A few months back we wrote you a brief update about the House of Flowers. We shared that life is flowing solidly and consistently there, with some new young children as well as older ones embarking on new phases in their lives.
Today we have additional news about some life milestones occurring within the House:
There were two brothers who grew up in the House, Ashraf and Hekmat. They were smiley and sweet boys whose father had died and whose mother was destitute. In their late teens, after about 8 years in the House, they moved back with their mother and began working and continued studying. Ashraf, the older one, age 23, had finished high school and was working as a mechanic and a driver for Nestle Company, and enjoyed body building. Hekmat, the younger brother, was also working as a mechanic while studying pharmacy at night school.
Two weeks ago we received the very sad news that Ashraf was killed in a motorcycle accident while on his way to work. The staff and children of the House, as well as ourselves, have been devastated by this loss of one of our family members. It is also a huge loss to Afghanistan, the loss of a kind, caring and hard-working young man at a time when such people are so desperately needed in Afghanistan. We were very proud of him and what he was doing with his life.
The teachers Fatima and Razia along with Nik Mohammad went to visit Ashraf’s mother and pay their respects. They then went to see Hekmat at his workplace. They visited again a week later to check in on Hekmat and his mother and offer support.
Then in the midst of this, we received more news, this time about Shukria. We opened the email and were thrilled to see a picture of Shukria – with her beautiful baby son! Shukria had entered the House at age 2 ½ and grew up there with her sisters Nadia and Razia, who went on to university. (Razia is now a teacher at the House of Flowers.)
Shukria was always a charming, adorable, and very clever girl in the House, and now has grown up and is the new mother of her son Mohammad Yaser Jan. (We are wondering if teacher Fatima, who essentially helped raise Shukria, now feels like a grandmother!) Shukria has asked that her picture not be posted, but this is a picture of her son in her arms.
Thus the House of Flowers continues to be the locus of all aspects of life for these Afghan children and their families. It is where they grow up, learn, love, gain family, receive support, and contribute to their society while sharing the ups and downs of life even after their time living in the House. All of our lives are linked inextricably to theirs. We celebrate and mourn together. And in the meantime, the children of the House of Flowers continue to play and grow.