In 2014, I wrote a story about Malaria on my other blog. I decided to share it here today because I wanted to rant about how my having relaxed hair is not a sin and the annoyingly judgmental attitude of some new naturalistas who act that way. However I have decided that it’s too early in the year for a rant… Maybe in February, I’ll do the rant thing. So today instead of a rant, I give you an old story.
No mosquitoes in heaven
The doctor removes her stethoscope, the look in her eyes tells me all I need to know. I hear Kade’s shout, hoarse and bitter with his dashed hopes, unanswered prayers and crushed dreams swirling in the layers. The doctor’s mouth is moving, she’s saying something, probably offering sympathy, probably telling us she’d done all she could. I hear laughter, mirthless and empty seemingly coming from a distance but I’m startled to find its coming from me. Hot tears sting my eyes and roll down my cheeks, could this be me? Crying? The sudden fog that descended on my head refuses to lift, its safe weight is welcome and shielding: I have just lost my only child.
Do I need to tell you she was my pride and joy? My life? The beat of my heart and the substance of my dreams? I thought not. I named her Grace after the actress Grace Kelly, I wanted her to be as elegant and accomplished as the beauty who stole the heart of a prince. Did I just say was my pride and joy, did I really refer to my only child as was? Of course not, after all this has just been a stupid nightmare.
Any minute now she’ll open her pretty eyes and this farce would be over…An orderly comes into the room to take her away-he’s already referring to her as “the body”. Before I know it,my right palm connects with his left cheek and as I feel the impact, it’s sends a shock wave through my body, the fog suddenly lifts and I fall to the ground weeping.
She was the best baby; cried only when she was hungry, never gave me a moment’s trouble. Her girlhood was uneventful- she went to school, church and had few friends. She came home one day with her eyes sparkling with barely suppressed glee: Kade had asked her to marry him and suddenly we had a wedding to plan.
A few months after the beautiful ceremony, they invited us to dinner: my husband and I along with Kade’s parents and as soon as I saw them I knew I’d be a grandmother soon. But three months after that, my daughter loses consciousness at work-she is rushed to the hospital. We discover she went into shock as a result of malaria and the doctors try all they can but no I don’t even get a chance to say goodbye.
Today, we bury my baby. I sit in my room and weep- silently but without ceasing. I can’t even attend the funeral- it’s an abomination in my culture for a parent to attend her child’s funeral. My friends weep with me, everyone’s heart is broken. My husband’s eyes have this permanent glaze as he tells me she’s with God now.
“We love her but He loves her more” He intones and you can see his struggle not to burst into tears or hit something.
I find comfort in that trite cliche, at least for one reason. Malaria can do nothing to her now- there are no mosquitoes in heaven.