My day started as normal, did the school run, went to the bank, chatted on the phone to some friends and family. Nothing unusual about me my day.
But somewhere someone’s day was far from normal.
Our Eid passed pleasantly with the usual of cooking food and eating, resting then going out to visit family friends. Due to some family bereavements this was the first time we celebrated Eid in 2 years. It was a nice pleasant Eid.
But somewhere someone’s Eid was far from normal.
I got the call at around 1pm this afternoon which just shook my whole being and for a moment made my heart skip a beat and my brain to stop functioning for a few brief seconds, but it really felt longer.
My dear friend, who I have known since I was in kindergarten, heard on Eid day that her 6 year child has leukaemia. Adam has blood cancer.
I knew he was unwell and she was planning on taking him to the doctors but with the days of Ramadan nearly at an end and the rush to be prepared for Eid we never got the chance to chat again. I called a few times but no answer so just assumed she was at her mother’s.
Adam who I watched being born, I was the first to hold him. When he looked up into my teary eyes he had let out a scream and I said to his exhausted mother he is going to break a lot of hearts.
” Today Adam as the devastating news spread of your illness you broke everyone’s heart, you broke them into a million pieces.
As you are waiting to go into theatre for a serious of tests that must be done urgently, we gathered at a friend’s house this afternoon for prayers, for your well-being and good health. For God to give your family the strength to fight this with you.”
We sat with Adam’s mum’s sister and talked about how things unfolded. His aunt told us that he just suddenly started looking ill and yellowish. He had been coming home with bruises on his arms for a few weeks and they just assumed it was from the kids messing about outside, ( I remember his mum complaining about this and saying how rough the other kids must be with him for him to come home in this state ) little did we know what it really was.
Once they got him to the doctor he was straight away rushed to the children’s hospital on the other side of town. There after a battery of tests the devastating news was given to his mother.
It was Eid day.
Since she took him to the doctors that fateful day, she hasn’t returned home. When she was given the news she was hysterical and has totally fallen apart. She is a mother and he is not her only child. As I sat listening to her sister crying and answering our concerned questions, my mind started to wander. How will she cope? Because having any family member in hospital is difficult enough but with young kids at home too. This affects all of them.
I know, I talk from experience, my cousin had this cancer too. I accidentally let this bit of info slip and everyone’s attention turned to me and the questions started too. What was the treatment? Why bone marrow? Why do they keep getting infections?
Then the question finally came… the one I dreaded from the moment I mentioned my cousin…. How is she now? ” She is absolutely fine” I lied. I mean.. what else was I meant to say… that she died after a 6 year battle? I just couldn’t sit there and say that, not there and not at that time with his aunt in tears. At that moment all everyone needed was a little hope.
Those who knew me well there know I lied and know why I said what I did. One squeezed my knee and another friend mouthed “thank you”. I blinked and the tears fell on my cheeks.
Adam’s mum once said to me
” You were there at his birth and you know him better than anyone. Promise me if anything ever happens to me you will always look out for him and the others.
I promised, thinking she is going mad, but also understood she is having a weak moment of looking into the future and worrying for her children.
Right now all we can do is hope and pray that they all get through this and come out stronger as a family. She has a great support system and everyone is ready to rally round for her and do whatever they can. But deep down I know life will never be the same again for any of us as we silently make ourselves promises of walking this walk with her, every step of the way, because you my dear friend and Adam, you will never walk alone, we are there for you and always will be.