Its a modern day short fable about hope of a desperate mother
‘I’m sorry’ I said to the man whilst I fumbled in my purse for oyster card
‘Move out of the way’ another man said pushing me aside and making my purse fall on the floor.
‘Sorry’ I said again trying not to cry.
‘Are you ok’ asked a kind voice
I nodded my head whilst picking up the contents of my purse off the ground, but I wasn’t ok and I hadn’t been for a long time. Six months ago, I had taken my daughter to the doctors for a full check up. She was excited at getting to miss a day at school. I was annoyed that I couldn’t schedule a doctor’s appointment out of working hours. When the doctor at the end of the check up told me that my daughter would need to come back for some more tests my heart started to beat a little faster, till he reassured me that it would probably turn out to be nothing.
But it wasn’t nothing, after several tests, the doctors sat me down in the hospital and told me that my daughter immune system was failing and they didn’t know why but they would run more tests. I smiled when my daughter was there and I cried at night when she was asleep.
Three months later, all that had changed was the condition of my daughter’s health which had deteriorated rapidly, the doctors were still running more tests and I was still trying to put an appearance of happiness to my daughter whilst falling apart in silence-wondering why this was happening to my eight year old little girl. Then the doctors started to try some new medicines on my daughter and they worked for a week at the most then they made her worse and sometimes she was in pain. I ranted, raved and cursed the doctors for what they were doing to her yet when they told me they had a new medicine which could work I would never refuse thinking maybe this would be the one that would cure her but it never was.
Last night I had gone to the hospital and sat with my daughter. She held my hand with her weak fingers and whispered in a voice that I could hardly reconcile with the loud and bubbly voice she had spoken with months before and said to me
‘I want to go home’
Tears poured down my cheeks for the first time. I nodded my head, I would take her home. I told the doctors who advised me against it. First they tried to convince me by telling me they had a new treatment which was a high percentage cure but tempted as I was that this could be the treatment, my daughter had spoken and I loved her too much to deny her what she wanted. Then the doctors said to me:
‘If you take her away she will die’
I smiled a bitter smile at them
‘She being dying in here for months, now she wants to die at home’
They let me take her home.
Today I was on my way to work, having left my daughter with my boyfriend; I had not wanted to leave her. But she would sleep for long periods of the day and I needed to collect myself together, so I could be with her all the time.
I got my oyster card and went through, the train was standing on the platform as if it was waiting just for me and I found myself a seat. As the train pulled out of the station, I heard someone jump on at the last minute but I didn’t look around I just stared at this young girl on the other side of the platform, chatting to her mother, with a childish happiness that puts a golden tint on everything, I thought about my daughter, the only thing she had to look forward to each day was pain and death. I kept looking at the girl as the train pulled further and further away and a dam I never knew existed inside me broke, tears pored from my eyes and I let them freely run down my face, unashamed at crying for my most special gift, my daughter, and all she would never have or experience. A voice startled me out of my misery.
‘It will be ok’.
I looked at the person who said this and I smiled through my tears, it was nice hearing someone say it will be ok, no one said it anymore everyone just looked on the ground and mumbled sorry or tried to not make eye contact with me in case I would talk to them and they would not know what to say. I knew it would not be ok but it was nice hearing someone say it.
‘Thanks’ I said.
The person who was a man with dark blue jeans and a t – shirt which said Jesus is my home boy on it, smiled at me.
‘Ring your work and tell them that you need to take a week off’
I looked at him confused
‘You are owed some time anyway so they won’t mind’
The man looked at me with a funny glint in his eye.
‘Then get off this train and take another train back home and go and see your daughter’
‘I haven’t got a phone’ I said
The man reached into his pocket and produced a new looking mobile phone
I laughed to myself
‘This is crazy’ I said
‘But what else have you got left to loose’ said the man.
The train stopped and the man started to get off
Just before he was to get out of the train he ran back to where I sat stunned with his phone in my hand wondering what was happening and he whispered in my ear
‘What have you got left to loose’
Then he ran out of the train hitting the platform just before the doors slammed shut behind him.
My hands shook as I dialled the number to my work and they were only too happy to give me the week off telling me that I had some time owing anyway. Then I got off the train at the next stop and made my way home with my heart beating heavy in my chest not knowing what to expect.
I was back home within half an hour and as I walked down my road although I scared at what to expect a part of me was strangely calm. I turned the key in the door and pushed it open. I could hear the television in the kitchen on and hear bugs bunny saying ‘what’s up doc’ then I heard the most beautiful sound in the world, the sound of my daughter screeching with laughter. I ran to the kitchen and there sat my daughter eating a bowel of rice krispies. I hugged her so tight and kissed her head in rapid succession.
‘Mum I can’t breathe’ she said
I let her go with a wide smile plastered to my face by happiness
‘What happened’ I said to my boyfriend
‘She just………… got up and she was………… fine’
‘Thank you’ I whispered so that no one else in the room could hear me
Just then the phone in my bag made a noise; I picked it up and saw that it was a text message.
‘That’s ok’ it read
‘What so funny mum’
I shrugged my shoulders and put the phone in my pocket thanking again and again in my head the man who helped me, the angel that gave my daughter life again, the person who had answered my prays
‘I am just so happy you are going to be fine’ I said
Two years later the doctors still could not find out what had caused my daughter to get sick nor what had made her get better, they said that it was probably just a temporary infection that got out of control and that some of the drugs they had given her had worked to build up her immune system so she was able to fight the infection. I didn’t say anything; I knew what had saved my daughter; the man on the train, the angel of the train.