trusted to open up the mosque in the morning for the early prayer. Then, he slowly edged his way up to top of the minaret until he was given the chance to call the faithful to prayer a few mornings a week.
Last year, while on holiday in my hometown, I suddenly woke up to Papa shouting in my ear: "Prayer is better than sleep!" I realised he was half a mile away at the top of the minaret, blaring through a crackling Tannoy. I went back to sleep while he cleared his 85 year-old throat for another verse.
When I called this morning he recounted, in between bouts of laughter that, two weeks ago, he got up as he usually did, got washed and changed before heading for the mosque.
He checked his watch, tuned his vocal cords and began chanting.
A flashing blue light appeared and the local policeman hurried up the minaret to tell Papa that he was two hours too early calling the faithful to their first prayer of the day!
Papa checked his watch, lowered his head and went home back to bed, vowing never to open up again.
We laughed so much that the international operator insisted she would not charge me for the call if I translated the joke.
GG, thank you for reminding me to ring Papa. He made my day!