Nearly two and a half years ago, I had a call from my hometown. It said I should come home to my mum. It said she is very sick. It may be the last opportunity…
Last opportunities, lost possibilities, fears that we can never truly get back from without a scar.
I’m living in the farthest land to my hometown, Istanbul. New Zealand is far far away in the corner of the world. I held onto minutes. Minutes like hours. As I counted one by one; for a while, for whole a lot while; I went back home to my mum. That’s when I learned that the length of “for a while” can’t be measured. At least by the person who’s in the waiting.
My mum; her name is Elcin. It means cicada. Her singing never stops. She takes the darkest silence of the night and creates a symphony of it. She is full of life, loves to experience everything, to the very edges that sometimes she get lost in the moment to find herself again and again.
After her visit to Cuba, she got sick. First, she thought it was a common cold, turned out to be fungal pneumonia. Untreated for days, the sickness carried her to the ICU corner. The whole family, three of us, my brother and I at the hospital corridors and my mum behind doors; we fought.
Love is so deep, it hurts. But it is also very strong that holds onto the smallest of hopes. Day after day, little by little. Small improvements added up of which increased the drops of hope. Small drops became a river. River joined the ocean. She walked out of that door.
Doctors said recovery is a long road. They gave her a long list of things she needs to avoid. She looked at the long instructions; heavy on her soul. All good at the end. She is with us.
Right before I left; she gave me a small jewellery box of hers. She said, “Ela, use this box to treasure your small hopes. And remember how important they are in life.”
Months after I opened the box to find a small feather in it. A small feather that is a part of my mum’s big list of to avoid. And a note; “Love is in the small…”
We hope; that may be the strength of this life. We love; that may be the measure of our lives.
And love can be found in things as small and light as a single feather – carrying oceans until the final drop on its delicate fibres.