I’ve been away from this blog for the past three weeks, even though it feels like forever. I apologize to any of my readers who I may have inconvenienced in any way. It really does feel like forever; so much has happened. When I wrote my last post last month, my family and I had just been invited to my uncle’s birthday party. At the time mom hadn’t made up her mind if she wanted to attend the party or not, but in a weird twist of fate, nature intervened; we all went to my uncle’s that Sunday.
Mom was stressed up at the time because her mom was admitted in hospital. She couldn’t contemplate going to a party when her mom was lying on a hospital bed. It all happened so fast. Grams fell ill and was taken to hospital by two of mom’s siblings on a Wednesday. They called her from upcountry to inform her. Thursday, mom was so distraught when she went to work because she had never seen her mom admitted in hospital all her life.
I overheard a conversation she was having with one of my cousins on phone that evening; she was telling him how much she’d cried while at work. I bet she didn’t know I heard, and she carefully avoided telling my sisters and I. Somehow, she acted all cool, downplayed grams’ illness so it didn’t even seem like it was anything serious. Friday morning, she left home, not for work, but to visit her mom in hospital. It was entirely unprecedented. I doubt she’d notified any of her bosses she’d be skipping work that day.
In the afternoon I called to ask how grams was doing and she told me she was still recuperating in hospital. I couldn’t hear her clearly, so I texted her, telling her not to worry because grams would be well in no time.
Later that day, when she came back home, my big sister hadn’t come from school yet. Pokerfaced, mom asked what time she’d be arriving and I told her she’d be getting back home after ten. It was only thirty past seven in the evening.
“I don’t think I can wait that long, so if you don’t mind I’ll just tell you how my day was,” she said. I didn’t think there was much to the story as we’d been texting during the day, and generally she seemed okay, relatively. My small sister took a sit on the couch adjacent to mom’s. Dad was sitted on the one opposite mom’s but since I didn’t think she would take much time I remained standing, behind my small sister’s couch.
With a straight face, mom told us how she’d arrived at the hospital. When she walked into the ward grams was admitted in, she saw her mom lying there, frail. She was on drip. Mom’s elder sister was in there too. Quietly, she walked over to gram’s bedside, saying, “Mom, it’s me.” Grams didn’t open her eyes, instead, she just turned her head to the opposite direction, and she heaved, breathing her last.
At first mom thought grams was just too weak to talk, so she asked her sister to go get a doctor. It was only afterwards that the doctor revealed to them that grams had just passed away. When mom dropped that bombshell, she did it so calmly, my sister and I didn’t get it at first, then when what mom had just said hit us we asked simultaneously, “Grams died?”
The days that followed were difficult for everyone. Mom seemed composed but deep inside I knew she was shattered; she was barely holding on. She only put a brave face for my sisters and I, so we didn’t get too affected by grams’ passing. That entire period, during the burial arrangements and all, I never saw mom shed a tear. One of her sisters-in-law supported her all through. Other relatives did too, but this one was outstandingly supportive. Before then I didn’t like her much because normally we just don’t click, but after seeing the support she offered mom, I was immensely moved.
Our uncle’s party wasn’t postponed because everything had already been put in place. We attended the party, and even though we weren’t really in a partying mood, the happy vibes from the rest of the family and friends helped lessen the grief.
The only time I saw mom cry was when grams was being laid to rest. She actually wailed, and as she did, my aunt, mom’s sister-in-law, looked relieved that mom had finally cried because she was afraid mom was in denial about her mom’s passing. Naturally, it was a very tearful affair.
Mom is still getting by, taking one day at a time, and everytime I look at her I just thank God that He gave her the strength to get through the whole affair, because knowing her and all, I can attest that in all honesty that was Him at work.
After the burial I was anxious about my end of semester exams; I hadn’t revised much with all that had been happening, but again, by God’s grace I sat my exams. Now as I look at this past few weeks, I feel so much has happened, and at the moment, I can’t help but thank The Almighty because I can safely say I’ve seen His hand in everything.