anishoda

Life happened when I was making other plans.

Homepage: http://mymindispeak.wordpress.com

Wassalam

I have decided that I will not post anymore after this last post. I have kept myself busy this week after returning to work on Monday to an extremely supportive co-workers, with the hope that slowly life will be back to a normal. A new normal that is, a normal without mom. It can’t ever be the same normal, where I could smell her, poke my nose play fully in her face and watch her laugh. I can’t ever touch her again or hear her call me to come sit with her.  I was craving something sweet and went to raid the fridge.  I saw apple sauce and without thinking took a cup out. Just when I got the spoon, it hit me that during the last stages, we used to crush pills and give it to mom with apple sauce, a trick hospital nurse showed us.  Couple of cups had remained. I miss her.  Small things make us miss her more, whether its visiting the Chinese resturant and eating walnut shrimp or making carne asada tacos.

Mom passed away early morning on Monday, November 28th, 2011. We were all with her, when she gasped for last breath and her soul left. The breathing rate had been slowing down a lot and there was no pulse for about an hour before that. She started to have gaps in her breathing which kept on getting bigger and finally, it stopped.  Papa checked her heart with his stethoscope which she was still breathing with gaps but there was no beat. After, her last breath, I checked it. There was silence, a loud silence. Islamically,  the body is to be buried as soon as possible. Since, we had already planned things, we were able to do the burial same day, later in the afternoon. Mariam, my sister and few other relatives  gave mom her final bath. We prayed over her body, the final prayer of burial at the local mosque before proceeding to the cemetery. I got down in the grave along with my brother and two other close relatives to lay the body down. I was the last one out.  I made her slant a bit to her right, so that she would face Kaaba in Mecca. She was buried without a coffin, wrapped in white sheets. When I was moving mud around her body, my hand touched her face and could feel her nose. That was the last time I touched my mother. Soon afterwards, she was under piles of mud, on her way to eternity. After, her washing, I saw her at the mortuary and she looked as if she was smiling , a slight smile, peaceful face and at ease. Its been a while since, we saw her without pain.

The support from our friends and family was over whelming. I can’t imagine anything better. Many of mine and Mariam’s friends dropped everything, took the day off work and came over to be  by our side. They took care of kids, made arrangements for “A’zza” or the reception for people to meet family and give condolence. The numerous hugs and words of encouragement, teary eyes of these macho friends of mine, it all just over took us. One of my best friends dad saw me at the Masjid, gave me a hug and started crying. I had to console him! I met mothers of four of my closest friends, all of them crying. These people whom I am not related to by blood were crying for my pain. They were crying because they are related to me by faith and by humanity.  We do not know how to repay them.

And Thank you all for your support and for sharing our journey.

Many of those who called from all over the world could not believe that mom was no more. They broke into tears and some just cried and hung up. The couldn’t talk. Baji was gone. Who would go around in the middle cold nights with blankets and give out to the people sleeping in the cold on the streets of our home town in India,, who would stop us from killing even a bee, Who is going to make sure, the baby of the girl who lives near our house gets milk, who is going to teach the neighborhood girls. The list goes on and the void gets bigger.

If I was asked to summarize mom’s legacy, it would most certainly be of charity and simplicity. She lived a simple life with minimal needs and wishes. What she had, was for others, she would always be giving. To help was her nature, it would melt her heart to see someone suffer. We have gotten quite a few emails from people who have benefited from this blog. Her disease, her pain became a tool for her to help others. She lives on in our hearts and hearts of many for reasons we would never know. She is her legacy, even in death.

So long  Amma… Inshallah will see you in Jannah.

Wassalam Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatu
(May Peace, Mercy and Blessings of Allah be on you)

 

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The End

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un (Chapter 2, Verse 156: The Quran)

“Surely we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return.”

Mom passed away. “The eyes send their tears and the heart is saddened, but we do not say anything except that which pleases our Lord.”

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Waiting Game

Its been more than a week since mom had a sip of water. Her heart rate is as if she is sprinting and breathing has gotten shallower. She sleeps most of the time and morphine is her only respite. It’s impossible to give her anything, since she can’t swallow anymore.

In between her 23+ hours a day sleep, she wakes up and looks. Her eyes tell it all. She is aware and knows whats going on around her. She can’t move or communicate much, she is too weak for that but a tear would roll down her dark sunken eyes..

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Respiratory Rate

My sister flew in this morning and my brother is coming in later tonight, Inshallah. For last couple of days moms respiratory rate (the number of breaths a person takes during one minute) has been quite high. In a normal adult, its supposed to be between 12 and 20, while mom’s has gone up to 36. Her breathing has become much shallower. She was diagnosed with pneumonia and now is unable to swallow much which puts us in a rather bad situation. Since, she isn’t able to swallow, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to give her any medicine. She seems tired and sleeps almost all the time (over 20 hours a day). The food and water intake is almost non-existent.

