I moved out when I was 18 to pursue a higher degree in another city… and honestly, it was the age when I thought I was big enough to figured things out my own.
My parents, and my sis had to move to another state so Dad could earned significantly more to afford my school. By the way, when they said international school costs arms and legs, it is nothing but a true haunting experience, I swear. Student loan was never a thing back home.
My mom admitted to the hospital early February 2012 with what was supposed to be a short breathing problem check up. She was then forced to stay in the hospital for a week, for a total bed rest. Knowing my mom, it was all that she needed. Oh God she loved to walk sooo much and explore.
I was actually living my ‘best’ life because that week I won a competition and had a prize of paid holiday and shopping, and just doing a lot of media visit. I was on cloud nine. Until she called me that she was sick and in the hospital, which was very strange because all my life as far as I remember she was never been hospitalized so I knew something was off right on.
I came back to school after a week escape from reality into a mid exam. I nearly forgot about that.
It was first day of exam, which was also my Dad’s birthday so I decided to give him a call on my lunch break, only to be told “I know it’s my birthday but I want nothing but a prayer for your mom. She is.. extremely sick. Can you, and your friends please make some prayer for her recovery?”
My heart break into pieces as I heard that, because his voice was rough, so rough that I barely recognized it. To make things worse I have never heard him sounded like that my whole life. And I know things were serious at that point.
I bursted into tears, and I couldn’t think of anything straight. I lived 900kms away from them, and I was in the middle of exam. I could just go to see them but then I will fail the semester. It was tough.
I told couple of my classmates what happened and then they agreed to come with me to the small mosque downstairs and pray for my mom, we made a Quran recitation after Ashr. And as we were doing that, God, my tears were falling like crazy.
So I tried to come back to the class the next day to do my exam, as if things been taken care of on my moms case, but my head was so light. Pretty sure I already failed the semester on that second day of exam.
I came out of the class with 2 missed call from my Dad, so I called him back. His voice was trembling and surely he had been shaken up, bad. Like really bad. “What happened?” I asked.
“Your mom, admitted to the ICU last night, she was unconscious and she hasn’t been awake since.” my Dad replied.
I bursted into tears and at that point I know I can’t just be there pretend things were okay. So I head off to the head of the program office and told him specifically “I would like to ask your permission not to do the exam this week because I need to go to see my mom, she’s unconscious in the ICU. I need to be there with her.”
The head of program was so understanding, he even offered me a lift to my place and he told me he would talk to my lecturers and he let me go. So I booked my train ticket on that same day to go to my parents place. And honestly, grade and failing would be the least thing I cared about.
The next day I arrived, my Dad picked me up and we went straight to the hospital, Dad looked messy and I couldn’t blame him.
As soon as we got to the hospital, I found my mom side of the family had been there for days, caring for her. My head was so light I almost fainted with the thought of “How long they have been here? Were things this serious since she was admitted to the hospital and no one told me? and how could you explain this situation?”
My family is of muslim background and the hospital was a brand new with the best equipments in town and was catholic owned. They believed she needs to be put in a private ICU room so that one of the family could always be there next to her reciting the Quran for her recovery.
I saw my mom for the first time in the ICU and my heart and body ached so bad seeing her in those life support equipment. I touched her hand and hers was so swollen from the meds injection, and it hurts me to my core seeing her like that.
So the doctor told me not to cry around her because eventough she was unconscious but she could hear things around her. Then we all have to act like we were strong enough around her so that she could feel the positivity too.
February 25th was my birthday, and we were still in the hospital. I came into her room, just the two of us hearing her life support equipment noises. I hold her left hand saying “Ma it’s my birthday today. I turned 19. Can you please wake up and recover so we could eat my favorite cheesecake again like we always do every year?” I sobbed so bad.
At that point my mom was half paralyzed on her right side. But oh my God, she opened her eyes, she looked at me in a blank stare but then she started to cry, she grabbed my hand and put it in her mouth like she was kissing it and some short of telling me that the feeling was mutual. I lose my shit, I cried.
Then my sister came to the room straight in her school uniform, holding my mom’s hand on the other side and said “Ma how are you today? Big sis is here, you noticed that? She is coming here.” And that point I couldn’t be around them anymore cause my heart couldn’t handle it no more and I was too sad, so I ran off.
Only to find that my family outside was ready with a small cheese cake with a candle singing happy birthday to me. I was not expecting them to remember, and it truly been the saddest birthday of my life ever.
I remember blowing the candle while still crying, mixed feelings but more to sad and I closed my eyes wishing god to heal my mom, and how i wished it wasn’t her in there, let it be me.
Later that night, Dad came talked to me and said “You heard what the doctor said, we did pray for the best, and it’s time to be ready for the worst.”