Writers: Mariam Hisham and Nada Elnady
Editor: Khaled Mohamed
Artist: Randa Elhawry
Katherine – Age 3
I started using and learning new words! This is amazing! I like to draw mommy and daddy on the walls of my room. This is fun.
Katherine – Age 8
Today mom got mad at me and grounded me because I drew on the walls. She said that I’m not a child to do this anymore. Now I can’t go to my best friend’s sleepover tonight!
Katherine – Age 13
I don’t know why, but I’m too attracted to drawing, so I tried drawing a difficult piece that literally took me 2 hours. But when I showed my parents, they just didn’t care. They told me drawing won’t help me financially in the future and asked me to start doing something more useful.
Katherine – Age 18
I was doodling on a piece of paper on my desk today when my boyfriend noticed. He said it was amazing and he wanted to keep it. But I don’t know, I thought it wasn’t good enough so I just threw it away. I don’t think that’s what I should be doing. Even though I feel I’m in a different world when I’m drawing…
Katherine – Age 30
I’m now a doctor, just like my parents have wished their entire lives. I don’t feel like myself. I keep trying to convince myself that I’m saving people, and yeah that’s great. But I can’t shake the feeling that “I’m not designed to do this”. It always lingers in my head whenever I’m working. I still doodle in a small notebook. It’s always in my bag and I never show it to anyone.
Scarlett – Age 3
I can use the pencil now and I know all the colors too! I like to draw mommy and daddy on the walls of my room. My favorite color is blue. It’s the color of mommy’s eyes.
Katherine – Age 40
I’m in the living room around my children and my husband. I don’t hate my life. I have a life everyone wishes for! I have a great, loving husband and two amazing, beautiful kids. I’m a doctor and so is my husband. But I still feel empty. I saw my daughter Scarlett doodling on her wall yesterday, I told her that she was amazing and decided to enroll her in some courses so that her talent never dies!
Scarlett – Age 6
Mommy decided to make me take courses since she saw me doodling on the wall, but I don’t know. I don’t really like the teacher, but I guess I have to try.
Scarlett – Age 13
I don’t know why, but I’m too attracted to drawing, so I tried drawing a difficult piece that literally took me 2 hours. I decided to show my parents. Daddy hugged me and told me how talented I was; he was so happy. And mommy? She teared up.
Scarlett – Age 18
I still haven’t decided on a college major. I love drawing. It’s where my body and soul reside. It’s where I seek refuge from the outside world and inevitably escape to my own. But I’m scared. I’m scared that art might not get me where I want to be in the future, I’m scared that I might not be able to support myself as an artist, so I talked it out with my mom, and she told me her story, the story of how a 52-year old woman had lived a long and happy life, yet to this very day, still regrets not doing what she loved back then.
Scarlett – Age 30
Being a painter is really hard. I did manage to open my own studio, and I do sell my own paintings to the art lovers who scavenge for every piece they can get their hands on. But sometimes, when the day is so slow that I don’t even get any visitors, when I feel like the paintings are starting to crowd upon the old shelf, without a buyer or a pair of appreciative eyes, I start to slowly lose hope in the future. Yet it all fades away with a call from my mommy, the one who never fails to leave a smile on my face.
Katherine – Age 80
I’m on my deathbed now. Even though I’ve lived a long, happy, healthy life, I still regret not doing what I loved the most. I don’t really blame my parents, but I’m glad I didn’t become like them. Scarlett is a famous painter now. She was stubborn about it at first, but her soul proved her that what she was designed to be an artist when she tried to do other stuff. I don’t regret my life. Because even though I couldn’t be what I wanted to be, I supported my child to be what she always wanted to be, and didn’t care what other people think. I took a final look around me. I’m proud of myself.
Scarlett – Age 45
It’s been two years since my mom passed away, and I can’t bear the sadness that washes over me whenever her memory resurfaces. I miss her so, so much, but I know that she’ll always be with me. I’m grateful for everything she’d done for me. I’m grateful for the support she provided me with, the support that made me who I am today and pushed me to pursue what I love and am passionate about. And I’m thankful for the fact that now, I see her in my every painting.
Scarlett – Age 80
I’m on my deathbed now, and I don’t think I could’ve been more content with the life I’d lived. I had a long, happy life; I got married to a loving husband, I had three beautiful kids that I raised to be who they wanted to be, and I spent my whole life doing what I love and what I’m passionate about. Had it not been for my mom, this wouldn’t have been the case, and that’s why I’m not afraid of death. I take a deep breath, and as I wait for my soul to drift away, only one thought permeates in my mind: I can’t wait to join you, mommy.
Katherine and Scarlett are two of many. Many people end up regretting their choices so much that they force their kids into the same life they lived; they end up raising their kids the same way they were raised. Katherine, however, wanted to see her children achieve the dream she herself failed to achieve. The one that seemed to cease before even getting the chance to come to life. But through her children, Katherine managed to create a chain of hope, passion, and ambition in her descendants: one warm hug opening the door for many others to come.