October 31, 2006

Mothers sitting in the Dark.

My mother is growing more silent each day . She seems to be out of reach . Unlike her old bubbly active self . I have caught her many a times sitting in the dark , alone, slouching on her sofa .
"What on earth is wrong with you ?" A question I would incessantly repeat . And she just gazes at me and shakes her head . The look in her eyes seems so distant , so far away .
"You have been watching the news again , haven't you Mom ? " . She manages a faint affirmative nod , a yes with quivering lips .
"Don't do this to yourself please Mother , don't do this to me "
"It is finished " she replies , " It is gone ".
I cannot argue otherwise . Indeed , it is finished , it is gone .
My mother is my Iraqi fortress . I cannot see her crumble that way . I am my mother's daughter and I cannot see myself crumble that way either . Where will I find the strength for the both of us ?
Where will I find the conviction that "things" will stop ? Where is the light at the end of this long dark tunnel ? A tunnel that seems endless paved with meaningless deaths and a misery that seems to stretch to infinity .
So far I have not managed to find either .
Occasionally I switch on the light and bring up some silly subject to distract her . At other times, I dissapear into the bathroom and cry quietly . But most of the time I sit beside her and retreat into our common world , our familiar ground . And there , I listen respectfully to the silence that surrounds us . Secretly praying that in these moments , we will both find hope .