I am a simple body. I have arms, legs, feet, skin, a fairly large nose, but in reality, I am just a freestanding body. We are all just bodies, we could be meaningless skeletons exploring the world but what sets us all apart is what resides deep within, deep deep within our heart and soul. One never knows what to expect when engaging with individuals because we have 0 intelligence as to what drives them on a daily basis. Despite all of the technology in the world, one thing you can’t uncover is an individual’s deepest roots. What are your deepest roots?
As people enter and exit my life, one thing remains constant, my family and loved ones. They have been the only constant since 1979. To them, I owe the world. To them, I work and slave to ensure their well-being comes before mine. This is my daily meal, my daily mission. It’s my breakfast, lunch and dinner. But throughout all of this, I dig into my deepest roots, evaluate them closely, and one real hero emerges. I must thank my hero, mentor, and inspiration on this special day.
His name is Jihad Atef Mahmoud Ahmed El-Kadi, my father, today he beautifully turned 65 years old. He is my best friend, my older brother, my younger brother, my teammate, my advisor, my teacher, my role model, my life, my heart, my world, my food, my oxygen, my blood, my today, tomorrow, and forever. I am simply shocked as to how ONE individual can play so many roles in my life and have a level of impact that I can’t describe. I simply can’t put my thoughts in words. I sit here and scratch my head as I feel my words are not good enough. I told my friend last night “No matter what I do, no matter what actions I take, I feel as if I am forever indebted and I can never thank him or repay him for what he has done for me.” I recall during my hardest times in life, being at rock bottom, one person; only one person spent countless hours pulling me out of my hole, and proactively put their arms around me on a daily basis to ensure I stood tall again. I am tallest man in the world today, thanks to you.
I write this while getting teary eyed at work for the simple reason of I don’t know how I can even exist or be OK without you. Simply thinking about it creates a level of emptiness inside of me the size of the universe. You are my universe. Some fall in love and with time may break up, heal and soon after meet someone new. I can’t move on. That is not my story. This is more than love; this is more than heart, you are my deepest root blueprint, pyramid, and infrastructure that has formed the mind, body and soul of Bassil Jihad Atif Mahmoud Ahmed El-Kadi.
I look in the mirror and I proudly say “I am the son of Jihad Atef Mahmoud Ahmed El-Kadi.” I don’t want to be like anyone in this world, but you. I don’t want to be a millionaire or a professional athlete; I want to experience your life struggle and success as a Bedouin from Palestine, migrating to America only to become a Dr., father, leader, musician, dancer, motivator and spiritual individual.
This note is like a pebble of sand in the desert, it may be easily lost among the numerous sand dunes. But one thing will forever remain constant, my deepest roots and blueprint. I have yet to show you my love at the level you deserve and perhaps I will never repay you properly. I have learned how to live, love and laugh through you and I truly hope that I am able to pass on your knowledge, thoughts, wisdom and life lessons to those that follow me. Mr. El-Kadi, I live my life, to worship Allah, and to support my family and my new family to be one day inshAllah. Please remember, I’d drop everything in the world for my family, for you, as you have been the voice of reason that has allowed me to progress this far and has given me an indescribable level of hunger, passion and motivation to live my life with health and happiness.
In the end, I thank you on your 65th birthday for blessing the world (especially me) with your sweet melody. Some may need an iPod, others may buy musical CDs or attend concerts. As for me, all I need is your sweet melody, simple touch, gaze, and smile. You are the tattoo of my heart, the beat of my life and WE love you. I say WE, because everyone that is part of my life knows your level of positive impact on me, so they can’t help but love you too. God bless you, may you live forever and may we spend years and years together dear father. One. Forever. You are my hero.