It was always a day of joy in my family. A family of three; Mother, brother and I. Though we didn’t have much, but cooking a meal once and eating it for three days was what made us think of each other.
Sbusiso was 5 years younger than me. He was smart, strong and outspoken. I enjoyed every single moment of being his older brother. We never felt that riches and wealth could bring us joy. Going to school with holes in our shoes taught us to keep our mouths shut. Not having television at home was a good opportunity to focus on our studies and not having a father figure gave us the goal of becoming decent fathers when we get children.
We always saw a lesson in every circumstance, believing that there’s always more to life than running up and down the street, walking with the gang and being rebellious. Our only concern was mother’s sickness. She had a severe headaches, fever and neck stiffness. Our biggest worry was that she didn’t allow us to tell anyone about her sickness. We had no choice but to look after her. This later resulted to altered consciousness, vomiting, and an inability to tolerate light and loud noises.
Our joy was wiped away until Sbusiso decided to rebel against mother’s order. He decided to call an ambulance at round about eleven o’clock in the evening which delayed until one o’clock in the morning. Though she wasn’t pleased to go to the hospital, but she gave me a critical instruction.
“Son, if I don’t come back tomorrow, please come to the hospital at four o’clock.”
I spent the whole day at school wondering if mother was getting any better. Mostly concerned about the confusion that was occurring slightly while she was at home. Seeing that she was not home by the time I got back quickly got me preparing to catch the three o’clock train at Thembelihle Station. I got everything prepared, the food, pyjamas and all the cosmetics. Only to find out that not even a cent was in her safe.
I then asked our neighbour to transport me with his car. He agreed. I was still trying to figure out how he agreed to take me to the hospital after telling him that I had no money. Only to find out that my guts were right after patiently waiting thirty minutes for him to come back from the petrol station.
“I’m afraid I can’t take you to the hospital. The money I have is insufficient to get petrol that will take us to the hospital.” He said with a calm voice. Tears filled my eyes as I saw the car indicating a green light in the petrol tank. I jumped off with a slip that was on my seat that he got in less than an hour from the petrol station.
I had to walk to the hospital. I was sweating, hungry and exhausted. As I went in the reception, I humbly asked the receptionist for mother’s ward.
“I am able to see that the patient you are asking checked in, but she didn’t sleep here.” The receptionist replied with a confused reaction. “It just doesn’t make sense that a patient that checked in at two o’clock wouldn’t have spent the night here.” She continued.
My negative attitude towards technology made me believe that there was a fault. So I decided to check her in every ward. As I walked passed people who were sick to death, tears filled my eyes more than when my neighbour couldn’t take me to the hospital. I started seeing the importance of appreciating life. Thanking His grace upon me.
I searched till it came to a point where the nurses had to chuck me out.
I couldn’t imagine taking a thirty-minute walk again. I instantly went to ask for favour from the taxi driver, pouring out every tear of all the struggles I went through during the course of the day. He finally offered me a space in the taxi’s doorway.
I was doing nothing but trying to figure out what could’ve happened to Mother. This was the very reason why the driver was so impressed by my perseverance. As soon as I jumped off the taxi, I saw almost everyone in the community standing outside my neighbour’s house. As I walked closer I heard someone yelling, “Hurry! We’ve been waiting for you.”
I rushed to the house, and as I entered, I saw mother lying down without even knowing where she was.
“I saw her passing down the street not knowing who she really was. I chased after her and caught her just before she crossed the high road, with two trucks going in opposite directions.” The neighbour said with a shocked voice. “She was so confused that it resulted to psychological disorder.” He continued.
Everyone was asking whether they should take her to the hospital or contact the nearest inyanga in the neighbourhood. The decision was easy.
“Prayer alone with the wisdom granted by God is enough to solve any problem.” I said without doubt.
Mother spent a month admitted at the hospital because she was diagnosed with meningitis, which surprised the doctors because people with meningitis don’t survive for too long. I always showed gratitude to the Almighty. Most of all, I thanked the moment when neighbour changed his mind about taking me to the hospital. For if he had, no one would’ve seen mother in that state. Out of all the lessons I’ve learnt in all struggles, the biggest of them all is learning that everything happens for a reason.