Earlier yesterday, Amar Abbasi, a Karachi based lawyer, shared a heart-wrenching account of her encounter with a child cancer patient and his mother while she was flying from Karachi to Islamabad, on Facebook. The post has been doing rounds of social media, ever since.
Amar is a Barrister by profession, and head Legal Affairs and Government Relations at a mutli-national corporation. Social causes, philanthropy, humanity for others, and patriotism, are some of the phenomenon that are very close to her heart.
Amar described how flustered she was before boarding the flight, everything was just not going according to the plan and she needed to sleep off her stress.
When she finally got to board the flight, she found a young kid sitting in her spot – the window seat that Amar wanted – and since the child’s mother didn’t really try asking him to get off her spot Amar had to settle for the aisle seat. The entire situation worsened her mood even more.
But here’s where the story takes the most heartbreaking turn.
“I’m perfectly happy for someone to take my seat for good reason, but I did expect to at least be asked if that was okay with me. So I just made a firm face and sat down at the aisle seat, but didn’t say anything. I thought my expression would give away that I was upset, although anger does get the best of us and I was ready to snap at someone by this point,” writes Amar in her Facebook post.
“Fast forward 30 mins into the flight – the kid said something cute to his mom and I couldn’t help but smile. The woman then turns to me and says, “I hope you didn’t mind my son taking your seat”. By this point it really didn’t matter and I said “it’s fine, kids are kids, it’s not a problem”. She nodded with a sad look in her eyes and said, “yes you’re right, and since he’s not well, I don’t like denying him much”.
Upon asking as to what is wrong with the little kid, his mother told Amar that her kid was suffering from blood cancer.
“I have little words to describe how I felt by this point in time. I literally froze, I simply did not know what I could possibly say to make a mother in this situation feel any better. The only words that could stumble out of my mouth were “I’m so sorry”.
And I was sorry and I am so sorry. Not only for her grief and her unimaginable trials and struggles, but for the momentary, useless, frivolous moment of anger that I allowed in my mind for something as useless as a stupid seat on the plane. I keep looking back and thank God for preventing me for saying anything stupid in the moment, anything hurtful or spiteful or confrontational that may have broken an already broken mother’s spirit and heart. Something that may have pained or offended a child who has already seen more pain in 8 years of his life than most of us can imagine; something that may have added to his pandora box of already sad and stressful childhood memories,” describes Amar.
The incident is a living testimony to the fact that things aren’t always the way we perceive them to be and while we’re so selfishly engrossed in our lives, the world around us is moving. And moving fast.
As Amar puts it, “here’s to living with more humility, kindness, and understanding. And here’s to correcting our demons and not letting them overcome us, even in the hardest of times.”
While talking to MangoBaaz, Amar said that she has been in touch with the mother ever since and this is what she conveyed about the child and the mother, “her child is doing fine, Alhamdulillah, and the mother has been a true symbol of strength. However, some doctors have very crudely and unkindly told her off for attempting to continue his treatments and transfusions, which is heartbreaking. His mother requests that in the process of being practical, doctors must remember not to become inhumane. She sincerely thanks everyone who has sent good wishes for her son so far, and continues to request for prayers as that is the only thing her son’s needs.”
Here’s the complete post that Amar originally made:
We really hope the little kid gets well soon. We are rooting for you, bud.
Cover Image Via: Amar Abbasi