We had a family meeting and I was severely disappointed because I felt like only two of us were being serious. My mom is in denial about her condition so she’s not thinking about what plans she needs to make. Now she is saying it is only a prognosis and maybe it will turn out to be nothing too serious. *sigh* ALL of the research I did points to her condition getting progressively worse. The neurologist told her it is degenerative- which means it gets worse with time. I urged my mother not to wait 6 to 8 months (when they told her to return to the Mayo Clinic so they can examine her muscle function and degenerative nerve progression) because she does not know what shape her body will be in. I advised her to travel or do other things she has always wanted to do before she finds herself physically unable to. She is thinking about going back to London to visit family. I hope she does it.
Want to hear the strange part? Allah has given me the strength to deal with this. I trust in Allah and I really and truly believe he will not give me more than I can bear. This is a mercy from none other than Allah.
My mother has been having problems with pain in her throat and slurred speech for the past year. It has been getting progressively worse so she has been going back and forth to her local physician. They sent her to an ear, nose and throat specialist who told her they couldn’t figure out what is wrong. Finally, my mother became fed up and decided to head down to the Mayo Clinic for a series of tests. All the while she has been telling my sister and I that it’s “not that serious.” It didn’t matter though. We practically forced our way to the Mayo Clinic with her but all of the tests the doctors ran came back negative for the barrage of things they tested her for. The neurologist she went to see had one last sneaking suspicion as to what it was (but of course, she wanted my mom to see a collegue of her’s before resting on the conclusion.) On Monday they told her to come back for the results.
I was horrified to learn that my mother has been diagnosed with ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease which is basically a fatal[!], progressive, neurodegenerative disease. There is no cure, it gets worse with time, the person loses control of their muscle functions, and they eventually die (most commonly from respiratory failure.) I could sugar-coat it, tell myself that things will be different (and they can if Allah so wills) but I also need to think about reality. Since my mom began experiencing the throat pain and speech problems it has gotten worse. When I talk to her on the phone I have to ask her to repeat herself sometimes. The doctors also noticed that her left leg is dragging a bit. (While we were at the clinic I watched her while she was walking and they are right). So how do I think about reality when the whole thing seems so unreal? I can’t imagine my mom in a wheel chair, with feeding tubes, and eventually dying. All of the research indicates that most people die from ALS within 3 to 5 years of their diagnosis. Some live longer.
This weekend we plan to have a family meeting, insha’allah. I am not sure how I feel. Subhanallah…
Last month I attended the sentencing for the girl who killed my ex-husband. In my opinion she didn’t get very much time- 4 years and 8 months (on Criminal Vehicular Homicide). Once she serves 1/3 of her sentence she will be eligible for supervised release (parole.) Even if she received a life sentence it wouldn’t change the reality- Moussa is dead, his family is grieving and this woman was negligent. When it was her time to say something she shrugged her shoulders and said “I’m sorry, that’s all.” I couldn’t believe it! You killed someone while driving recklessly and that’s all you have to say?
Secondly, I was very disappointed because I was the only one there for Moussa while she had tons of family in the courtroom. I wondered where were all of the people who took over during the janazah, treating me like I was an intruder. I told them about the hearing. Yet, when it came down to it only myself, the victim’s advocate and the attorney for the civil case were present. Alhamdulillah, I was able to read a victim impact statement to the judge on behalf of his family in Mauritania. The civil attorney warned me that the sentencing hearing often feels like a second funeral. It really did for me. After I read the victim impact statement, I went back to my seat and out of nowhere I started sobbing uncontrollably. I don’t even know where it came from. I thought I was finished grieving. Even after I left the courtroom I felt like I was going to collapse.
So why is this post called Sad, Happy? I’m sad when I think about Moussa no longer being alive. I know this was Allah’s plan and I can fully accept that. I have no argument. At the same time the shock of it combined with the finality is what gets me. Though we didn’t make it as a couple, Moussa was still a good friend of mine and a great guy overall. The happy part is that I have remarried and I am completely satisfied with my choice this time. Mashallah, after all of the tribulation Allah has blessed me with Mr. Right For Me. (Kinda like Allah designed a husband for me).
So here I am, Sad-Happy. Life is funny that way, isn’t it?
Local coverage: here