This post is written by Jokotola Odusami, a creative writer. She has decided to dedicate this post to those dying or those who have died, somewhere, somehow and have/had no power over death. This post is dedicated to everyone out there who has lost a loved one through the cold hands of death.
“She lacks enough red blood cells…”My heart sank. I pinched myself, hoping to wake up from the nightmare. For how long will this continue? Mother’s health kept deteriorating with each passing day. “……she will need a blood transfusion, she has lost a lot of blood in the past few weeks” the doctor continued. “Alright, can we get the blood now?” Father seemed strong as he accepted the news calmly. I wonder where that strength came from. The doctor made a few notes and gave it to the nurse beside him. The transfusion started not long after.
I looked at Mother in fear, hoping she will recover quickly. She had gone through a lot in the past one year and had overcome every phase. She looked beautiful even in her sleep. I smiled at myself. One look at my little sister made my heart sink, she looked so scared, I could imagine the thoughts running through her mind. She was Mother’s favourite, although Mother never made it visible. She never believed in favouritism, she loved us all equally. Laide was the last child; I guess that’s why we called her mummy’s pet. I looked at Father; he still looked calm, despite the fact that his best friend and soul mate was lying sick. Mother would have done same if she were in his shoes. She was the strongest woman I had ever met in my life, no matter how bad the situation was she never showed fear.
Mother was the nicest woman I ever met. She never stopped giving not caring whether the person was richer than her or not- which made us quarrel a few times. My friends always looked forward to coming over to the house, Mother always made sure they are well taken of and that they never left without her giving them money. She was nice and soft spoken, but a disciplinarian in disguise. She never tolerated nonsense, not even from Laide. She always believed in spoiling the rod whenever we misbehaved. The fear of Mother’s rod is the beginning of good behaviour. She never believed any one was too old to be flogged. She was fond of telling my elder brother Lami, even if he was tall as an iroko tree; the rod is no respecter of height or age.
Her sickness came as a shock to us all. She looked so strong and active, I never for once heard her complain of something as little as a headache. It started with a little tiredness and loss of a few pounds. Soon, she she was always complaining of pains in her stomach. We all thought it was nothing serious, so we treated her at home, hoping she would get better. Instead of getting better, the stomach pains grew worse; we had to take her to the family clinic. I was scared that night, we rushed her to the clinic, I thought Mother was going to die. Laide couldn’t stop crying. Lami and Father stayed at the hospital with her, while I stayed at home with Laide. Lami came home the next morning to take a few of mother’s belongings, the doctor had admitted her saying they needed to carry out a lot of tests on her. We visited the hospital on the third day of mother’s admission, she looked frail and fragile, not like the woman I used to know.
She stayed there for months; the doctor said she needed a surgery. Father never told I and Laide, what was wrong with mother. I guess my elder brother knew cause he became withdrawn, hardly played with his friends anymore. I kept asking him, but he told me nothing. The operation was successful and mother came back home, still undergoing treatment. It was one of those days the nurses came over to treat her, I overhead them saying something about cancer. I couldn’t believe my ears, I cried all through the night, praying to my Maker not to take my beloved Mother away…
“Mo fe to” mum said in our local dialect, she wanted to use the restroom. Her voice was so fresh, so alive. It jolted me away from my deep thoughts. “She’s finally awake. Thank God!” I said to myself. Laide hurried happily to call a nurse to disconnect the blood drip. Father and Lami assisted Mother to the restroom. They came back in no time at all and Mother refused to let go of dad. “Honey, you need to rest “he said smiling. “These lovers have started again” I heard Laide saying. Dad tucked mum back into her bed and called the nurse to connect the drip back. Mother smiled at us all, faced the wall and fell into a deep sleep to be with her Maker.
Lets observe a minute silence for those that lost the deadly battle to cancer. May their souls rest in peace.