Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Black Tuesday

Monday the 28th of June 2010 ... she walked in the door and told me to make her something to eat. I warmed some beans for her and served her she ate. Later that night, she went to see the doctor. She came back with the result of her blood test, which indicated only malaria, and a prescription for something. I was supposed to go with her to the pharmacy, I waited. I asked her sometime later to hand me the prescription and let me go myself to the pharmacy but she brushed it off saying it was late and that first thing in the morning we’ll get the drugs.

The next morning I woke up to the hysterical call of me and my brother’s name by my dad. The despair in his voice gave me a gut wrenching feeling I have only felt a few times in my life before. He said “it’s your mother” and my soul was shrouded by bleakness, my thoughts shattered by fear. I rushed in to the room and saw her gasping for air... time paused... he said to me “switch on the gen”, to my brother “get the doctor”. Time was choppy... I was at the back door, fumbling with the keys, I exhaled to calm down... I was spilling petrol in my attempt to fuel the generator... I was rushing back into her room.

I watched as she hurled into a bowl I held up for her while he supported her sitting position from her back. I watched her suffer through a couple of violent body spasms that each seemed to go on forever and simultaneously feel longer than the last. I held her hands tight, trying to say a million things with that one gesture... It’ll be okay... you can get through this... not you, HE wouldn’t let anything happen to you... I could only sit and hope she got some of it.

The spasms stopped, she was able to speak lightly now. She said “I want to lie down”. He was reluctant, he said “it is better when you sit up”. She insisted, we agreed, she started to sleep. We could hear sleep sounds coming for her while we waited, time frozen with hope, anxiety, dread and faith, for the doctor to come.

She was quiet, I reached out and wrapped my fingers round her ankle... I waited... no bump under her skin or through her veins... ‘What do I know, am I a doctor? I am probably too tense to even feel anything’. Time was choppy again... They stormed in with the drip and things. The doctor went to the side of her bed... i went to the other side... he checked her heartbeat... then rolled her off her side on her back... he opened her eyelids and checked the one on his side... he shifted the beam into her other eye, the one next to me... her pupils ... my mother was dead.

Everything stopped, time stopped. My mind, my soul stopped. I was stunned ... i still am. So much that I haven’t cried... yet. I took her to the morgue that day and after a time I was afraid I was not human. That the evil I thought was lurking deep inside me wasn’t really that deep. I was afraid I was a monster. But after a while I realised that I was not grieving because of the interruptions that will come. Well wishers and sympathizers, with well meaning hearts, giving the same speeches over and over again. I think I just want to be through with the burial and lock myself in and cry for days. The funeral is on the 16th ... two more days for me to be strong.

They say... “God knows best” and then they say “We can’t question God”. So they expect me not to question the one with all the answers? I will question Him. I know He can choose not to answer me, but I expect Him to, even if it takes years. Who knows it might be a long time before I comprehend what has happened, or what He tells me, but I still need to know. If not that feeling of insignificance, equating my existence with that of a paltry amoeba, will linger somewhere in my subconscious. Because if all I could do was stare as her life force left her body, then...

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