The Syrian Woman

June 23, 2016

There was no relief in her pain. It was one of those agonies that the scar itself became unhealed with the wound that pierced her heart. Whatever torment she has now rests on the life of her son; every part of her life was torn. It is the fact that her natural cycle moves and is consumed with a glimmer of hope that takes everything away from her. Her world needs to move forward because her country has become the monstrous substitution; her son holds the only image that exists for her.

She was hit with shrapnel in her eye and the blood gushed from her wound. The only subsistence was flatbread and a bit of fruit. The desert’s merciless temperatures added to the inhabitability of the environment. The camp was only a few miles away, but then again the mirage and trail seemed to coexist at the same time. She gripped her son’s hand to the point where he yelped in pain. She kept on tugging and told him to move quicker, “We can not lose sight of the trail son, if we get lost I don’t know what will happen. I love you to death, just don’t look at me.”

She marched forward; the blood thickened and crusted her eye causing severe pain to the back of her head and leaving little visual in her other eye. They kept on marching, “There’s going to be food, medical supplies, and milk when we arrive, hold strong. The camp will be full of people and many are in a far worse position than us. I want you to be a good boy and do your part by helping everybody at camp. Many countries will take us, if not many then at least just one. There will be many other boys and girls like you there and you will continue and get married. You’re a good boy, mama loves you.”

Whatever identity she has now is through her son; she now realized they were alone and isolated. Her silence disguised the throbbing agony that festered every part of her body. It was her world that made her into a pathetic beggar. She lost absolutely everything: her husband, brother, sister, parents, and grandparents. But it is her determination that her family exists no matter what and that she must continue that keeps her moving forward by adopting survival instincts for her son. It was her grandfather that instilled the land and the generation that built the family. They went through many hardships and catastrophes and yet they continued to exist as a unit. It is the very thought that her family must continue that pushed her forward beyond her boundaries. Her ancestry must continue to live on beyond the animal instinct that eats away at her body. What determines the soul of the land is the people that inhabit it. Simply put, the land can not exist without the people. She crouched down, “Whatever happens to me now, make sure to run to the camp. Leave me here alone, the sun will do me good and nothing will happen to me.”

After a few miles her body swung side to side and she stumbled to the ground. She couldn’t move, couldn’t stand, and her son pulled hard to get her back up. She lay her head in the sand while her son kept on pulling. His body gave out and he fell on top of her. He wrapped his arms around her head as he screamed at her to wake up. He rose and started to run but then turned around and started to come back. Once again he reached out for her hand and pulled as hard as his fragile body could. She lay motionless and the boy ran off once more.

He got tired and ran back to his mother. This time he did not tug nor pull, he just walked in circles around and cried for her to wake up. He stopped and looked at his mother, then continued to circle again. He lay down next to his mother’s bosom. He took the black scarf off his sand-covered mother and wrapped it around himself. This time, her breasts had no milk for him.  

As he gently faded away he whispered, “I love you mama.”


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