Last Flight Home

Wednesday 5th December 2012 8:58PM

Apart from the engine noise and growling stomach, the plane was silent. I welcomed the empty cabin, a polar opposite to the fully loaded flight from JFK.  They offered me legroom for my healing knee in exchange for blistering Dolby Digital surround sound. Unfortunately the soundtrack wasn’t what I expected and much worse then the instrumental version of ‘call me maybe’ during my 50-minute unanswered phone hold with Finish Line.  My row had 4 babies, two on each side, and 1 right behind me. My noise canceling headphones were chilling in the cargo below probably shielding my packed t-shirts from the cries above.

The baby to my right was an adorable 3-month-old girl named Hadiya, a beautiful name meaning Gift. Her mother asked to borrow my phone to call her husband. What was promised to be a short call took her over 7 minutes but I didn’t mind. I was occupied with the other infant dragging my shirtsleeve. I think he was admiring the quality of the material. If any of you meet a designer named Darren 20 years from now, called it!. The three other babies were going crazy. I never thought babies could sound like murder. I kept checking to see if the sound was actually referring to the dozen ‘dead baby’ jokes out there. Headache aside the experience was enjoyable and is a musical masterpiece in comparison to Justin Bieber*

*Someone should run him over with a bus. It would be ironic if it was a Bieber** bus. Now before you tell me I’m being harsh, his music does the similar thing to my ears so the bus driver would be doing me a favor. Does anyone have Emily Thorne’s number?

** Im Serious, This company exists ***


*** See I told you so! Seats were comfy last time I was on 🙂

Just over a month ago I had to be escorted out of the airplane on a wheelchair. Equipped with clashing diagnoses I was plagued with the questions; what exactly is wrong with my knees? Is my tennis career over? How am I going to run around the park with my children in the future? My bootcamps, p90x, Zumba?.. okay maybe not Zumba.

I spent the Doha-Bahrain flight flickering between ‘Open’ the Agassi biography and deep thought about the journey I’m about to return from.

The surgery and therapy may have addressed the physical aliments, however I derived the mental and emotional strength through amazing support of my family and friends.

Semo, Meerz, James, Sarim, Nawaf K, Omar H, Imran & Zaynab, Ahmed,Khalifa,Mohammed, Abdullah, Reem,Sasperella, Bukhalid, Khalid, Hussain, Mazin, Haytham,DJ Outlaw, Fatima, Maya,Nayla,Polar Bear,Rashid,Salman, Atty, Ali, Shk. Khalid Al Khalifa, Sam & Mai.

Special thank you to bintalkuwait, bossykitchen and rthompson for spending every waking moment with me during the surgery and recovery period.

So there you have it. A list of people that mean the world to me. If you want to pull some Liam Niesen-isque “Taken” hostage situation then you know who to go for. Once I heal in about 6 months ill come after you. Until then please make sure my beloved hostage gets showered and offer them optimum nutrition. If you are planning on capturing my mother then make sure she gets Glucosamine for her knee and access to twitter.

My soul wakes up each day craving the adrenaline rush, the solitude, the people and the lessons. I humbly ask you to join me on this awesome trip, because I learn and grow from you. Everything I am and will ever be is through your sincere human interaction.

I end this year with gratitude and welcome the challenge and the energy required for the road ahead. I massage the part of my knee where the missing cartilage is and know things may not be the same. The cabin doors open and I could feel the gentle winter breeze welcoming me home.  I’ve longed for the people waiting at the arrival area, to return to this beautiful island I call home. I leave the empty cabin behind and join the rest of the passengers.

This blog is dedicated to you.

Brandon Boyd and I
Bumped into Brandon Boyd (Lead singer of Incubus) before boarding my flight at JFK. Very friendly and enjoyed the quick chat. Great way to end the trip with such an inspirational musician!

7 Replies to “Last Flight Home”

  1. Heart touching in a very humorous way, I don’t think I would want to hear this blog in any other way! I hope Darren “calls you maybe” 20 years from today for callin his fabric fascination. Looking forward for your next posts all the best bro 😊

  2. You know a dear friend for so long.. and you still discover new amazing skills they posses.. I simply can’t wait for your next post! Thanks for the mention too bro.

  3. Great post, my friend!
    I have to say, you really got me at Zumba! LOL
    It’s truly inspiring to see that someone else takes the time to “breathe” everything in. And I can really relate to craving the rush, keep the positive mindset (as I’m sure you are) and you’ll get there in no time enshallah!

    P.S: Babies+Planes=a definite nightmare! lol

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