One, three, five, six. I count my steps slowly and press my toes into the carpet, avoiding making noise. My mother’s room is dimly lit with the door slightly cracked. Sharp rays of burgundy sunlight peep through the curtains. She takes place on the left side of the bed with her elbows on top of her crisis-crossed thighs. The palms of her hands are pressed together and gently covering her face. Murmured speech is what causes my feet to stop, wait, and listen. “I come to you today Lord to thank you. Thank you for my children and to ask you to strengthen my health. I try to..to trust that everything will work out but it’s hard. I ask that you teach me the meaning of life and my purpose in it. God I ask that you be with me every moment and strengthen my health. I need to be here for my children and family. Please God.”
I sit on the steps, listening to my heart break. She’s praying for her health as if she isn’t going to make it. I contemplate any signs of sickness that I have seen her show but, I don’t really know exactly what is going on with her. In the blink of an eye I questioned my priorities. It is so easy to forget what matters and get trapped in the valleys and peaks of life. Slowly, I sit down on the step, careful not to let her know that I am listening. As I sit down I can see more of her burgundy and white mixed covers. It is now visible that her hand is pressed against her Bible. Her silky nightgown falls over her body and puffs up at the shoulders. Her hair tightly wrapped, tied, and covered for bed. I began to deeply worry for my mother.
This is the moment I realize that I am truly getting older and so is she. Thoughts of my future, life without my mother, and death run marathons through my head.
The weeks following flew by and somehow we ended up meeting a doctor. Even as I walk off the doctor’s elevator those same thoughts run marathons through my head. The hairs on my arms spike up with each step I take. One, two, three, four. Trying to suppress the loud beats of my nervous heart, I open the doctor’s doors. Light wisps of cool air push me to the front counter. “Hi, I’m here to see Dr. Bashira” my mother says, so calm it scares me. She rummages through the paperwork signing her name away. I drag my feet to the seating area, sit down, and wait. Soon, she sits next to me and sighs. "We're gonna be okay...you hear me?" she suggests. I couldn't hear her. The comfort I always feel when around my mother was so far away. She was just as nervous as me if not more and trying to reassure me didn't work. For a couple of minutes, all that speaks is the guest tv. “Ameena for Dr. Bashira" an assistant says cheerfully. God be with me. God be with me, is all I can say.
Forty minutes seemed like eternity. She appears in front of me smiling as if life was perfect. As if the same thoughts running through my head simply skipped over her’s. Strength is plastered all over her face. We return to the front counter then float out of the office. Blessed we are.
My mother’s health has led me to question life a lot more. I think about what I should be doing, what I’m going to do in the future, and how easy it is to stay tucked in the wrapping paper called life. I do not think that all of us purposely get comfortable, but we do. Some of us want to avoid troubles like this, so we let ourselves drown in life’s harsh and rough sea. It is sad that such alarming and heartbreaking wake up calls, such as my mother’s health, are what wake us up from our self induced coma. A self induced coma let’s your life live on without you. It distracts you from the people that mean the most to you. It distracts you from fulfilling what you want to do with your life, whatever that may be. It distracts you from truly enjoying life. Don’t wait for a wake up call to realize what’s important in life.