There is not much time left. Last night with eyes closed, she was saying something. I went near her to listen. In semi-comatose stage, she was saying ” La Ilaha Il Allah, Mohammad rasool Allah” : There is no deity except Allah and Mohammad is his Messenger.

There is not much time left.

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Eid

It was Eid Al Adha few weeks ago. Eid is one of the two major Islamic holidays. On the last Eid, though mom was sick, she was still able to come to the prayers and actually had a great time. We dressed her up and she loved the visitors. This time, she was on her bed, as usual. I told her its Eid and she smiled, which is rare. I was sitting in her room, just staring at her. She looked at me and said, “whats wrong? you  look little down”. I was down, it was Eid and mom has always been the host. She would make her special sweets and breakfast. Our neighbors and family would come over for breakfast. It would just be awesome. Not this time. Tears rolled down my cheek and I looked away from her, so she can’t see me cry, and I said “nothing, I am good”. She said ” I know everything”, tearing up.

I have never written this and I don’t really know why.But every time I pass by mom’s room, I look at her and check if her diaphragm is moving to make sure she is still breathing. We all do it..

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New Posts

We haven’t really been updating the blog lately and have been asked by many of you why? I have been thinking about the question and couldn’t really  pinpoint to the reason. We woke up early today, well really early as my sister-in-law and her kids were going back to Canada on an early flight. When she was getting in the car, she would come back soon to see mom, without Inshallah. She then commented, I don’t even want to say Inshallah, because she is in so much pain.

That’s when it hit me. We have come to a point in our and mom’s life that it has turned to nothing but a waiting game. Mom has stopped eating properly,maybe  couple of morsels here and there,  drinking few tea spoons of water, wants people around her all the time, is seeing relatives who have passed away, and we were recently told by the nurse that her right side has gotten weaker, she can barely lift her right arm, and her face is a bit more lopsided. It seems she had another stroke.

We don’t expect her to last much longer. Let me rephrase and this might seem very insensitive, I don’t think we want her to last much longer.

To clarify, it is not because we are tired of taking care of her. As on of the comments posted said, this might be the blessing in disguise because of the reward and the chance to serve her. Its sure is hard and tough on mom but make no mistake, we would give everything to have her with us. But we would not be selfish and wish for her prolonged life, if she is to be the way she is.  As Muslims, it is not for us to ever wish death, because of a core belief, that Allah never burdens a soul more than it can bear. To wish death would be losing this core concept. And that is out of question.  We only pray that what is best for mom should happen and may her life and afterlife be easy.

Islamic belief of Almighty God (Allah in arabic) is that , Allah is All Knowing, All Wise and perfectly Just. Thus, we leave it to Allah as Allah is the Owner of All that exists and all that doesn’t exist; and just carry on with our duties with the belief that Allah knows and does what’s best.

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3rd Day

Mom has been in the hospital since Monday noon almost, its her third day today. She is a bit stable now and the blood pressure is slowly creeping towards normalcy. This morning it was up to 110/56 which is much better than 70/40 when she was rushed to the emergency room. Numerous tests have been done during these three days and she is constantly on IV fluids to replenish her body. The IV also has something called “dopamine”, which helps in increasing her blood pressure. Since, yesterday they have allowed her to start eating from her mouth, though she is not fond of hospital food.  The ICU doctors have asked us to brig some food from home because she needs protein and other nutrients, which will start today at lunch.

She has to be fed every two hours. It’s an awkward ( to say the least) feeling to see mom in this state with tubes sticking out of her hands, oxygen in her nose, catheter for urination in place, and machines displaying variety of numbers monitoring her. All she has become is a number. Her situation is based on those numbers on the screens, the numbers dictate when she goes home, they dictate how long she stays in ICU or what medicine to take.

Her neurologist visited yesterday to check on her and realized that her left side is weaker than the right side and her speech is little impaired.. We already know from the MRI done last week that there was a stroke sometime in the past but he wanted to make sure there is no new stroke. He ordered CAT scan which was done yesterday and we are awaiting the results. Today, we got the news that there are traces of blood in her stool. I am not sure how they are going to tackle that at this point but yesterday the doctor wanted our consent for colonoscopy and endoscopy.

These tests are not pleasant but mummy seems to be in good spirits and seems to be quite fond of the nurses helping her. The community support we have from mine and Mariam’s friends is huge and extremely helpful. At home, its weird for us without mom, especially for Papa whose life for last few years have revolved around taking care of mom. I can see him being down but at the same time as bad as it maybe , this is a small break for him. It’s a break he doesn’t want..

Thank you all for your kind words, help, support and prayers… may you never have to deal wit this disease ever, not even remotely.

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