I'm terribly disappointed. When I talked to Ima on the phone, I was sure she said Mommy had woken up. I imagined it just like when a person wakes up from sleep, but now I see she’s only staring ahead without moving. At least her eyes are open. I move directly in front of her so she can see my face. Is she focusing on me? I can’t tell.

“Meir’keh,” Ima says gently, “it’s a good sign. A step in the right direction. Your mother’s been unconscious for many months. People don’t wake up from a coma and instantly resume life the way it was before.”

I blink away tears of disappointment. “When?” I ask. “When will she be able to talk to me? When will she be back to herself?”

My mother doesn’t answer my question. I understand; there is no answer.

“Bring that chair over,” she says, gesturing to a chair on the side. “Sit with me and we’ll say Tehillim.”

I obey out of habit, but the words on the page swim before my eyes. Somewhere in my memory I hear Abba’s voice telling me that people make themselves unhappy by trying to change things that are not in their power to change. I remind myself that I’m not in control, but Hashem is. This is all part of His plan, even if I don’t like it or understand.

For the next 15 minutes we murmur the comforting words of Dovid Hamelech. I glance up and see that my biological mother is looking at me. Her head moves slightly forward, her lips part and close again.

“Mommy? Mommy!” I say. Two tears travel slowly down her face. I jump up and bend closer to her. “Ima! Ima! Mommy’s crying!”

I turn around to see my mother standing, frozen like a statue. “Lakey?” she chokes on the word. “Lakey, are you awake?”

Mommy makes a broken sound. It’s not a recognizable word, but she’s definitely trying to speak. Ima puts her arms around her sister and presses her face to hers. Their tears mingle together on their cheeks.

I lift my biological mother’s hand and hold it between mine. It’s strange, but I feel like crying and laughing at the same time. “Mommy,” I whisper over and over, until she slowly turns her head to me. It takes another few minutes, but the corners of her mouth turn up and she smiles at me.

The nurses and doctors all come in to see the miracle of a patient waking from a coma. Everyone is happy and talking at the same time.

Everything after that is like a dream. The staff moves Mommy to a different room on the ward. Tomorrow they will change her therapy schedule to begin rehabilitation. It’s been such a huge effort for her that she falls asleep in the middle of all the celebration.

Ima tells me, “Meir, it’s after midnight. Your mother is sleeping now. The nurses are able to take care of her. Let’s go home and we’ll get some sleep, too. You’ll come back tomorrow. She’ll be stronger then. We’ll bring Yael with us.” (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 733)