Wedding Planning, I haven’t even started!

posted in: Abstract Life | 0


Wedding Planning

Ok so I got legally married back in July, but my large official reception doesn’t happen until May. I’m happy to announce that I have reserved my wedding venue, well one of them at least. Yea, Bengali weddings are quite long, but I’m getting there. So I found the perfect venue for my wedding, and that’s about it! I have less than six months to plan a wedding and procrastinating isn’t helping. So what’s on my upcoming list…


  1. Formally ask my bridesmaids: Ok so I have a confession to make, I chose my bridesmaids sarees before I formally asked anyone. I ordered them online, and they were the perfect colors and design. I texted all my bridesmaids for their sizes before formally asking them. I know it’s horrible, I did get a lecture from my sister about it, but I was just overly excited.
  2. Ordering my centerpieces. So I have this vision and idea in my mind, something with roses, pearls, and tea candles. My wedding colors are pearl and maroon. I have the idea in my mind, but it’s going to take a while to create them and my plan is to order a ton of supplies wholesale online. I know what you’re thinking, you realize shipping takes forever? I know, that’s why I need to get my butt going.
  3. Flowers: Umm yea, so I never really thought about my bouquet or flowers and I decided to go with the most expensive flower on the face of the earth, umm yea… maybe I should get the whole florist, flowers, cost thing right now.
  4. Guest List and Invitations: My mom printed invitations in Bangladesh, yay, but I haven’t even finalized my guest lists, especially since my pre-reception venue refuses to answer my calls! Frustrating right? And what’s the rule for guest, I mean I have friends who invited me to their weddings, but I’m not in contact with them anymore, do I still invite them? Also, we’re only allowing children of close family friends to attend. With all of my family members we’re limited on seating, Yea even three hundred attendees isn’t enough, so is it bad not to allow a plus 1 when we have to put no uninvited guest. (reason for this… I’ve had experiences where guests bombard weddings with random family members and friends without your consent. I guess you have to a be a little harsh sometimes!)
  5. Decorations: So I have my centerpieces planned out, but what about the rest of the stuff? Seating arrangements, table numbers, meet the wedding party, backdropalright before I overwhelm myself, I think I’m going to turn to Pinterest for some inspiration.
  6. DJ: well my baby brother is a DJ, but I think he’d rather enjoy the wedding, so now it’s time to hunt down a DJ.
  7. Photographers and Videographers: So I’ve worked with a list of amazing photographers who are also close friends. It’s a little hard to choose the right photographer. I know I want at least two different photographers, one to follow the groom and his family and one to follow my family and me. Videographer? I don’t even want to think about that right now.
  8. Food: Oh the magic word, half of my venue delay was because we were trying to find a venue that allows Southeastern cuisine, after months of searching for a place, I realized I want something different! I mean we’re going to have Southeastern cuisine the day before right, and it gets messy. Now the struggle is finding the right dish, we’re having plated dinners, but haven’t decided what to choose.
  9. Cake: All I know is Shehab and I both love Chocolate cake, but not everyone does. I was thinking about having a small tiered cake for cutting and then having two different types of cake based on everyone’s preference.

    And then there’s everything else. I’m just going to get this checklist out of the way before I begin adding to it. However, it would help to get some advice and ideas. Feel free to remind me of things I’m missing on the list, I know there’s a lot

Our Heartbreaking Christmas

posted in: Abstract Life, Journal | 0

Christmas didn’t turn out the way I thought it would this year. My mum was in Bangladesh shopping for my wedding reception and Shehab spent Christmas in New York. It would have been his first Christmas in the United States, but he needed a little vacation and needed to be with family. I think space was right for us, I’ve been so stressed and frustrated that I wasn’t much fun to be around. It was hard not having my mother around as well. I tried my best to remain energetic and happy for Dora. I even made up for our forgetful Tooth Fairy moment.

Dora and me

I managed to cook my traditional Christmas dinner: Lamb Roast, herb roasted red potatoes, buttered asparagus, and dinner rolls. Preenon brought a Pumpkin pie on his way from school and instead of wine we had sparkling juice. I would say dinner was a semi success since I overcooked the lamb.I wish I paid attention more to our dinner or to the fact that nonstick roasting pans produce a lot more gas. As a result, our Parakeets, Pumpkin, and Blueberry died on Christmas day. (Birds, especially Parakeets are very sensitive to CO2. They weren’t in the kitchen. However, the small amount of CO2 spread throughout the house. Blueberry was at the bottom of the cage when I found her and Pumpkin died in Dora’s arms.


