My daughter is home now. She acts like nothing has happened. There is a scar down her chest. Not such a straight line from her collarbone to beneath her nipple line. Each time we changed the dressing in the hospital they told me it looked good. I didn’t believe them but then thought it could be worse. There could be puss or blood or who knows what. Azalea sits at the kitchen table eating black beans and gnaws at some broccoli. She pretends that she didn’t spend five days in the hospital, a couple of them drugged up on morphine.
It is surreal. I check her breathing constantly. I am waiting for something to happen. It won’t, inshaAllah.
I started writing stories about asking the world to pray for her. I never finished them. I didn’t have time before her surgery. I asked everyone who I knew; everyone I spoke to; I even asked the two Jehovah Witnesses that came to my door. You never know who’s prayers God will listen to. Even the people who don’t pray and just have positive thoughts, I asked them to share their positive thoughts with my daughter.
Azalea smiles a lot and even laughs at my baby jokes.
I slept most of the nights at the hospital. My son, Omar, had to adjust to not have me in my bed to cuddle up with when he woke up in the middle of the night. One morning I came home right around fajr; I prayed and crawled into his bed and held him in my arms. I still hadn’t been able to hold Azalea with all the tubes and wires coming from her body . He woke up and said, “Mami.” His smile and eyes showed his surprise. I missed him.
I am with my kids everyday. They are part of me now. I am unsure how to be without them. I lost a part of myself and then gained so much more. I wonder what kind of mother I will continue to be.