This was a meeting, between family, and the Doctor. The conversation contained words like, ‘incurable’, and ‘stage 4’, and ‘target medicine’, and ‘India’. Words that for some reason, sounded like Greek to me; at that moment, these words were like foreigners, foreigners that were unwelcome, foreigners that would never really get to feel like they belonged.
A cocktail was served, everyone had their preference. Some sipped from a tall glass of confusion, some sipped the reddish broth of bitterness…unanswered questions lay squarely in our heads, silent tears were released; there was an unspoken agreement in that room though, a shared pain, an uncertain future…
The ironies of this life; a meeting held to bring everything to light, to answer concerns… but we left, and our uncertainties followed us. They sat in our mouths…they made themselves comfortable, they crossed their legs, and sipped from a mug…they returned our blank stares.
We came back in the evening. This time, it was a meeting of four; she, the faithful attendee, Mum, Dad, and I. Mum was praying, Dad looked on curiously, he stole curious glances, at me…and then at Mum…at me…and then at Mum again.
But I was staring. We had two and a half hours with her, and all that time, I stared at her. I put my hand in hers, and stared at her.
What peace there may be in silence. I tried to say something but my words failed me, she tried to say something but her words failed her too. So she closed her eyes, so she could save that energy, for something more worthwhile. Between us therefore, there were things unsaid, yet unfinished…
Her chest rose and fell rhythmically, it looked painful, but I wasn’t certain, I couldn’t ask, and she couldn’t respond. Things unsaid, yet unfinished…
My eyes searched her face, her eyes were closed. I wondered what was going on in her head. Silent prayers? Incomplete plans? I wanted to speak…but no words were forth coming. I, an avid believer in words, but at this moment, they failed me…
I’m not sure when I got converted into a believer; a believer in telepathy. I did believe at this moment, that the messages in my mind, would reach her, that they would lay next to her, and cheer her on, into resilience.
I had said a prayer that morning, “I am silly enough to sit here and wait on You for this Lord, but I do believe that all power lays in your hands.”
Anything worth saying, had it been said already? That went through my mind, during that moment in the space of time…that two and a half hours, when I held her hand, and stared at her.
I had told her once, a few months ago, when she was still able to understand, “I love you so much! I’m praying for you...may God give you His peace and joy every day…you are such a joy to be around…a perfect example of responding to life with faith, strength and hope. You are so amazing!” Those words had reached her, and knelt next to her, and made sense to her, hopefully.
My old man had once said, “Give a person their flowers while they are still alive, so they could smell them and see how pretty they are.” And I have always tried to follow that advice.
Two and a half hours later, we walked along the hospital streets. It was dark, there was a shared silence among us…we looked like 3 ghosts, floating along together.
A lump formed in my throat…and then came a leak. The content from the leak soaked my face, it filled my eyes, and ran down my face…there was an overflow of the liquid from the leak, and so it spilled on my blouse, and my body shook. I tried to control myself but couldn’t, and so I “floated” on with my fellow “ghosts”, helplessly, into the darkness.
Anything worth saying, had it been said? There were still things unsaid, yet unfinished, and so I still hope for more time, to effectuate completion, to say any other thing worth saying.