Responding to mother’s voice

Today doctors stopped Mustafa’s sedation to see if he responsive. His mum was at his bed saying, “Mustafa, it’s Mum.” She said this through tears. This is the first time I’ve seen her cry, or have heard the  longing in her voice to have Mustafa conscious again.

I’ve heard these words before, with other parents telling children that they are there, and asking them to wake up. But it’s not a plea you get used to hearing. A few hours after coming off the sedation, Mustafa would open his eyes when he heard his name and could move his hands and legs and head. The nurse said this is a very good sign.

Our Israeli paramedic volunteer Moshe went in with Mustafa’s mother to talk with the doctor in the ICU,  who said that there is a small amount of improvement in Mustafa’s kidneys, but his leg remains the same. A nurse later told me that while a lot of people have cardiac surgery, not many have the surgery he had–it was unique, long and complicated. But they are optimistic because he is young that he will make a complete recovery, though it will be a long road.

We do believe and possess hope that Mustafa will be fully healed, and at his bedside I held on to that. But there is also immense sadness that he is in this state. Perhaps it is sadness for not having Mustafa as he truly is, with his smile, his jokes, his personality, the totality of his being.

Moshe and I gave Mustafa’s mum time alone with him, and as we were sitting outside the ICU a passage from one of my favorite books came to mind: “The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.”

We mourn the state of our brother, but with full assurance in the goodness of God in whom the deepest love and the deepest sorrow have met on the cross. We believe there is more to Mustafa’s story.

As the hours pass, the atmosphere has lightened. Because of the nurses changing shifts Mustafa’s mum came out to the waiting area and was able to eat a bit. Soon enough we were laughing and listening to Moshe’s stories of working in the ambulance. We are a family, and we will walk this long road together.