Inna lilahi w inna lilayhi rajoon <3 I only know how to do one thing when my heart is literally broken, and that's write. So here we go. You can't imagine the sinking feeling I get knowing she's not going to read this. Bismillah.
It takes a lot for me to become a "fan girl." I don't know about the lives of celebrities... but when I read Nicole's Blog: The Same Rainbow's End, I knew I met another part of my soul.
A white American girl from the Ozarks desperately in love with her Saudi husband with his cute "Saleh-isms" and the most intelligent, sweet, sassy girl that could only have been raised by someone as amazing as Nicole, Lavi.
I felt like when I met her, I had so much of her life to catch up on. I read her blog so fast. I literally felt as though I knew her. I contacted her on Facebook, explaining I'm a fellow blogger and fan girl-ing EXTRA hard. She responded within a few days and was so generous with her time and her stories. I couldn't wait to meet her.
I immediately found out I had a position in Riyadh after the first time we spoke. I explained my own complicated life situation and we clicked and finally were able to connect in Riyadh.
Midwesterners that love Saudi culture and living in Riyadh?!... how many of us can there really be? As far as I'm concerned, just the two of us.
Nicole is one of less than five people I can consider my role model. She was funny, happy, positive beyond belief, wise, and she REALLY (and I mean REALLY) loves her daughters and her husband.
She loves her husband so much that I wanted to marry into the family because clearly they're putting something special into these kids to make Nicole so incredibly in love with the whole family.
I'm sitting here in a puddle of tears thinking of Lavender and Juliet, her two daughters (one of them only a few months old). They are so incredibly blessed to have had her as a mother - for one minute or one month or one year - she will never ever stop loving them. Still, the loss of someone that special will never be easy. I can't even begin to understand it - whether or not I lost my mother at a young age. When I grow up, I want to be Lavender.
If I could tell you how many times I've reflected on a silly story she told me about how her father-in-law once said out of no where when sitting down at the dinner table (I'm paraphrasing) "Nicole was the best thing to happen to this family."
When you hear "no" from Saudi families because of your nationality, this story will change your life. It did mine. It gave me so much hope.
Her whole life gave me hope. She will always give me hope.
Abu Saleh, I have to say, you might be wrong. She may have been the best thing to happen to this whole ummah, and definitely was one of the most vivid characters in my life.
I love you. You probably never knew how much you changed my life. You made me better in so many ways. I'm so incredibly grateful for every single millisecond you talked with me. I love your jokes. I love your humor. I love the way you see the world. You made me love the freaking Ozarks. I'm so blessed to be your sister in faith and beyond HONORED to have had you in my life.
If you look down at your keyboard, you'll see that the N,J,H and M are all touching. Nicole pointed out to me once that these are her initials. I'll never look at those letters the same again.
I can't wait to get to the end of the rainbow to see you again. May Allah grant you the absolute highest level in Jannah.
"Oh, dream maker, you heart breakerWherever you're going, I'm going your way
Two drifters, off to see the worldThere's such a lot of world to seeWe're after that same rainbow's end"