Munira Premji

When we last came to Florida, 11 years ago, our suitcase was filled to the brim with sport gadgets and toys. Baseball gloves, frisbees, beach balls, water-related toys.  It was a magical, uncomplicated time, where we spent hours building sandcastles and playing on the beach.  Now our kids are adults and our suitcase on this trip looks quite different.

There are alcohol swabs, bandages, and syringes with saline and heparin.  My nurse came home to teach Nagib how to “flush” my PICC line every two days while we were in Florida so that the line would remain open for the requisite blood work and chemo upon my return.

In my suitcase, I have a wig so that all my Florida pictures don’t look like I am related to a member of the Buddha family!  For the first time, my suitcase has bottles of medication that my doctor has prescribed me to take daily, and other medication just in case…

I have also packed my blue, seal-tight cover for the PICC line so that I can shower safely without fear that the line will get wet.  This cool cover had an unexpected benefit.  I wore it to the swimming pool and cautiously dipped my arm into the water.  It kept the water out and I was able to swim!  Bonus!

I started to think about the suitcase as a metaphor for life.  What is it that we each carry in our personal suitcase?  What baggage?  What items that serve us well?  Is our suitcase overflowing with things that bring us joy?  Or does it take away from what makes us happy?

A couple of years ago, I read a book, “The Adversity Advantage” by Dr. Paul Stoltz and Erik Weihenmayer.  Erik is a remarkable man – a blind man who has climbed the summit of the tallest mountain on every continent, including Mount Everest.  One thing that struck me about the book is the concept of “Pack Right, Pack Light”‘ in which Erik explains the necessity of consciously selecting what to pack when you climb a mountain.  The idea is to pack right and to pack light so that you have what you need without being weighed down.

At different stages in life, we may need different things in our suitcase.  Ever so often, we may need to pack and unpack our personal suitcase and make choices about what is important to us.

So, what is in your suitcase?


  • nurjehan manji , August 25, 2012

    I love reading the comments from individual and the beautiful replies i have no words to tell you how I feel yes when I read them I cry but at the same time I am inspired by all those comments and beautiful words big thank you for that. Yes life has to go on and Almighty will always be with us. Amen


  • mylegacytoyou , August 17, 2012

    My dearest Munira,
    Seeing pictures of the new you, the beautiful you, minus the Lymphoma means so much to me… I cherish them with tears and much admiration. (You have no idea how this cry baby is on full swing each time I see a new picture of you!) You look gorgeous! Thanks for being so thoughtful but then you always knew the right thing to say and do every time…
    Love you loads,

  • mylegacytoyou , August 15, 2012

    Dearest Munira,
    Your beautiful thoughts and voice always move me to tears. I miss your wholesome presence. I am so glad to read your words and see new pictures of you…
    Love, Deva

    • Premji Family , August 16, 2012

      Deva. I thought about your comments and put even more pictures in the next blog. I think of you daily and would love to heat what you’re upto. I am currently in the hospital waiting for a chemo treatment . I am not very good at being patient as you know! Say hi to your family from me. Much love. Munira

  • Anonymous , August 3, 2012

    If you aren’t fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm. ~Vince Lombardi

    Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same. ~Francesca Reigler

    Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures. ~H. Jackson Brown, Jr., Life’s Little Instruction Book


    • Premji Family , August 13, 2012

      Beautiful quotes Salome! Munira

  • Jerome , August 3, 2012

    You write sooo beautifully, Munira. Inspiring. Take care. –J

    • Premji Family , August 13, 2012

      Hi Jerome. I’m always telling my daughter that she is the real writer, and I am a wannabe writer. So your comments meant a lot to me! Did you end up buying an iPad? Munira

  • Anonymous , August 2, 2012

    joy and tears after reading, Mukhiani Maa, atleast you can express, some people are in worst situation in the hospital
    we pray Almight Allah help us all and give us immense strenght in whatever endeavours and undertakings….look at it from a different angle , different point of view and you will feel fine

    • Premji Family , August 13, 2012

      Feeling strong and happy. I echo your prayers. Thanks for writing! Munira

  • Anonymous , August 2, 2012


    Saira says:

    This is so true, we always carry extra baggage! your article is an eye opener!! I am so glad to hear that you are enjoying your swims and showers! And dont worry you dont look like you belong to the buddha family! lol!! You are a whole, truesome and a beautiful human being! inside out! Sending out positive vibes your way!!

    • Premji Family , August 13, 2012

      I am totally feeling your positive vibes Saira. Florida was wonderful! Munira

  • Pascale , August 1, 2012

    Beautiful thoughts, magical words, a pleasure to read you every time. Inspiring!

    • Premji Family , August 13, 2012

      I so love hearing from you Pascale. I see in you a kindred spirit! Munira

      • Pascale , October 3, 2012

        I went in Google translate to see what “kindred spirit” means…wow…I am really touched. Big hug dear Munira.

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