The Month of July

Mahbubur Rahman, Time Warp

The Month of July

Written by Basel Al-Aswad, the father of Escape into Life founder, Chris Al-Aswad

Thirty-two years ago on July 16th, 1979, I received a most special gift, a son. Little did I know this gift would not last the rest of my lifetime. On July 27th, 2010, mother earth took back her precious gift leaving me stunned and devastated. Both occasions, his arrival and departure were profound and life changing events, seared indelibly in my memory.The years in between were filled with all aspects of a full life. There were joys and sorrows, successes and failures, accomplishments and disappointments, but most of all, there was that everlasting deep bond of infinite love and maturing friendship that exists between a father and son.

In spite of the immense loss and sadness that permeates me today on July 16th, 2011, I am most grateful to have had the privilege of caring and nurturing this extraordinary gift along with his deceased mother, Roz.

As I acknowledge the anniversary of his birth and his “escape” in this most solemn month, his spirit continues to occupy a central part of my life.

His sister Mandy and I are dedicated to continuing his legacy in Escape into Life. His light shines brightly guiding us to a most sacred task, that of bringing beauty and radiance through art and literature to a world desperately in need of it. By building on the foundation he laid down for us, we hope to be worthy of this endeavor.

Finally, we’d like to acknowledge the Escape into Life writers and contributors who have volunteered their time, effort, and support this past year. It has been truly inspiring to witness individuals from across the world, coming together to carry on something they believe in. Thank you all.

11 responses to “The Month of July”

  1. The words in this meaningful piece are expressed very beautifully.

  2. Ramzinemo says:

    We also share your sorrow . We pray to God to give you patients ..      Ramzi and Olga

  3. Tiana Kieso says:

    Excellent expression of the sorrow that we feel with you. Chris is living through this site and will be remebered for ever, he left a wonderful legacy for this world. This is a great website. 

    Mandy, you did an outstanding job to keep this site. 

    Basel, no words can express our feelings, we feel for you. The only thing I can say, God gave me the best brother in the world who doesn’t stop helping me and everybodyelse. It makes me very sad that you are going through all of this.

    We love you all, may God give you and us patience and substitue your sorrow with evolved happiness to keep you going.

    Tiana, Hassan, Saad, Reem, Yasmine & John

  4. Tiana Kieso says:

    Chris left a legacy and is living through this site, what a a way to be remembered globaly all the time! This is a way to celebrate his life.
    There are no words to describe our feelings, may God give you patience and replace your sadness with evolving hapiness.
    Mandy: you did an outstanding job in maintaining this website, this is a reflection of your love to your dad and Chris.
    Basel: With all your extra ordinary help to us and and to everybody else, I feel very sad thta you are going through all this.

    Love you 

    Tiana, Hassan, saad, Reem, yasmine & John

  5. Shemcenter says:

    Thank you Basel, for sharing your thoughts and feelings on a day remembering the birth of your son Christopher. The father/son bond is yours forever. In the midst of the loss that you feel, may this bond continue to grow. He remains in the memories and hearts of so many who loved this unforgettable young man. Let us all remember that today is all anyone really has to embrace life, escape into it, and love as best we can those companions we have been given for the journey. 
    – Joe Kilikevice

  6. Kavita Sagrani says:

    A beautiful expression of your thoughts Basel , the bond between Parent and Child so special and everlasting.  The Website maintained by You and Mandy is a beautiful reminder of his thoughts and writings. Along with the sadness comes delight in reading his works , thank you for sharing. may cherished memories bring comfort……….Kavita

  7. Eleneetsa says:

    Straight from your heart Basel, and beautiful…Chris is with you, in you, and part of who you are…every minute of every single day…but you already know that.

    Love and Peace to you and Mandy….

    Your friend always,  holly

  8. Ellie says:

    Al and I share the loss and empty space in our hearts the death of a beloved child leaves.  “Escape into Life” is a beautiful tribute to Chris, his talent and memories and to his family.  Love, Ellie

  9. Menka says:

    So sorry for your loss, Basel. How beautifully written your thoughts and sentiments, Chris would be /  must be so proud.  May God give you strength.
    Menka (Kavi’s cousin)

  10. Mgbarc says:

    One of the quotes I often read when there is unbearable loss is Flaubert who said, “As if the soul’s fullness didn’t sometimes overflow into the emptiest of metaphors, for no one, ever, can give the exact measure of his needs, his apprehensions, or his sorrows; and human speech is like a cracked cauldron on which we bang out tunes that make bears dance, when we want to move the stars to pity.” And, even though there will never be adequate words to express the sorrow you (and I) feel about the loss of Chris, you have put into words the love you had for Chris, and what he will always mean to you. And, along with the quote above, there is another one I often read, a Chinese proverb, which says, “We cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over our heads, but we can refuse to let them build their nests in our hair.”

  11. Mimi says:


    We have never met, but I have heard a lot about you.
    I am sorry for your loss. Your sentiments brought tears to my eyes.

    Thought you might like this verse.

    Those we love, remain with us
    For love itself lives on
    And cherished memories never fade
    Because a loved one is gone.

    May God bless you 

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