Today was a day for firsts. I don’t think I’ve ever truly experienced fear as I did today. Not fear for myself but rather that helpless, suffocating fear that results from watching someone you love hurt and not being able to take physical action. Today we were at my grandmother’s house who, in neo-traditional style, lives on the ground floor of a building with my uncles, their wives, and children living on the ascending floors. My youngest brother, age 8, was playing outside with his cousins in the garden that surounds the first floor while we, the elder cousins, parents, uncles, aunts, grandmother, were gathered inside, discussing the halaqah I had been at today (hopefully in another post), when my brother yelled out he was bleeding. I ran to the metal door that separates the inner staircase from the garden and walkway and there stood my brother, drenched in blood. And that was a second first: other than my own blood I hadn’t, up till today seen blood in such large, fresh quantities. His hands were outstretched; I think he was as shocked as I was, almost mesmerized by the downpour of blood. For a second, I could swear my heart stopped. Life stood still for a moment while we both stared, transfixed at the blood quickly soaking his T-shirt. My mom came up behind me and it snapped. My heart, my head, either or and it crashed over me. Tidal waves of helplessness, pain, horror, tied-hands. I yelled for my father, and between my uncle, my mother, my father, and I we got him into the car and rushed to the doctors office. During the car ride, my over-reactive imagination ran away with itself, and I was left contemplating the worst possible case scenarios, sobbing over my brothers body as though he lay on his deathbed rather than my lap.
Alhamidlillah, it wasn’t as bad as it looked. Common sense seems to evade us at times like these, and the fact that head wounds bleed profusely managed to escape our collective minds. Two, not-so-quick-and-painless stitches later and it was over and done with. (The doctors office scene is a whole other story, certainly one deserving it’s own post!)
Post sobbing came the God thanking: thinking about how fragile our lives are, how blessed we are!! Alhamdiallah!
And while I was thanking God, I got to thinking about the flipside, all those poor people whose countries are war-torn or poverty-stricken. The people of Palestine, Africa, Iraq, Sudan, Kenya – all these people whose injuries are not not-so-quickly-and-painlessly resolved by 2 stitches, either because of the increased severity of the injury or the lack of medical supplies/attention. After all, when it boils down we’re all human. Capable of feeling the same emotions, and most likely reacting in similar ways to similar situation pan-culturally. And so, I could imagine their anguish, their pain, their helplessness as clearly as I could feel it coursing through my veins. The mother mourning over her child, the orphans who weep for their parents. La Illaha Illa Allah.
So, alhamidlillah, for today’s safe resolution. I pray for a similar resolution for the rest, inshAllah.