As a practicing muslim woman most of her life, prayer and reading Quran was central to mom’s life. She would almost never not have a religious text in her hand that she was reading. About twenty years ago when nani-ammi (mom’s mother) had a stroke, was paralyzed and slipped into coma, her right hand fingers would still move as making dhikr, that is remembrance of Allah. Her making dhikr was so ingrained in her that it was stored in the muscle memory to do so. When my mother is not babbling to any of us, she is still babbling. She would constantly say “Allah Raham”, O Allah have mercy. She does not remember who to pray anymore. But if someone is praying she would pray with them every time, some times few times with different people. She has also forgotten most of the Quran except some small chapters and verses.
I came home from work today to find her mad at dad and Mariam. They were both doing some clean up sitting in the living room while mom was standing next to them angry. I walked in, asked her why is she mad. Her reply was because I have to do something, that needs be done. I ask what do you need to do? She says, that work that I do over there, I do a lot of work vaguely pointing in some random direction. OK, so why are you yelling? I ask. I am yelling, why is he doing that, he should finish that, that’s it, I am in so much pain, do you know that!? She said pointing to her pajama strings again. She holds the strings all the time. It is one of the two major fixations she has. The other is going to the bathroom. She went there 3 times with in forty-five minutes.
She ate with me and took her medicine. ” It’s funny how easy it is to give her food and medicine when you are here” Mariam commented, obviously referring to the day of mom being angry all day and refusing to eat or take medicine. She fell asleep soon after. Mariam and Dad went out to do some grocery and for a break to the normalcy of local Winco.
They just came back and as usual, he is reminiscing about the past and trying to solve the mystery of why is she sick…