Maggie was running late. It might have been a better decision to have requested a home visit but she needed to get away from the house. This particular event needed to happen away from the house. She somehow knew what it would be and she didn’t dread it but she knew what was coming was back with a truckload. And definitely, that was not the best place for it, not their house.
She and Dave had bought the property from a retiring couple thirty years ago and they had turned it into a nest for themselves and two of their children. Of course, some remodeling here and there had been done but the house was always a dear, sweet abode. The house held too many sweet memories. Even though Dave had left her quite earlier in life, she found it fulfilling to enjoy the rest of her own life with the memories she had created with him. They had fought for each other, survived many falls and health breakdowns, celebrated marriages and victories, cradled grandbabies and eventually bid each other adieu.
At his deathbed, Dave had introduced her to an experience he had and she had found it to be an answer to a lingering longing she too had always born. And because of that, she’d remarkably smiled through the loss of her dearest. He’d really rocked her world. Well, almost.
Perhaps it would have also been a better choice to let Yuri drive her. He had tried to convince her to allow him but she’d prevailed over the gentleman, she’d determined to drive herself.
The Lagos traffic jam, go slow as it is popularly called, caught her right in the middle. She was trying frantically to meet her appointment but all she could do was to move a few meters per time.
She tried to calm down.
After some thirty five-minutes, she gratefully parked her car and made out to her friend’s office.
Dr. Jide Fabayode confirmed her earlier predictions. “It’s back, Maggie, and advancing rapidly.” He went a step further by putting a number on the time frame. “We might not have more than six months together. If we do, we might need to keep you at home for proper care.”
She was seventy-six and was glad for a wonderful life but it really set her knees wobbling to think that all she had left was a matter of months. Her mind immediately began its lifelong task of analysing the situation and proposing a suitable way of handling it; the most suitable, you might say.
Gather your family together and dote on them for the remainder of your life. Let the six months be spent with the sounds of little ones laughing, screaming and crying. Allow your children to share meals and stories and experiences as you listen. Hold hands with each dear one, tell them how much you loved them and tell them you were leaving soon. Let your demise be met with a concerted joy woven by your lifetime while enjoying the precious gifts your life had bred.
As the thoughts barged in subtly, her eyes lit up and she began tapping her feet to the swish-swoosh movement of the air condition unit in Jide’s office.
“I’ll give you a few minutes alone, Maggie,” he said, releasing her hand and stepping out of the room.
As her friend stepped out, she sighed deeply. Even expected news shook you up if it was bad. And as she began to take the thought from where she had left off, she caught herself.
Take no thought…
The feeling that accompanied that phrase felt familiar. It was actually well known. It became stronger as it grew wider in width and spectrum. It took over her right from her mind all through to her body.
Take no thought…for your life.
Yes, that was the whole quote. And it seemed to stare at her right in the face as if it was written before her even though it was just a quote she’d read somewhere.
She remembered where she’d read it and everything began to fall into place.
As she received the news of her ending life, she had immediately sprung to action, planning how she could live the rest of her life with the part of her existence dearest to her. A small idea was lurking somewhere suggesting that it was not bad to enjoy the rest of what is left with your own. But as Maggie sat, remembering the rest of that scripture, she knew she had not totally been spiritually minded.
So what do I do now, Lord?
Sell all you have, give it to the poor and follow me…, came the reply.
Not wanting to yield to her carnality again, she asked, How?
Miss… The word was forming but was not as forthcoming as she expected. Was it a name? Who was missing? What had she missed?
Was that another missionary body? What does that have to do with me? She didn’t stop asking the questions as they came.
She sat up, picked her purse and dug out the car keys. She was about to leave when Dr. Jide came in.
“Thank you, Jide. I’ll like to get back home.”
“Of course, Maggie, please feel free to call if you need me.”
“That’s alright,” she made for the door.
“Stephen is in town.” Jide was saying as he walked her out. “He’s around with his wife and daughters. They’re taking a short break from work”
“Oh,” Maggie turned “how are they?” She was facing Jide now and remembered Stephen was his last son. He’d taken up a job as a missionary in Uro Akoko after becoming a consultant in general surgery. He’d barely waited to marry before announcing that he was leaving his budding career in LUTH to start a medical mission station in Uro Akoko. Maggie was one of his partners and remembered from the last report sent to her that the mission just acquired an ambulance. Apart from consulting for the whole community and a large part of the Akoko district, all treatments were given for free by the mission.
And the whole thing fell into place!
Maggie spoke before she knew it, “I’d really like to have Steve over for lunch. Would you please ask if he’d join me with his family?”
“Oh, he’d already said he was coming over to your house for a week on Saturday,” Jide enthused. “You two seem to be on the same wavelength. I’ll inform him.”
“Thank you, Jide.” Perhaps the rest of her life was going to be the best, Maggie thought as the two of them chatted casually as they made their way to her car, momentarily forgetting that one of them was dying. They just enjoyed the sweet moments friendship availed them.