The Brightside


In the midst of all the sadness over Melanie’s death, we had her daughter Aalia Sabine to raise our spirits. Melanie and Khurram had given a lot of thought to their daughter’s name. Aalia is a derivation of the name Alia. It means “To ascend; to go up” in Hebrew and “Noble; Sublime” in Arabic.
Sabine is from the trilogy of novels by Nick Bantock. They are both bibliophiles. So, it was no surprise that they chose a middle name from a book character. In honor of his wife, Khurram decided to add Melanie to their daughter’s name. For a child so small, she’s got a quite a few names. According to Khurram, he’ll let her choose which names she prefers when she gets older. With all those beautiful names choose from, she’s likely to want to be called “cutie” or “shorty”.


Aalia Sabine was born 4 weeks early, but is doing remarkably well. Thankfully, she did not have to spend any time in the neonatal intensive care unit and was discharged after only spending 2 days in the hospital. She is only a whooping 6 lbs. 8 oz., but has plenty of personality to make up for it. At only 1 week, she already knows that when she’s hungry she wants her milk IMMEDIATELY and that she’s happiest when her arms aren’t bundled.


She has also met a multitude of people. From her dad’s immediate family, her Auntie Seema (Dad’s sister), Uncle Faisel (Dad’s brother), and Cousin Serena came all the way from Canada. From her mom’s immediate family, her Lola Lilly (her grandma), her Uncle Geevee (Mom’s brother), her Auntie Rachel, Cousin Kammi, and her Auntie Marnie (Mom’s sister) came from the Philippines, Singapore, and Canada. Of course, she also met her Uncle Nate (my brother) and many, many of her parents’ friends. Some of these friends have known her dad since they were children. Others knew her parents from medical school. Still others knew her parents from their residency program. Some were people that lived in her home of Florence. No matter how they knew Aalia’s parents, they were there to meet her and offer their support.

edited 05.02.09: Tita Mackie, Lolo Bert’s (Aalia’s late grandfather) cousin from LA, who also stayed a few days with us

Aalia with Lola Lilly


Aalia is not happy about Dad’s Blackberry usage

Aalia with Uncle Nate
Aalia with her cousins Serena & Kammi

While we were all together, Aalia had her Christening. There was a short ceremony after Sunday’s mass.

Aalia with her dad


All of the guests who attended Aalia’s Christening

Auntie Rachel, Uncle Geevee, Kammi, Aalia, Dad, Lola Lilly, and Auntie Marnie

Aalia, Dad, Cousin Serena, and Auntie Seema

Auntie Marnie with Aalia

Aalia meets her new friend Dashell.

If the photo onslaught isn’t enough, here are some short video clips.

Aalia & Daddy from Anne K. on Vimeo.

Aalia & Daddy 2 from Anne K. on Vimeo.

Aaalia & Lola Lilly 2 from Anne K. on Vimeo.


5 thoughts on “The Brightside

  1. What a beautiful little baby girl!!! I love her thick dark hair – she’s going to be a stunner!LOL!! But you’re right, she’s giving the evil eye to that Blackberry! I’m so saddened to hear about what happened. It really reminds you of just how precious life is.

  2. She’s beautiful! I’m jealous, I wish I could have picked from a selection of great names when I grew up!The world is able to hold on to a piece of Melanie because of Aalia and that is such a beautiful thing.

  3. I love this post, Anne. We should add Tita Mackie, Lolo Bert’s cousin from LA, who also stayed a few days with us. Yes, Aalia seems to be ina hurry to grow up. Today we saw her shed a few tears during her crying fit before feeding, and her dad said it’s a bit early for her to develop her tearducts!

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