The Canadian years,74, the finger snap,

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Monday 16 February 18:01


The snap of a finger

The little ones were sitting in front of the TV and counted out aloud along with the stuffed animals of Wynn's path. My uncle and aunt were still in the hospital and my father called me and asked if I wanted to pick them up. He had gone on to the University for its meeting and would come home later. My brother was still entirely ignorant of my mother’s intake and cell phones did not exist. For the second time that day, I climbed into the Pontiac, obedient as they were, the spark plugs fired in the 8 cylinders after turning my key and a deep growl showed me that my old jalopy had come to life. I headed for Foothills hospital and after some inquiries at the desk of a nice receptionist who seemed always distracted by incoming phone calls, I found my way to the waiting room where my uncle and aunt were still waiting.


‘So boy,’ my uncle greeted me, ‘not too frightened I hope’. They were lovely people and I did not feel like putting on a brave front on my part, so I answered truthfully,’ yes actually I was and am.’  ‘It is behind her now, and the doctor will stop by, so if you are not in a hurry .. ,’ my uncle said. ‘I am not in a hurry,’ I said, ‘I like to hear from the doctor how Mom is doing.’ ‘Well boy,’ said my aunt, ‘patience is a virtue and you know it, ‘sizzen is nit, mar dwâen is a ding’ She had fallen in Frisian and made clear to me that it was not so much of value what was said and that you only had to wait a bit to see how things went. ‘Yes,’ I said, my Frisian Grandpa had always had those sayings, he spoke almost in Frisian proverbs and I knew what my aunt meant. ‘Thank God my parents don’t have to go through this,’ said my aunt. Your mother was your grandfather’s apple of the eye.

A nurse came walking by and asked if we wanted to follow her and soon we were on a corridor, a large window showed my mother who lay in a bed with a doctor who was standing over her. ‘She has come around,’ said the nurse, ‘the doctor will be out soon.’ I recognized the doctor, it was Dr. Francis who had accompanied her since the beginning of the returned cancer. My mother was lying with her head on a few pillows and looked past Dr. Francis, to us and tried to send us a gentle reassuring smile. There was an empty seat next to her bed and the curtains were half pulled to. Dr. Francis came out and like doctors are, he made preparations to quickly shoot past to the next "case". ‘Dr. Francis,’ I said, ‘may I please’ and I stepped forward,’ that is my mother and these are my uncle and aunt, how is my mother.’ ‘Pleased to meet you,’ he said, nodding in our direction, ‘what shall I say’, he began, ‘under the circumstances your mother's fine, boy,’ he had veiled his answer. ‘How are those circumstances and can I see her please?’


‘She has had some complications and if all goes well, she may soon go home,’ Dr. Francis said without looking at me. I translated it to my uncle and aunt. ‘You can see her but only briefly, in her own interest. He seemed very rushed and took the first step to race away. ‘Wait a moment please,’ I asked. ‘How is my mother really?’ ‘Really, really,’ he asked? ‘Cross my heart and hope to die?’ Which is an indication that only truth will be spoken. ‘Yes,’ I said, ‘of course’. He raised his hand and made a snapping sound with his middle finger and his thumb, in bringing down of his arm, ‘it can be over any time in such cases,’ and now he sped away.

I did not translate that and said, ‘we can visit her, really briefly,’ with our head around the corner of the door. My aunt went first and my uncle said, ‘I'll wait here in the hallway then you can go a little longer and I realized how good my uncle was.’ When my aunt came back, I was allowed to go inside. ‘Hi Mom,’ I said, ‘how are you,’ and I looked at that sweet little person with all the tubes and probes, she seemed so delicate. She beckoned me a bit. ‘Glad to see you,’ she whispered, barely audible. I walked over to her and pressed a kiss on her forehead. ‘Do not sit on the chair’, my mother whispered, ‘grandpa is sitting there.’ She spoke in a few key phrases to spare breath. That could not be true, I knew, my grandfather had passed away many years ago. ‘Very far, he sought very much, now here,’ my mother said with difficulty. ‘Can you not hear him?’ ‘Mom,’ I said as I looked at her intensely,’ I listen and look only at you.’Will be fine,’ my mother said, ‘snap fingers, Doctor idea.’ Oh gosh she had seen the finger snap of her doctor and believed that he had hit on something to save her. Phew, that hurt. ‘That would be real fine,’ I replied, because I could not share the truth, which was too big for the moment. ‘Tired’, said my mother, ‘dear boy please go,’ and she closed her eyes.



  The screen continued to broadcast with the same regularity bleeps and I knew she hadtumbled into a deep sleep fatigue, which hopefully would be curative.’ Let's go’, said my uncle and later the Pontiac growled deeply and left very slowly and gently simmering the large parking of Foothills Hospital.

San Daniel 2015

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nice done San Daniel nice done