Full of Smiles
November 2, 2007 by Jeremy
Hedi, at eight months old, has shown the most obvious signs of the respiratory virus which has affected all the children and parents waiting in Amman. He has had a fever and cough, and because of a sore throat has not had much appetite. Besides this, he is also cutting teeth. But when we’re around Hedi, most of the time he is full of smiles and coos! The only time he cries is when he is so tired that he needs to sleep, but doesn’t want to miss out on the action of the bigger boys who are busily – and sometimes noisily – playing nearby.
Sometimes when I hold Hedi, I notice a change in his body as he begins to breathe rapidly and with exertion as his diaphragm is seemingly controlled by the pounding of his heart. Afterwards we’ve noticed he seems tired and almost dazed for a few minutes. Each time this happens when his mother is holding him she points it out to me, then sighs, as we wait for the day when this heart malady can be healed.
Both of Hedi’s parents are here in Amman since his father wants to stay with him and Hedi’s mother as long as he can before they travel for surgery. It is clear that they adore each other, and I believe having both mom and dad around is one of the reasons Hedi is so happy. Each of them play with him and he loves the attention. The other moms along with Hussein and Mustafa also give Hedi attention, so he does have plenty of reasons to smile.
Although there is an air of impatience in the apartment since all of the parents are ready to travel for the purpose of their journey, for the most part things are going smoothly. While we were visiting last night however, the difficult reality of their lives in Iraq seemed nearer when Hedi’s dad got a call from a friend in their city reporting that there had been a bombing there which had killed someone he knew. We sat in silence for a moment after expressing our sorrow, as Hedi’s father left the room. Again I noted to myself that these are remarkable people dealing with issues I cannot imagine, yet they put their lives on the line to get help for their children by going to a purported enemy to save their baby’s life. In the midst of everything they are gracious and willing to work together with us strangers in totally unknown surroundings and function without knowing what is next from day to day. It will be difficult for this husband and wife to say good bye, and for this daddy to say good bye to his son, when the time comes for Hedi and his mother go to the hospital in X. Hopefully Hedi will soon be over this virus, so that when we go his surgery will not be delayed by it.
|Jeremy Courtney lives and loves in Iraq as a co-founder and Executive Director of the Preemptive Love Coalition. He's also the father of two spectacular children, and married to the lovely Jessica Courtney. When not absorbed in PLC work he can be found writing songs and singing about hope and future. Follow Jeremy on Twitter: @JCourt.|