I was on my way back from a pre contract meeting when I see a missed call from my Niece Fara and then a call comes in from my eldest sister Yetunde my heart skips a beat because her and I aren’t really on regular speaking terms but I love her true, so I pick up with the sole purpose of saying “I will call back in 5 mins” (I didn’t want to discuss personal matters around a work colleague) she quickly tells me Running Water (Rh2o) is in a bad way and will have to go to Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
I call back 3 mins later to ask for more information then I organise the rest of my appointments and I rush from work which is a journey on the London underground from Blackhorse road to Tooting Broadway to go and see my brother once again battling for his life. 4 years ago he was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer and he beat it, then it came back about a year ago and he’s just had a bone marrow transplant and has 21 days to see if the transplant takes.
I get to his hospital room to see laying in bed a bloated dark black version of the man I have come to know and call my brother for 42 years his teeth are brown, his eyes are glassy and dim, there is blood in his mouth and his lips are smokers black, he has trouble speaking and focusing…Yetunde is touching his hand comforting him and to her right, Tokunbo her husband is standing looking quite pensive, Shola arrives shortly after, the nurses are doing all they can to comfort him and the decision has been made to take him to ICU when the nurses come to take him to ICU his focus kicks in like the true Awolesi and starts instructing me to pack his private objects into a bags, it gives me hope, my sisters are fully engaged and Yetunde is endearing in her fortitude for someone who has just donated bone marrow to him. Shola kicks in with a prayer narrative that fills the room with a peace and power that is calming and as all this is happening all I can think about is the fragility of life and the how and what we take for granted much in each and every one of our relationships.
It would be unbecoming of me to lie and say I haven’t contemplated the worst but deep within me I haven’t felt a disconnection of my brothers and I’s link.
As he is taken from his hospital room I stay back to clear up his valuables as instructed all the time im thinking what do I need to do to help my nieces in what is trying time for them already (they are both in University studying hard)
I finally pack and pick up the 3 bags one black satchel, a black and grey trimmed medium travel bag and a blue Ikea hold all containing a printer, a guillotine the black satchel is filled with a laptop an iPad, chargers, envelopes, Usb cameras, speakers and notebooks, the medium-sized travel bag is filled with grey jogging bottoms, slippers, red trainers, some nondescript t-shirts, underwear and his toilet travel bag. If this were under any other circumstance he could easily have been preparing for a beach holiday.
We are told to wait in the aptly named waiting room while they set him up in ICU as we settle down among the chatter of other worried families his friend Dele turns up with visible concern written all over his body like the recent cold snap we have been experiencing he asks for my brothers whereabouts and we give him an update, at this point I realise how many people are connected and care about this one person that I have had to prioritize today above every thing else.
Time passes and we are asked to go and see him in his new room as we walk though the ward sporting the hospital couture of plastic aprons and latex gloves Snow Patrol Chasing Cars “If I lay here, if I lay right here” plays softly amid the coughs and splutters of patients in pain like background vocals and I wonder for a moment, who works the sync deals for music in hospitals as this will definitely help improve the morale of patients, doctors and nurses alike as the mix of blue and green scrubs play checkers with patients I again drift and contemplate what its like for them to be around people with such life threatening illnesses and the transference of energy that takes place when one in such close proximity, my mind plays back my brisk walk from tooting Broadway station and the placard and campaigners protesting and handing out leaflets saying “keep the NHS free”, one wonders about how this will affect the lives of the people who dedicate their lives to saving our lives and the bureaucrats that don’t even know what the inside of a public hospital looks like.
I see a somewhat more relaxed Running Water laying on the hospital bed with numerous syringes and pipes hooked up to beeping machines and I look to my right and see the room has a decent enough view which reminds me of working on the Chelsea and Westminster hospital and the importance of having a good view which should help improve the patients condition.
It’s not so tense at the moment and he seems more lucid now speaking a bit more and drinking orange juice which I had to hold to his dry lips as he drank I could hear the juice running down his throat making a gurgling sound only to understand that its his bronchial tract that is still healing. I finally get to see his immensely dark and swollen legs and feet with dark patches filled with yellow puss, he says he can’t stand on his feet because if he does he will faint, my heart literally aches with a deep melancholy and I understand the depth of him having to cope with being this way because he on any average day is a sporting outgoing chap.
Amidst the in’s and out’s of the blue and green scrubs I feel tired and for the umpteenth time my thoughts are of my love Bumi and how we relate to each other on a day-to-day basis, I think about how much I care and love her and what I would feel if anything happened to her and how at times I forget to focus how lucky we both are to be sharing in each others lives. Its time like this that I focus on remembering to forget https://cerebralcausality.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/introspectively-inspired-5-of-5-forgetting-me/ how certain things rub me up the wrong way and how I should be more lucid
Right now I am sat in the waiting room waiting on my brother to be cleaned so I can go and put on a brave face for him and crack a few jokes (He, like my nieces have always thought I am funny and love to laugh so I provide them with humour in abundance (they say its good to laugh)
I pray for a swift recovery for him because in the other parallel universe something else has happened and I am not so funny when I cry.
© Seyi Awolesi 13031317:36 praying for more time and healing…