Smile, don’t cry

My favorite moment at Sheba hospital today was after Dalal had come out of her surgery. Her mother was speaking to a relative in Kurdistan saying, “Kena, na gri!” In Kurdish this means “smile, don’t cry.” She was lovingly encouraging her family to smile and not cry over Dalal. In fact, I think they were crying happy tears at the news that Dalal had come through a successful switch operation. One thing we did as we waited those six hours together, was to look at pictures from last year when Dalal was first born.

She was and is so thin; among the pictures were videos documenting her irregular breathing patterns. We see these children for months of treatment, but looking through these pictures of history and what was, I am reminded of the full picture which begins with two parents receiving the devastating news that their hoped-for and cherished child has a diagnosis akin to a death sentence. But today for Dalal, there was the reversal of that sentence.

Now there’s a hope. Dalal’s mother showed me the many messages of family and friends back in Kurdistan who were praying for Dalal particularly on this day. So while there were happy tears, there were also smiles to match, hugs from close friends and of course answered prayers.