I couldn’t hold back the tears when I found Blueberry at the bottom of the cage and after Pumpkin died. I kissed her a couple of times (even though I shouldn’t have because at the time I didn’t know why she died). We adopted Blueberry from Petsmart and Pumpkin from the Humane Society. Pumpkin had been in a couple of homes before we adopted her. The Humane Society said she must have been abused because she did not like people. We were told that it wasn’t safe to adopt her because she might bite Dora. Before we adopted Pumpkin she lived in a nursing home but they surrendered her because they couldn’t give her enough attention.

We still decided to give it a try, when we went to visit Pumpkin at the Humane Society she responded to Dora right away. We couldn’t touch her, but she enjoyed talking and interacting with Dora. We used to let her out of the cage, and she would wander the house freely exploring. The best thing about Pumpkin was she would always return to her cage. We adopted Blueberry a month later. Blueberry was a little more playful at first she loved sitting on Dora’s shoulders but eventually she liked being alone.

It was always fun to watch Pumpkin and Blueberry interact. They knew exactly when they wanted to sleep, 9:00 p.m. every night and when they wanted to wake up, 7:30 a.m. if everyone else was awake. You could never leave the house without saying, “Goodbye Pumpkin, Goodbye Blueberry.” I miss them! They were family.

Pumpkin and Blueberry’s deaths taught me something. It made me realize how I had become negligent and disconnected from everyone. I allowed frustration get to the best to me to the point where I didn’t notice the warning signs until it was too late. I don’t think I could have changed the turn of events.  I didn’t know that non-stick pans produce more gas. However, I could have given Blueberry a better last moment. Pumpkin died in Dora’s arms covered with my kisses. Their deaths made me realize that life is precious and that you have one chance to make a difference in this world. Pumpkin was breaking her barrier and showing us that a second chance at trust was possible made me realize that I need to break my walls. Pumpkin never lets us touch her; she was very clear about her boundaries. However, she enjoyed exploring the house. She would often walk to different rooms and observe what we were doing. December 25, 2015, is a day I will always remember, it was the day we lost Pumpkin and Blueberry, but it was also a day for me to remember that a second chance at the trust is possible.


The Heartbeat

posted in: Family, Journey of Love | 0

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Dora was eight weeks old, in my mom’s womb, it sounds silly saying in her womb when she taught me my first lesson. Life is precious, and even the tiniest little person can have a the strongest heartbeat with a lot to say.

Before my mom became pregnant with Dora, my life lacked ambition and smart choices. I was in my second year of college, but I had no idea what I was doing with my life. I got myself in a tangle of obstacles that I’m too embarrassed to talk about. Don’t worry it’s not drugs or alcohol, I had gotten myself into a long distance relationship with a not so good person, and it’s not worth talking about.

I was on track for pre-med, my whole life I thought that I wanted to be a doctor until I began volunteering at a hospital and realized that I couldn’t handle it emotionally. I was too afraid to tell my family that I didn’t want to be a doctor since everyone had such high hopes for me. Instead of discussing my options I stayed quiet for two years and kept on forcing myself into a web of lies. I kept making one bad decision after another, not caring about my classes or my life. I held onto a sick fantasy of living a life with someone who I didn’t even know. My life choices lead to constant conflict with my family members, the siblings who had looked at me so highly now patronized me, I was at my all time low.

It wasn’t until I went to that first ultrasound with my mom, I heard Dora’s heartbeat for the first time; thirty-six beats per minute! The doctor told me she was strong; she was just a tiny little peanut, but she had a lot to say.

Dora 001

Her heart beat said it all, “Life is precious, I’m just a tiny little thing, but I’m going to be strong one day, and I’m going to need you!”

She was growing strongly in my mother’s womb, this new life, my second chance!

A couple months into my mom’s pregnancy the doctors discovered that she had a kink in her kidney, their first suggestion was to abort the baby! I don’t want to open Pandora’s box on my stance on abortion, but when I heard that Heartbeat! I just couldn’t do it. That little peanut was waiting for me!

