Where There Is Not My Mother, Home Will Smell Like Hell
She was a pretty young, 9 year old girl, with light eyes, calm and cute, named ARAZO. Tears were falling from her eyes and her hands were trembling.
As I was looking at her, she was miserably sad and withdrawn, not enjoying her playtime with the other 19 children. They were living together as one family in the room. She was feeling alienated from the group. Arazo, who burst into tears at the children's laughter, was disturbed by the games they were playing. She seemed to be encountering thousands of questions, alone deep in her heart, telling no one around that she was as a stranger to them.
She did not realize that, through her pearl eyes, I saw lots of grief and pain there.
When I called her for a chat to tell me the reason why she did not play or dance or laugh with the other children in the room, and why she was not participating, she suddenly came into my arms and cried. "My mother died, she's gone away and left me behind; my mother loved me very much. She was sick, her kidneys stopped functioning. My father sold both the house and the car to buy a kidney for her, but she did not recover. My mother could not make it and died. They had shaved her head and in surgery they installed a tube, but soon after the surgery she turned yellow and could hardly breath. She called out to speak to me, but she was having difficulty expressing herself. Before she passed away, my mother said to me: "I love you my dear daughter, if I die, you come to my grave once a week." She was able to say that much and then was gone. She was crying, expressing all these thoughts completely. My eyes filled with tears, and I shared her anguish in my heart.
Then, Arazo lifted her head and said, "Mom is not home, I don't want to go back, home smells like hell. I can't go home, please sister let me stay here because I see my mother everywhere I go in the house. Why did my mother leave me and my brother, why?"
I pray to God to please give her courage as she lost her mother. Please God, help me bring back the smile onto her lips to make her overcome her deep sorrow at the agony of death. Please, God, make me utter a word to assist her. Let her have flowers instead of tears, replace suffering with hope, give her self confidence in the place of pain and distress. Make her a generous sister for her only brother whose mother left him behind also. Please God, help ARAZO live her life afresh.
(This article is chosen from "Pana for Peace", a publication of youth voice in Kirkuk, Iraq.)