Fleeting moments

slipping

He stood at the bus stop, waiting for the bus that would take him home. He casually watched the people that were sitting and standing around him, wondering who they were and how their life had brought them there to that bus stop. It was then, as he looked around passing his time in random thought, that he saw her.

Only, he had not seen her… He had seen her face in a stranger that resembled her in hairstyle and physique. A stranger that could have easily been her, apart from the simple fact that she wasn’t.

Again he found that he had, for a brief moment, allowed himself to get excited, allowed himself to hope as he had done so many times before. It had happened yet again. He no longer thought about her except on occasions such as this, occasions where a glimpse would trigger his sub conscious and unlock a memory from deep within his psyche.

He closed his eyes and succumbed to the memories that surfaced. Suddenly he could, once more, smell the sweet scent of her skin when he held her close.

He could, once more, feel the soft touch of her caress against his cheek.

He could, once more, wonder at the beauty of the eyes that gazed so happily into his.

And finally he could, once more, feel the pain deep within his soul as he watched her leave his life forever.

He had always know that they could never be. He knew that the extent of their companionship would be but a series of memories. fleeting moments, and nothing more. He had come to accept it and felt relief in the knowledge that, sometimes, those moments are enough.

He smiled to himself at the knowledge that destiny had fated them to never meet again and he wondered when he would see her next, not in person, but in a stranger that walked past him in the street.

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Happy Birthday Dad

On the 26th of April 1942, my father was born. Today is his 73rd birthday.
Watching him dozing on the sofa beside me, I see the man that worked so hard to provide for his family. I see the man that made sure we were never without. He, along with my mom, made sure that I saw the very best orthodontist to rectify the problems with my teeth, and endeavoured to see it through to the end. All the long journeys, the surgeries, the overnight hospital stays. On top of that, they always had a new gift to cheer me up at the end of it and help aid my recovery.
I shudder to think of the expense of my treatment, but they never once mentioned the cost of it all.

I see dozens of images of my dad flash through my mind. Memories of him driving, sitting in the garden reading the newspaper, laughing with my mom, timekeeping at the swimming galas that my sister and I used to attend, adding another sticker to his growing collection on the back of his 4×4, deciding which hat he will wear from his hat collection, falling asleep on the sofa, working at his desk until 4am, the list goes on…

I remember the first time I saw my dad cry. I had gone into surgery for my teeth, but the doctors hadn’t detected that I had pneumonia and it caused complications with the surgery. I wasn’t waking up from the anaesthesia and my parents were worried I wouldn’t wake up at all. I eventually woke in the early hours of the next morning, and when I did, there he was waiting for me to wake up. I will always remember how he walked over to me with tears in his eyes and a smile on his face, a look of such relief at the knowledge that I was going to be okay. I can’t imagine having woken up without him there with those tears in his eyes.

I realise that I don’t know everything about my Dad. Born in England, his family left for Africa in his teens. Some of his life was lived in the likes of Kenya, where he was a part of the Kenyan regiment. He had a lot of stories to share about his days there where, I learned, he also used to race motorbikes. Apparently my old Dad was quite the rogue, always managing to get up to something. He later moved to South Africa and then finally to the country of my birth, Swaziland, where he founded a football team and raced rally cars with my mom. Later on he started his own company and worked day and night to try and make it a success and provide for his family.

I wish I could learn more about my dad, and the adventures he got up to at my age. I wish that I could sit and have a long conversation with him, laugh with him and learn from him.I wish I could thank him for everything he did for us. I wish it could be so, but it can’t…. My father has Alzheimers.

So, Dad, I may not be able to have a conversation with you, tell you about my day, get your advice or laugh and reminisce about the good old days…but I will always, always love you with all of my heart. Happy Birthday Dad, I love you.

Forever waiting

Waiting rooms. I can’t stand them. I spent a better part of twelve years of my life in waiting rooms. Waiting rooms, operating theatres, recovery rooms. I spent so many years waiting. Waiting to see the doctor, waiting to go home, waiting to get better, waiting to recover, waiting to be able to eat again, waiting to go back to the doctor, waiting to see the doctor again. Waiting.

Cleidocranial dysostosis. Though I had a mild form of this relatively rare condition, it still took up a rather large chunk of my life. Twelve years, I would say that it is a significant portion of a person’s life. Twelve years I spent waiting. Waiting for it to be over. I knew that it would be one day. That I just had to persevere and be patient. “Good things come to those who wait.” I used to tell myself. “One day it will all be over.” I would think. Every visit I would wait for the doctor to say that it wouldn’t be long now. The words never came. Hope dwindled and with it my confidence. I was a short teenager with braces, and when I didn’t have braces, I had special plates to attach to the chains that were buried in my gums and around the teeth that needed to be pulled down as they wouldn’t come down of their own accord.

Waiting.

Waiting for the teeth to emerge so that I could return to my orthodontist. Waiting so that he could remove the chains and refit new braces to straighten the teeth.

Waiting.

Waiting for the pain to subside so that I might be able to actually eat a proper meal, not just scrambled eggs.

Waiting.

For the teeth to be straight so I could return for another plate or brace or operation.

Waiting for it all to be over.

5 years later and I still remember that waiting room. I still remember the face of the receptionist as she handed me my file to take in to the orthodontist. I had the biggest file in their records. I was their longest patient. The most visits, the most number of surgeries. I was practically famous, yet for all the wrong reasons.

I remember how I used to dread lying on that damn chair, and how I used to stare at that damned ceiling trying not to focus on what he was doing. Waiting for him to push his chair back and say ” Okay, that’s all for today Nicholas. I will see you in another 6 weeks. ”

I remember times where my mouth was clamped open, a suction tube hanging in the corner of my mouth to suck out the saliva I wasn’t able to swallow. My mouth would go dry and my jaw muscles would be so excruciatingly painful from being held so wide open for so long, and I would wait. A tear would stream from my eye down to my ear, and all I could do was close my eyes and dream of a better time, a better place for half an hour, until I had to come back to reality. To deal with whatever else was fitted in my mouth for the next six weeks.

Wait for my next surgery. Those were always fun. Waking up the next day or even the same day, not really knowing where you are. Throwing up the blood that you inevitably swallowed during the operation.

Waiting for the next visit, because every visit meant one closer to the end. Waiting for the next surgery, because every surgery meant there was one less to be had. Waiting for visiting hours because ICU can be so lonely. Waiting to go home because I couldn’t stand the hospital any longer.

I waited because I knew there had to be something better. I don’t know where I found the strength. There were more times than I can count that I thought it would easier to just give up, to end it all. No more waiting. No more waiting to be told to wait some more, and more after that.

I couldn’t.

I wouldn’t.

I waited.

This post was written as an entry to the Daily Post topic – Waiting room : “Good things come to those who wait.” Do you agree? How long is it reasonable to wait for something you really want?

Some things are worth waiting for and other things are not. It’s up to you to decide how long you are willing to wait for something and if you feel that your wait will be worth it.

Sometimes we wait for things or people to find that it just was not worth it and that we wasted our time. That’s a lesson learnt.

Sometimes in the wait we learn things, about ourselves, about other people. Sometimes the wait makes us stronger.

There are times when we should wait and other times when we shouldn’t.

It’s up to you if it’s worth it and how long you are willing to ride it out.