“How can you possibly understand how I feel?”, she retorted, “You don’t have a child of your own!”
I flipped my notebook closed. There is no need for a note if a patient bursts out under overwhelming adversity.
I lay my hand across on the table, as her husband tried to calm her down. When he looked at me apologetically I will just nod and smile.
“I gave birth to her in pain!” she screamed again. “I fed her and I love her and I care for her. And she grows and grows with me”
“I gave her a name, I lend her my breath, I will give her my life”, she said again. Tears have stopped flowing down her cheek.
“She was with me when I am awake, she was with me when I was asleep, she is everything to me as I am everything to her”
“And then some kid who never touched any life like you have to tell me to let her go. Don’t you ever look yourself in the mirror?”
“But it’s been four years”, her husband said, so gently, so carefully, “I had hoped that we can build a family and start over. Maybe Allah is waiting for us to give us another joy in our lives”
Then the grieving husband looked at me, and I smile. If only she knew that in torturing herself over the loss of her daughter she also torment her husband and the other family members.
But love had to be blind, right?
Two hours later I closed the front door behind my back. In greeting all others, I moved on autopilot to the very spot in the house that I stand on so often these past few months.
It looks like she is sleeping; just like the first day when I found her, nearly a year and a half on a cloudy day. She was weak and she was dying. She laid lifeless by the road side near the gutter. She can’t even lift her head.
But still I took her.
I gave her a name, I lend her my breath, I will give her my life.
She was with me when I am awake, she was with me when I was asleep, she is everything to me as I am everything to her
I did not give birth to her in pain; but I live her every single day, with all my prayers and all my effort, that she would be delivered from such pain and come back to life.
I fed her and I love her and I care for her. And she grows and grows with me. She is jealous of all other cats, and especially kittens because they had all the attention; but she is endearing in so many ways, more than the whole world may conceive.
On her second birthday, I will send her for spay. The life changing surgery that will free her from the burden of heating and producing children she does not need.
She will be able to run and play, pick food from my bowl, and choose her share by herself.
When she is sick, I sat there sleepless with her; when she is healthy, I celebrate life alongside her.
When she first start slipping her hind legs, I was the first, and the only, to freak out and carry her to the vet.
When she first had her seizures, I was the first, and the only, who would push all the boundaries to find out what ails her.
When her seizures intensifies, and her hind legs start to weaken, I was the first, and the only to ever stay ready to pick her up, to give her medicine.
I am the first and the only to care enough, looking for supportive therapy.
I am the first and the only to care enough making special food, when she continues to weaken.
As I promised, I’d give her my life.
So, it seems like she is asleep, but her eyes are open. Just a few days ago she still moved her eyes and looked at me when I came to offer her drink, and food, and warm blanket, or heating pad. Even, just to change her diapers.
She has been paralyzed for weeks now, and I am, willingly, the first and the only to care to clean after her.
Soon, however, those eyes will not blink anymore. It will stay there, dried, spirited away.
Then I would know I have to make the call.
The call to free her from all the binding of her disease. The call to remove her from all the pain she has to endure, the call to liberate her soul from the trap of her failing organs.
How can I possibly understand how the woman feel?, I don’t have a child of my own.
I am just some kid who never touched any life. How can I dare to tell her to be gone?
I look myself in the mirror.
That dark shadows around my eyes, the long streak of sleeplessness that draws ten years more into my face, that wrinkled smile line.
I took a deep breath. How can a grieving mother understand? How can one compare the holy human to a mere animal?
But I love her just as much, even if she is not my own child.
Although her life would be nearing her end, Big Sister still has the right for the best life support and I intended to give her only the best until her very end.
I would like to invite you to spare a little you have to help me fulfill that promise to her.