“Oh okay. What’s happening now? Okay yeah, message me. Yeah she’s still awake. Yeah she’s having some coffee” were the words of my Aunt whilst talking to Uncle Jay on the phone finding out what has happened to my Mum. I could tell by my Aunt’s face that something was up but I didn’t want to jump to conclusions so I sipped and sipped on my cup of coffee till I couldn’t sip no more. A few moments later my Aunt asks if I want to go to the balcony to get some fresh air, and that’s when it was clear to me that something was definitely up! For the trips to the balcony was always full of tears and heart to heart talks. My heart began to race.

A few moments passed just standing in the balcony in silence looking at the city lights that lay ahead of me. My Aunt was hesitating and I could see she was crying. ‘Aunty please just say, whats wrong?’  ‘I don’t know how to tell you, and I don’t want you to worry’. And even though just then, she said for me not to worry, a huge wave of worry drowned me. And thats when I found out, at 3:25am, that my Mum was taken into the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

“ICU? That’s Intensive Care isn’t it?” I said as my voice began to break. My obsession with Casualty allowed me to have the understanding of the severity and concern of my Mum going into ICU. I remember looking out at the hospital which I could see in the far distance, just staring. Thinking maybe I could see my Mum staring back at me. The harder I tried the more blurrier my vision became. Only to burst out with tears that landed on my Aunt within seconds. I sobbed and I sobbed and I honestly thought, that I was going to lose my Mum. Mum went into ICU due to difficulty in swallowing which lead to difficulty in breathing. Which resulted in the doctors coming to a conclusion of having to be incubated (a tube down my Mum’s throat to help breathe better) which didn’t happen because my Mum was closely monitored throughout her time in ICU and soon came out within 24 hours Alhamdulilah. But because ‘difficulty in breathing’ was in the sentence when explaining the circumstance of my Mum, all I could think about, honestly, was my Mum dying.

After hearing such shocking news I just couldn’t go to sleep.  I probably got 2 hours of sleep in total, waking up every half hour for a little cry. So the kids as usual, even though its 9am on a HOLIDAY, they decide to get up and scream the house down. Breakfast time- nasheeds played in the background. And there was one that always played and well, made everyone emotional. ‘I Think My Mum is Amazing’ by Zain Bhikha. I used to always get teary listening to it, the lyrics, I could just relate so much. Mum waking up in the morning and making breakfast, dropping us off to school with her pram. Making sure we looked smart and promised we’d be good. Be proud of us when we came home with a sticker or certificate, and would tell us about her day too. Enjoy a nice meal of her famous Sardines. Watch Eastenders together and hear her scream “it’s 9 o clock! Bed! Now!”  It was these small memories that meant so much to us, something that is seen as the ‘norm’ was something we all missed. Even my Dad, he didn’t like when we listened to that particular nasheed either, because it reminded him too, of our wonderful Mum.

I just wanted to see my Mum. And I didn’t care what had to be done or who wanted me, I wanted my Mum and that was all that mattered to me. So after leaving the kids at my Nans, Uncle Jay walked my Aunt and I to the hospital. Telling me what to expect. The bandage around Mum’s head where the operation was which is from mid head to forehead and just the swelling on her face. I thought, okay, I can deal with that I guess. So I walk into the ward, and I could feel my heart burst out of me. I couldn’t go in to see my Mum. I just couldn’t. In my head I played the scene of walking in and giving her a hug and telling her how proud I am of her getting through it and that I love her so much. At that moment I felt like a coward. I couldn’t go in to my Mum’s bedroom in the ward because I just didn’t know what to say. Didn’t know how to act. Didn’t know what to expect. No matter how many times I replayed that one scene. Would she remember me? Will she talk to me? Will she smile at me? What if I say something wrong? What if I cry? What if she cries? What if I break down in front of her? A good 3 minutes before I went in…

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