I received the text message Sunday afternoon just before Asr prayers. When I saw her name on my screen I didn't think the message would deliver bad news. I was expecting, "Hey, when are you going to pay me a visit??"
But as the message opened, the words on the screen screamed at me! It took some time for my brain to register, but the look of disbelief on my face said it all! I burst into tears. My mom looked at me, completely taken by surprise, "What's wrong?"
NH's five year old son had passed on to Raghmatullah. Z had been diagnosed at the age of 2 with a rare form of cancer. Shocked by the news, NH and hubby took everything in their stride. Z attended regular visits for the next 2 years at the Red Cross Children's Hospital. Z's ill health prompted NH to give up her job to look after him full time.
He recovered fully until late last year when the tumors returned. Sadly, this time, the tumors were spread throughout his body. NH kept this news to herself until about a week ago. Perhaps it was her way of making peace with the fact that her son was dying, I don't know. What I do know, is that as a mother myself, I would not have the strength to bury a child. The loss would send me over the edge into an abyss of sadness.
I am in awe of her strength, her acceptance and her patience. What was even more amazing for me was that her patience had spilled over to Z. He accepted his condition with such maturity. Mother and son would never complain and it was as if they were in-sync with one another. She never left him alone and would see to his every need.
One thing NH remembers very fondly was that Z loved the way his mom smelled. He would often tease her by saying, "I love the way you smell mommy, I'm going to eat you up." And NH would offer in return, "But then you won't have a mommy any longer." Z would then say, "Then I'll just have to have one bite!"
Z died in his mother's arms just after Thuhr prayers on 7 March 2010. May Allah have mercy on his soul Ameen!