Peace, blessings & Eid Mubarak!
What a Ramadhan it has been! As those close to me now know, my 10-month-old son had lung surgery on May 11. We had known for a while that this might be necessary as doctors spotted abnormal cells on his left lung while I was pregnant, but only a few days before the start of Ramadhan did we find out the date if surgery.
Ramadhan has always been a very meaningful month for me. It is by fasting Ramadhan that I first fell in love with Islam. A few years later, in 2012. I would say my shahada during Ramadhan.
So when I found my son would be having surgery during the last 10 days of Ramadhan and that his recovery would overlap with Eid, parts of me felt fear for his surgery but another part of me felt relief.
See, I have a remarkable community of loving, caring individuals who wish nothing but the best for my family and I, and prayers during the last few days of Ramadhan are said to be amplified. Knowing that not only would my son receive the blessings of hundreds of people praying for him but that those prayers would also be amplified in this Holy Month of Ramadhan brought me some peace.
I can’t say I was entirely peaceful as I spent most of Ramadhan preparing him and us for his surgery through crib training and improving his diet, etc. And I’d be lying if I said I was in any way « chill » on surgery day or during the recovery. I spent a LOT of time praying, and crying, and praying some more.
The first night of Eid was his most difficult despite being a couple days after surgery. He’s regained just enough strength to be more aware of his tubes and pain, and his discomfort was apparent throughout the night. I will never forget his stiffening little body as a shock of pain ran through it or his cries as he winced and clenched his jaw. Seeing my baby in such pain out me in mental and spiritual agony.
Now, as many of you know, I’m not the most diligent in ritual prayer [Salaat] but as my son was trying to find comfort and I ran out of ways to help, I turned to reciting Al-Fatiha in my most delicate and comforting voice.
It was not such magic as to remove his pain entirely, but it seemed to lull him to sleep and distract him temporarily from his discomfort.
I recognize that my relationship with Islam is strained. Partly because I have a difficult time with ritual and dogma, partly because the community itself emphasizes those things beyond the mercy and compassion our faith requires.
As my son heals from surgery and recovers from the pain, I pray and hope that I can find ways to heal and recover from the pain of existence and bring myself closer to my faith.
I also pray that neither my son nor I ever have to go through such an ordeal again.