After dad’s passing, my mum was able to save up and build a place of her own. I had graduated from college and married Uncle Ex within the time. Seemed like things were beginning to look up for mother now.
She registered for French classes and joked about studying a big named course affiliated with physics(can’t recall now the name). She got all the right promotions at work too.
Then her medical condition worsened.
You do recall that mother had the SS genotype…… Sickle cell as we all know it? I had gotten used to her sporadic medical attacks. She got used to injecting herself after dad past on!
But this time was different. She got admitted at the hospital frequently and she would tease that the hospital room was her hotel room.
When she clocked 50, we had a big party in her honor. It was a beautiful event. I have the pictures to remind me of so much selfless love.
She never cared for pity. I remember her teasing her changing body stature saying it’s only the traditional blouse and wrapper that could camouflage her weight loss for the party.
Friends and family came from all over the nation. Home cooking was done and I do remember grandma trying to inspect the pot of Ogbolo soup then missing her step and pouring it all down. She started to lament about it and my mother replies her “who sent you?” Hahaha, they had one of their famous quarrels. One funny thing my grandma used to do, she calls her children their names affiliated with a “Sister” or a “brother” prefix.
Her health continued to degenerate. She had to stop work. Nonetheless when Uncle Ex absconded, she travelled all the way to my base to try mediate. I wept when I saw how fragile she was.
Every journey she embarked on then led to her being admitted in the hospital and having blood transfusions. She began staggering in her strides. Yet she stayed strong in Spirit.
The doctors couldn’t diagnose anything out of the ordinary Sickle Cell anaemia at this point. Someone suggested she tried traditional herbal remedies, she did take a few and began speaking about going to some traditional healing home. She spoke to me about it and I discouraged her with words similar to “you may go there and get healed or not but get some demonic possession and go to hell when you eventually die which you would, so is it worth it?”
Well she went not and continued with medical science methods. One day I did dreamt that she died. I narrated it to her and she did reply “if I die, I die”. Oh did I fail to tell you she was Born Again
I remember the last vacation I took to spend a week with her at home. We had fun of some sort. She loaded my head with advice. She had the habit of writing letters of advice to me at important events in my life, the way her dad did to her too! I have carefully preserved the one she wrote me on my graduation from University. I laminated it and I re-read it sometimes. Back to that vacation, her mum was with her (actually she stayed with her till her last breathe, through admissions and all. She had to be forcefully prevented from catering and partaking in the funeral), we shared meals, jokes(she loved to tease me and I didn’t like it much).
She would call me “dotty” like making it sound like she was saying something was dirty in pidgin English while insisting she was trying to coin it from “sonny” which is a pet name for a son. Then when I play scrabble with an elderly neighbor of hers and I get defeated, she would laugh at me unending. I don’t like being laughed at! I REPEAT, I DON’T LIKE BEING LAUGHED AT!
I was back to my station many weeks later when mum calls and says to me “I was sick since you didn’t check on me”. I didn’t realize she had broken down again and I had been so wrapped up in my separation from Uncle Ex that I kept to myself. A few weeks later I was called that she was re admitted. I travelled to be with her, oh I do remember the day I travelled was the same day the court clerk and I served Uncle Ex divorce papers in his office.
She was in the ICU, diagnosed with kidney failure, a dialysis was planned.
She was asleep when I came in, on seeing me, her face lit up(she always had the biggest smiles) then she quickly says “ let’s make up” and me I still had the mouth to be making long speeches and saying “I never had anything against you, I just didn’t like the way you shout”. Haha. Ain’t I a clown? She then shows concern about my marital challenge wondering why Uncle Ex wouldn’t tow the Christian way of reconciliation. I assured her that I was fine.
Dialysis was scheduled for a few days later. I was gainfully employed then but not my brother. When mum heard the dialysis cost, she tried to persuade us not to go ahead with it. Well I assured her that she was more Important to us than money!
She was put to sleep to have the dialysis done. After it, she was released to us still asleep. We returned to the hospital we were using but she didn’t seem to wake up after a considerable long time and we became scared. Eventually she did wake up but she woke up exhibiting traits that she didn’t manifest before the dialysis and she couldn’t talk to explain how she felt, she could nod though.
She was later moved to a more comfortable ward and put on oxygen. I spent the night sleeping by her bedside. She would wake up and be concerned about me.
I had to return to work soon. She had one more dialysis before I left. I remember telling her goodbye with a hug, promising to return in a week time.
That was the last time I saw her alive as I received a call few days later to learn that she had died.
I left work instantly, texted Uncle Ex who had been avoiding me for months, he took me to the motor park and I do remember that was the last time I shared a hug with him. Even his parents who had been mean to me, called to express their condolences.
The funeral was a quiet one, a Will was in place, everything sorted out, services and food then after everyone had gone, the reality of the quietness dawned on me.
Good bye mother. I will forever miss you.
No advise for today. Let me cry today. Cry alone.
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