I begged my mom to keep the baby; I think my mom knew that I needed Dora more than she needed me. She promised to keep the baby alive for me. My mom has saved my life many times and never given up on me, but Dora was the greatest gift she could have ever given me.

For the remainder of the pregnancy, my mom had six surgeries on her kidney, each time the doctors took extra precautions to keep Dora safe. They inserted stents into her kidney multiple times but as Dora grow she kicked at the stent causing massive bleeding. My mom’s final treatment was using a Nephrostome bag. (This was a pipe that inserted through her backside into her kidney. Since one kidney was not functioning, her urine would filter out into the bag. I was at UW-River Falls and could only come home on the weekends. That’s when my mom was able to shower. We had to put a shower guard on the tube so it wouldn’t get contaminated. The one time I couldn’t be there, my dad placed the guard, and my mom ended up in the hospital. That’s how much my mom suffered for me to keep this baby alive. (She never gave up, and either did Dora!).

When I came home every weekend, it was a burden for my dad. I didn’t know how to drive, I would manage to get rides from friends, but I needed someone to bring me home. He wasn’t too happy about it, but I needed to be there for my mother and that tiny baby growing inside her.

As Dora grew inside my mom, she always gave me secret hints that she was going to be ok. My mom recalls times when she could feel Dora moving inside her, the minute I would talk, Dora would stay still until I was done talking. If I left the room, she’d kick my mom’s stomach until I returned. There were times when I would speak to my mom’s womb, and I’d see a tiny little knee or foot imprint pushing through my mom.

It was her, “I’m here Ishika, don’t worry, I’ll be out soon!”

The anticipation of meeting Dora was what kept me going. I stayed in the hospital with my mom every chance I could. The nurses had to monitor Dora’s heartbeat while my mom was in the hospital, and while I slept I could hear, Don’t worry Ishika, you’ll get to meet me soon!”’

Before Dora was born, I told my family that pre-med wasn’t for me. It was a little heartbreaking for everyone, but my mom stayed supportive all the way, but my confidence was still low. I didn’t think I was good enough to be there for Dora, and I tried to give up on life, I attempted to end my schooling and escape to another country. I feel so stupid saying that now.

My mom never gave up on me; she told me I didn’t have to return to River Falls, but I needed to get my act together and get myself into a local University. Let’s just say I didn’t even take that seriously until I got the news on February 22, 2015.

Even though my mom’s nephrostomy bag was freezing and her kidney was failing, my mother gave birth to a healthy little girl named Audhora Maimuna Huq, the name I got to choose.

And on February 23, 2015, there she was that little munchkin. When the nurses brought her to the room, she was asleep. She looked like a tiny porcelain doll sleeping in her toy crib. I didn’t want to wake her up, so I didn’t hold her right away, but when I put my hand on that little munchkin’s blanket, she knew I was here.

She opened her eyes right away and looked at me; I knew what she wanted to say, See Ishika, I’m here, I told you I’m coming for you now that I’m here show me how to live my life!”


The single greatest moment of my life was when I met my baby sister. She didn’t see my mistakes; she didn’t see my bad decisions, all she saw was her big sister waiting for her to save me.

Since the day I met Dora, I started to take school more seriously. I managed to get into North Hennepin Community College where I discovered my interest in Communication Studies. From North Hennepin, I transferred to Saint Catherine University and received my Bachelors of Science in Communication Studies.

My relationship with my family has grown significantly, and I’m the elder sister my siblings love. I also got my driver’s license on Dora’s first Valentine’s day. My dad was so happy he purchased my first car on Dora’s first birthday. My mom still has kidney complications and her health has weakened significantly, but she’s tries to stay healthy for all of us, especially for our little munchkin.

I live every single day for Dora, to show her I can do it! That little munchkin never gave up on me even inside my mother. She stayed strong through the surgeries and the pain because she knew that I needed her.

I hope Dora understands how much she changed my life one day, I tell her every single day, but come on! She’s only five, what do you expect? She knows that she’s special to me, and I guess that’s all that matters.

Even the tiniest little person can have the strongest heartbeat with a lot to say. Thank you, Dora, for saving my life and guiding me all the way.