“Slow down,” I begged. I was out of breath so I had to stop to rest. Imani didn’t look like she heard me. She kept on dashing through the doors and slowly got swallowed by the distance her speed had placed between us. After a few pants, I run after Imani. “Hey baby Girl,” I whispered when I finally caught up with her. She stood right outside the door to her mum’s room just staring. I scrutinised the door for a moment before understanding what was happening. She couldn’t walk in. I didn’t know why, but I knew it had to do with the accident.
I was scared. I didn’t know what to expect. For some reason I felt like things weren’t going to be like they used to before all this happened. “Jim, can you pray with me?” I asked holding back a flood of tears. I could tell my request caught Jim by surprise but he recovered from it before I could tell him he didn’t have to help me pray. Jim took my hands into his as we stood facing each other. I closed my eyes after he did his and he began
“Dear Lord Jesus,
I know we pray less than we really should and I’ll like to, before going on, apologise for our absence. It goes without saying that the reason for praying to you right now is to ask you to give us strength. Imani especially. We understand that whatever took place has already happened and we have no power to push back time’s icy hands and save my mum. But Imani’s mum has a choice, Lord, and I can bet she chooses life! And I’m sure not just living the rest of her life stuck in some old wheelchair or paralysed in some bed. No, I know she’ll want her body back to what it was before. We’ll all want that. Forgive us for not sounding grateful for her life as we may sound like we want more than you want to offer. The thing is, Lord, we need a victory. I … need to win something ‘cos I’ve lost a big part of me. And yes, Imani’s mum back to full health would mean a lot for us so yeah! There you have it Lord…” I ended. I opened my eyes to see Imani with one eye closed and the other looking at me like ‘I asked you to do one simple thing.’
“Am I in trouble?” I asked. “No, Silly. But you are supposed to end your prayer with ‘in Jesus’ Name, Amen’ and not ‘there you have it Lord’ like He begged you to talk to Him.” Imani whispered still with one eye closed.
“Oh oh right!” I admitted. “In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”
I pushed open the door to mum’s room with some new motivation I got when we prayed. For some reason, the idea of putting my troubles on someone greater than myself for Him to take care of them for me calms me. We definitely must learn to start praying, Jim and I.
Mum was sitting up when we went in. Mr. Larry was sitting at the side of her bed feeding her lunch. At least, he tried to feed her. Mum is as stubborn as I am. She insisted she was full after two spoons.
“My baby!!!” she exclaimed weakly with her arms outstretched. I hurried into them and gave her a long hug. “Oh I’m sorry for being away for so long,” mum tried to explain. I shook my head and assured her she didn’t have to apologise. “Mr. Larry has been great to Jim and I. We thank God we have him here with us,” I added smiling at Jim’s dad.
“Where’s Jim now?” Mum asked. I could have sworn he was right behind me when I walked in. “Oh gosh! I am such a fool! I should have known ..” I blasted myself before heading to the door. Just when I pulled it open Jim walked in with a bouquet and some chocolate.
“Urm…” I said looking confused when I walked in on all of them staring at me. I didn’t think they were going to say anything so I just smiled and walked over Aunty Linda’s vase and added my flowers to the lot. “Hun, this is for you,” I said handing the box of chocolates to Imani. She cleared her throat and with it went the surprise on her face. “Oh Jim,” Imani hugged me. After I was sure she was certain I was okay with losing my mum and seeing another mum survive, I kissed her forehead before breaking away. I knelt by Aunty Linda’s bed side and allowed her to take my hands into hers. “Oh Jim, I’m sorry for everything that happened. You know your mother; the fighter that she is. I can assure you she fought death back till the final breath. Before I passed out, all I heard was she praying for you, through all the pain she was feeling at that time. She was really grateful to have mothered such an amazing boy…” I couldn’t bite my lip any much harder. They had gone sore already. Tears came rushing out of my eyes as Imani’s mum gave me the chance through imagination to replay everything. Imani fell next to me and wrapped her arms around me. “Let it all out, Jim.”
After the kids left for lunch I tried to give Linda some more of her lunch. My efforts yielded the same results as before. “Thank you for taking care of the kids, Larry,” Linda said sounding better by the minute. “Don’t mention it. It wasn’t too difficult. You and Evelyn really did a good job raising both of them so it wasn’t any work for me. I enjoyed getting to spend time with my boy also.” “Yes, yes. Oh and about work, how’s business doing?” Linda asked. “I quit my job. Yhup, I finally did that.” I smiled when I felt some peace. “I don’t know what it is but since I reconciled myself with the death of my wife I have known some type of peace I have never felt. It’s almost as though she died to free me. To show me the next path to take. The right path this time. Now I have my son by my side everyday. Fortunately he has found the love of his life already so he has the strength of a woman backing him. I don’t know but Eve’s death has brought so much life in the family tree I’ve struggled all my adult life to seed.” Linda took my hands and kissed the back of it. “Well I’m glad you finally came back. You couldn’t come to meet your lovely wife but you now have the chance to actually know your children. I’m happy for you and this road you have decided to take. I’m sure it will be the best choice you’ve ever made.”
The sun set that day with everyone in the same room – the hospital’s – yet entirely by themselves, in thoughts. It was almost as if they were at the beach gazing at the sunset. They couldn’t even see the sun set from the room they were in. Yet with the moonrise, each of them felt a light turn on in the dark of life’s moment. A bright’s switch that could only be turned on by someone who didn’t need the ‘do not walk into the light’ instruction because she was as ready as she’ll ever be to meet her maker knowing full well that her family would be better with the days that were to pass. Peace, the family knew peace.