Her first smile that I recall takes me back to when I was about 4 or 5. She was the youngest version of herself that I remember. She taught me how to tie my shoes, read and write, how to respect my fellow man and how to appreciate what I have. She kept a clean, cozy home and made sure I had enough to be as happy as the life we had would allow. It’s strange when I recall how well she could hide her sickness from me back then. Naive youthfulness is bliss. I knew she was in pain at times, but she mostly masked it gracefully. When, from time to time, she would suffer from one of her seizures, I would place tea and cookies next to her bed and until she could move and speak again I would wait. Funny how I managed to partially block that all out, because I can barely remember it straight. She is a darling being, most compassionate and giving. I am truly lucky to have her.
Nearly two decades have passed and cures have yet to be found for her constant agonizing pain. I am not sure why nobody managed to find out what is wrong with her. As a med student I find myself even more helpless. I cannot give my mother the cure she needs, neither can my father that loves her more than himself. I have watched her suffering for too long and I am exhausted. I feel extremely selfish some days for being fed up with the constant idea of her continuous struggle. I only wish her to be joyful and young as she once was and most of all – healthy. I feel like she missed out on this life she was given and to see her fading away slowly is an ever growing burden that weighs heavily on my forehead making me feel like an eternal slumber awaits my future days. Sometimes I lock myself away in my own world. Other times I just accept life as it is.
Heavy is the burden of loving something that death can touch. Heavier is the burden of loving someone touched by merciless sickness. Much too heavy.
Yesterday my beloved tried to get in touch with her father for the first time ever in 20 years since he left home. When she was just 2 years old he went to Israel to work and earn money in order to come back and build a better life for himself, his wife and his baby girl. At least that was what he said when he left and what he promised in the few letters he wrote back shortly after his departure. Even though things sound promising so far, he never came back or even wrote eventually. He just disappeared in another land leaving a sweet child with only her mother to care for her.
The years were full of hardship and her mom could not manage to afford a house so they lived where they could. I cannot imagine the struggle of a single parent raising a child and holding a steady job that pays poorly and gives almost no professional satisfaction. Time went by and the little girl grew into a gorgeous young woman, honest, witty, fun and a joy to be around. A young woman that desires to find out how much she and her father are alike. From the pictures she could tell that she resembled her father a lot. His eyes, his lips, even his nose; you could tell they were related from a mile away.
Almost 22 and the time was long overdue to find out what really happened that made her dad never come back home as he promised. All the people from her dad’s side of the family grew cold and acted like they never spoke to her father ever again since he left, but they lied. They lied for 2 decades. Last year though one of her aunts tried to help and gave her a phone number that held much promise.
Yesterday she mustered up the courage and gathered 3 crazy kids to help her face her fear and call the number in hope that on the other line there would be someone to call her “daughter”. I’ve never seen her so anxious before. She picked up the phone and called. I could see how tense she was and how much she wanted things to be ok. Someone picked up, but it wasn’t her dad. It was just someone from Israel who couldn’t understand English and so he hung up. She tried again and he hung up again. It was an old person with no clue about the man she was asking for. Sadly we could not find out if her father lived there or not but we’ll try again. Without a doubt we’ll try again. Maybe some day she’ll look upon the face of the man she calls “father”.
No worries, not a care in the world.
No empty stomach before bed time, no rags for clothes,
Not even a tear shed for self-pity or pain, but who knows?
My spirit is strong, my heart is gold.
No sick loved ones, not a night’s sleep wasted,
No want, no debt, no banks and green bills,
Not even the crack in the smile that kills,
My mind is clear, my body is rested.
No staying at home during holidays,
No lack, no lust, no neediness, no faults anywhere,
Not even the slightest inconvenience to bear,
My restlessness speaks and “rest not” it says.
Dream of days clean,