Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sophia Turpin and I

There is just some people I can never forget. I remember strange things about people. I remember how their toes look, how yellow their teeth are, how long their fingers, and sometimes, if they have no neck. I remember Sophie's smile.

Sophie's smile is genuine, Sophie's smile lights up a room. Sophie's smile comforts me, along with her hugs, Sophie's smile is no more, and now I have a headache. You don't know how some people reach your heart until, they are gone. Sophie's kidneys took her away.

I met Sophie, just because she smiled at me, and soon after we became fast friends. I renamed her Turpentine, after a very sweet, local mango. When I called her that, I remembered her sweet disposition, and a fearless mother. It was a unique friendship, in that she had three children, and I had none. She had a very difficult life, and my life, although emotionally trying, could not match up to the courage that she showed in the face of a truly unfair life.

Before I left for NYC, we did some things together, I would visit her, and her kids, and one night I took them for Coconut water, later when her kids were by their father, she came and spent a night by me. We spoke until the wee hours of the morning, then she had to go to work. I had just returned from NYC, when I heard that her kidneys were failing her. Prior to that, I was looking into organ donations. I had two kidneys, and so far they were fine, perhaps she would like one, I thought. So, I asked, someone who knew her very well, and they said, not likely, since she could still die. I also thought of the red tape corruption that engulfs this country of ours, and it was not going to be a simple issue of me taking one of my kidneys and letting the doctors, give it to her. I did not want to die in the process, but I did not want my sweet Turpentine to leave her kids without a mother, and me without a friend. So, I planned to visit her, which I did, I met her brother and he stated that she was living with a sister and her family along with her two daughters. So I took comfort in this. Meanwhile, I was going through some rough patches of my own.

Soon I met Turpentine, a few months ago and I was tearful that she looked ok, but her smile, still bright and genuine enveloped me once more, and we spoke like old buddies, my tears flowing and she comforting me. About three weeks ago we met again, and she showed me the healed wounds from the dialysis, machine hook ups. She stated with a slight frustration, "They run out of places to cut me." We hugged and hugged, she was shorter than I was and very, very small. I was scared, and I did not want to think about it.

Today, she passed on, in the hospital, under pressure from doctors to take a blood transfusion. Khadine and Khadisha, and Khareem has no mother, and I fear that their lives are about to get very complicated. With no mother and an absentee father, I can do nothing but hope, and possibly assist in some way. I don't like funerals, but I will go, just because of Sophie's Smile.