Friday, March 9, 2012

When time stood still

Last night we had a real scare.And I mean a real scare, a moment when time stood still, and we were gasping for breath and our heart eventually stopped beating. It had been real ages when we were last jolted from our sleep with the ringing of the phone in the stillness of the night. And those days, when the phone rang in the middle of the night or in the wee hours of the morning, it only meant one thing. Either our closed ones were in some kind of trouble, accidents had befallen them, or worse still, a death had happened.

So, early this morning, at precisely 12.05 a,m., after both my husband and I had dozed off, I heard the persistent ringing of his phone. My heart missed several beats, and although I couldn't hear exactly what had transpired between him and the caller, I could sense that something awful had happened judging from his body language. The minute he ended the call, his body bent over, and with hands covering his face, he sobbed uncontrollably. I was really shaken and I kept asking him to tell me what had happened.

Somehow I had this instinct that something had happened to my sister-in-law, who underwent operation recently. Despite recovering well, her condition seems erratic.

And my instinct was proven right. My sister-in-law, who is my husband's only sister, and one whom he'd give his limb to had been rushed to a hospital in Bangi around 10.30 p.m, as she was having fainting spells and high bp reading despite not having any problem with her blood pressure prior to the operation.

After a brief examination, the hospital had advised her family to take her to Putrajaya hospital where all her records are kept, so she was rushed to Putarajaya in an ambulance.

Apparently the doctor who had examined her had told my brother-in-law that she could be haemorrhaging in the brain or had probably suffered a stroke.

Imagine hearing this kind of news happening to your loved one. I bravely comforted my husband who kept crying softly. I calmly woke my second son up and told him what had happened. I was hiding my fear for the sake of my husband but deep inside, my heart was screaming and my chest felt as though it was exploding. This couldn't have happened to her. We were just chatting away on Watsapp earlier in the afternoon, and all indications pointed to a good but slow recovery. In fact, I was excited with her recovery progress because that would mean that she could join us for the "merisik" trip we were scheduled to go next weekend.

Both my husband and I dressed quietly. Just as were about to leave for the hospital, we heard the door bell ringing. My eldest son, who had married recently,  had arrived from Seremban with his wife and daughter.  When my son approached my husband to salam him, again he broke into a wrecking, soul and heart-breaking sobs. I could see the distraught look on his face.I was devastated.

We drove in silence until we reached the emergency ward of the  hospital. I can imagine what had gone through my husband's mind, the fear and torment he was suffering. With the passing away of my parents-in-law, my father-in-law in 2010, and my mother-in-law in 2008, my sister-in-law is the only close kin he has, someone whom he loves dearly and would give his life to.

Once we reached the emergency ward of the hospital we were greeted by her sons who related to us what had happened. We waited at the waiting lounge and offered a silent prayer. About 15 minutes after we arrived, I saw a door opening and was hugely relieved to see my sister-in-law being wheeled out of the treatment room by her husband. My husband rushed to hug her and kept kissing her face and forehead. I can imagine how relieved and happy he was.

My brother-in-law later explained that after the doctor had examined her, they did not concur with what the former hospital had diagnosed as her symptoms were not consistent with the earlier diagnosis. And they had advised her to rest at home.

We then saw them to their car, and once again, my husband enveloped her in a tight embrace kissing her face and forehead repeatedly. It was as though he did not want to let her go. It was as though he couldn't believe that she was alright. We left after seeing them off.

In the car, my husband had softly and quietly told our sons and daughter in law, "Ngah is the only person I have in the world. There is no one else." I felt sharp tears springing to my eyes. But I held myself together and rubbed his shoulder and face softly. Ya Allah! The love of a sibling knows no bound!

I wish my sister-in-law speedy recovery and hope she'll recover fully.

Tini, we still need you for many more happy occasions we're celebrating this year and years to come. I love you my dear, and you know that you will always have a special place in our hearts. May Allah speed up your recovery and may Allah bless you.

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