Michelle Qureshi, wife of the late Muslim-turned-Christian apologist Nabeel Qureshi, has revealed that their young daughter, Ayah, is "thriving" and doesn't have "traumatic memories" stemming from her father's illness and death.
Nearly two months after her 34-year-old husband died following a year-long battle with stomach cancer, Michelle took to his video blog to share an update regarding Ayah, who is named after a Christian martyr.
Michelle said strangers from all over the country have sent her daughter thoughtful, handmade gifts, including a quilt, a painting, a doll, and other crafts.
"I'm just blown away by this kind of generosity, thank you so, so much," she said. "Ayah is so loved you you and through that, I feel your love."
Others, Michelle said, have sent notes saying they are praying for both her and Ayah - and God continues to answer such prayers.
"I want to let you know that I see it," Michelle said. "She is thriving, her vocabulary is expanding, she's got a blossoming personality, and she really is a delight to all of the people who have been assisting to care for her. Really, I think that's the exact word that people use, that's she's a delight, whether they're picking her up for childcare, or taking care of her at childcare, or taking her to their home for the day so I can continue to do administrative work."
"Ayah is showing such life and bringing life wherever she goes, so thank you for your prayers for that," she said.
Meanwhile, Michelle, who has vowed to continue Nabeel's ministry, said she's in the stages of "starting to journal" and needs time to "cry" and "process" the death of her husband.
While Ayah is very young, she remembers her father as a "source of comfort," Michelle said.
"One reason why I know this is because if I, when I have to take her to time out, she starts crying out, 'Baba!' like she is looking for her 'good cop parent,' and through that, I know that she's thinking in her mind, she says, 'How can I get out of this uncomfortable situation? What if I run to Baba, because I know he'll pick me up and give me a kiss.' She definitely remembers him for his comfort," she said.
"One really sweet thing that happened recently was Ayah came across a poster print out that was similar to the poster print out of a picture of Nabeel that was on the stage during the memorial," Michelle continued. "And when she saw that poster of him, she wavd at it and said, 'Hi Baba!' and then she proceeded to reach out, and of course it's a poster, so she...picked it up and walked around with it. And then she set him down somewhere and said, 'Baba sit.' It was just a really sweet moment."
Thankfully, Aya isn't showing any signs of trauma or grief, and Michelle said that is one of the "beautiful things" about her age.
"She doesn't have these, like I said, traumatic memories and doesn't feel a deep loss," she said. "However, there still was this sweet relationship - she was aware enough of Baba for there to be this sweet relationship for her to even interact with a picture of him."
"I can't say thank you enough for loving on my daughter, especially during this time," she concluded.
A week before his death, Qureshi posted a final heartfelt Facebook message asking his followers to keep his wife and daughter in their prayers.
"I do hope that there will be people who will pray for them should the worst happen to me," he said. "Please do consider them going forward in your prayers on a daily basis."