I was born 11 December 2001. My father didn’t have to wait too long to have me. I am his son and the first child in my family. I was named Sentforth Faizulhub. My father gave me that name because he is proud to teach English at an Islamic tertiary education and my name is a combination of Arabic and English. It’s to tell that English is his specification and Arabic is the symbol of Islamic world. Besides, he often tells other that this name also means “being sent by Allah in the front row to win love”. He expected that by giving me that name he could give me more love, even bigger than what I expect and he also wishes that everyone will get to know me because they love me. My father named me and surely he never knew what will happen to me in the journey of my life.
My father said to everyone that I had fever; my temperature reached 40 degree Celsius when I was only 32 days and it was too hard for me to handle. I was fainted. I was in comma for twelve days. The doctors said there was a very little thing my father could expect about me because they said my life expectancy was 10 percent only and the 90 percent was the possibility that I was going to die at any minutes sooner or later. My father did not let me go, he asked everyone to pray for me, and he also asked his friend who was about to go to hajj pilgrimage to pray for my cure.
My father likes to tell everyone that I was then awake from my comma and he is also proud to himself to decide that I had to undergo that brain surgery when I was still 2 months old. My father always included in his story the reason why he let the doctor did the surgery. Before the operation, the leading doctor showed to my father many spots in my brain and said “these are all blood. Your son is alive and awake now but if we don’t do the surgery, this blood in his head will give him severe paint that he may not be able to endure; he may be death because of the damage in his brain. But you have to know as well that we will never know what may happen to his mental development after the surgery. He may survive and grow like a normal child or he may not be able to do things like the other children do. I have to say it because the operation is the procedure to save his life, let’s pray to God for that. You may discuss it with your wife now and if you give your permission we will do the surgery the day after”. My father repeats this line of words very often as if he doesn’t care whether they, who are listening to my father story about me, take too much information about my brain surgery “Of course, I had to do the best as I could to save my son’s life, my first child’s life, and I said yes to the doctors. At that time, it was the best decision to make, and I know I am right to do that”.
Now I am on my bedroom and alive. I just cannot control my whole body. My mind cannot tell my body to do things. I cannot walk, I cannot talk, I cannot even sit on my own. I can listen to voices but I do not know that those voices are different one another and they have meaning. My father and I once visited an eye specialist to ensure if I can watch or I cannot. My father asked the specialist “why he doesn’t not even smile when I make funny face and he never look at things I show him for long?” My father then knows that my eyes react to light, my pupils go wider or smaller when exposed to light but the doctor didn’t say more about why I do not smile to my father funny face whenever he wants to play with me. My father has his own theory that I may look at things with my eyes but all things I see move so fast and make me dizzy and that’s why I cannot look at things for long and I cannot sit. I cannot keep my balance and I am not able to reach and grab things with my hands because I never know the positions of those things. My father knows more what I cannot do with these eyes than what I can do with these eyes.
My father likes to go with me and my mother at least once in a week to town or to other lovely places. He is in agreement with my mother that I must go out and see things outside my bedroom and my house as my father thinks that I may feel so boring just to lie down on my bed. My father always puts my head on his shoulder, left or right in turn and walks quite slow because he has to save his energy and he will not take me home before he is sure that I have seen enough. He never feels ashamed of being the subject of people’s questions on how old I am now and what is wrong with me, he sometimes gets so enthusiastic when someone says that a kid like me may have something different, a kind of supernatural things, he thinks about this possibility but he is assured more with the promise that I may help him before Allah and asks Allah to forgive all his sins and to give him His Eden.
My father often looked at me with a feeling of despair. It happened all the times after he had strong disputes with my mother upon his desire to have another child. My mother always said that I needed extra attentions and she felt she might not be able to give me enough cares if she had to raise another child. My father insisted that having another child would be good for everyone, it would be good for me also because he said ”Look, we have done lots of things because we expect Faiz to make some changes, some developments on his motoric or cognitive ability, but he makes no changes whatsoever. We have to live and accept him the way he is now. I am tired; I want to be like other parents. I want to see my child smile widely or call me when I am home from the office and soothe me from any workloads. Maybe when we have another child, we are not so afraid of our future, maybe our second child will be so caring with Faiz and likes to take care of him when we are old”. Then as often, my mother said more other things to convince him that the time was just not right for having another child. My father looked at me as if asking me “when?”.
My father didn’t give up though. He persuades my mother at any possible times to stop using contraception. One day my mother told him that she didn’t have her period. She went to ask the doctor whether she was expecting a baby and the doctor said “it is positive”. My father was of course very happy with this information. Only two months of my mother’s expectancy, my father was listed as a candidate for three months teacher training in Bali and another three months in Australia. My father knew it was too good opportunity to deny but he wouldn’t dare to talk it openly with my mother. My father thought leaving my mother for six months was a kind of betrayal to his commitment to change our life through having another child in the family. He knew that he had to do his best to ensure that this second child born safely and grew healthy and leaving my mother on her own during her expectancy was not the best thing he could do. It was on my mother’s thoughtfulness that he then went to Bali. My mother assured him to go since she was aware how important this training for my father carrier. Before going, my father looked at me, at my eyes, for long as though he was speaking to me with his eyes. He advised me to be good and not to make my mother tired. He cried and it showed that he was serious. Every tear dropped from his eyes filled with pictures of me. One showed a situation where my father had to carry me a whole night from 9 o’clock pm to 4.30 am in and outside the house trying to calm me and persuaded me to stop crying. He asked me so many questions of what I felt, what’s wrong with me, and how he could help me to ease the pain. Then, he talked to Allah by words and by heart, till after he heard the voice of Athan and he was not aware that I had gone to sleep in his arms.
Things went even more silent for me when my father was away. There was no quarrel of my mother and my father upon my clothes. My mother always thought that I always felt cold, as she knew that I could not stop salivating and my neck layer was always wet. She puts on me three or four layers of clothes but then she complained when I urinated very often during the day. She usually asked my father to change all my clothes and put on some other four layers clothes. Two or three times doing this, my father didn’t say anything; but the fourth times he started asking why I should wear so many layers and this was the thing that triggered my mother’s temper. “if you do not want to do it, say so. I will not let him sick again” my mother answered abruptly in a loud voice to end the conversation.
Six months had gone and my father was back from his training. He went to my room directly and on the door, he sat still. He burst into tears and again I saw very clearly in his eyes his longing to us, to my mother, especially to me. I saw in his tears he was writing his diary everyday expressing how lonely he was without us. On one of the pages he wrote “I will be back soon my son. I’ll huge you and kiss you whenever I want because you always make me feel peaceful. Your eyes are my mirror. I did not need anyone to tell me how sometimes I was so inquisitive on God will upon us and became so fragile that I no longer had the courage to imagine our future, your future, in this worldly life; Your eyes are so full of serenity that I stop questioning. My son, Faiz, please be with me, with your mother, with your younger brother or sister, always. I know we learn so much from you how precious life is”. I told you all from my father eyes. Believe me, eyes don’t lie.