Malik’s mother died in 2005 when he was 7 years old. When Family Lives On volunteers came to talk Malik and his father about his favorite memories with his mother, he excitedly began to talk about the family portraits they would take at Sears every year. Malik showed the volunteers many pictures that hung around the house as proof of this tradition. As he talked about the pictures, he laughed at his father’s serious expression throughout the series, poking fun at how he would never smile. He continued by telling the volunteers how the family would enjoy pizza at Old Country Buffett afterwards.
Malik and the volunteers quickly decided that arranging to have him and his father’s picture taken every September for Malik’s birthday was the perfect way to remember his mother. He has continued the tradition every year and loves seeing the volunteers when they come to deliver his request. One of the volunteers recalls how he eagerly asked if they were going to come every year. She assured him that they would be there every year until he turned 18., giving him the chance to continue this special tradition that his mother used to arrange.