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SMILES FROM SORROW- By Ugwu Jane

 I squeezed a sheet of paper with tears soaking it. Tears from my weary eyes. I had just squeezed the last article my father wrote before he died. He had not published it,  he printed it out  and  kept it in a folder.  The articles might be to me 'My savior.'  I cried not only because of the sad emotions the article waved through me but also because my dad had hid this from the family. In a traumatic realization, I read it again. In realization he really valued our happiness.

 Before I tell you my story, I would like to tell you that , whatever you were subjected to or faced is not a vindication to hurt people. I won't say I am completely whole, a part of me will always yearn for what was lost but I won't say I am not happy. In fact, I can award my family as the happiest family in the world. They say you never understand a situation until you experience it yourself.

I was ten years old when my father heal. He had a chronic malaria. My family could not afford much, but at least we could  afford for two- bedrooms flat in Lagos through savings and ajo. We muddle through and paid for some important medicals needs but we could not meet up anymore. They kept on telling us the important drugs we needed to buy And my mom has just collected money from her ajo. Anytime I went to the hospital, I always ponder how money was so powerful, how big money could save my father. A little smile of hope appeared on my mother's face when our regional  pastor called and said he was coming. Mother was sure he will dropped big money.

After praying for my father he gave my mother half of the money needed  to complete treatment. I can still vividly remember my mother rolling on the floor thanking our pastor. The doctor promise my mother that my father will be treated with immediate effect if she could pay seven-five percent of the money. My mother rally round and paid. It was on a Saturday morning my mother paid the money  and so, immediate treatment was giving to him as the doctor promised. The nurse came with two injections, one yellow and the other colorless.

To my mother and I , the nurse was like an angel. We did not question her  on what drugs she was about to inject my father. We knew she knew her job better than us and we also knew nothing about medicals issues. With the happiness my father will soon be well, I helped the nurse tighten a short rope around my father's hand so she could get good vein. She injected the one with a yellow color on his buttocks. It was not up to five minutes my father started to jerk.

He jerked up, vomiting out some white substances from his mouth, his eyes turned red instantly. My mother rushed to call the doctor in enormous panic. I held my father, begging him to calm. Before the doctor and a nurse entered, he had stop jerking, it  was as if he started sleeping.

"Please what is wrong with my husband?" My mother asked the doctor.

"I am trying to figure that out." the doctor replied, making sure his eyelid lapped properly.

"Is he sleeping?" My mother asked again in hesitation.

"He is dead."

When I heard that, it  felt like a feather rather than a stone had landed on my heart. I could not even know whether the doctor was right, I was not given time to, my mother didn't given me time cause she slumped at that moment. I flew to the ground to get her up. I told her the doctor was lying, maybe that will raise her. But no, she chose to die , she chose to leave me alone in this world. I walked out. Standing at the reception, watching as the bodies of my parents were taking to mortuary, I overheard one of the nurses telling another nurse in yourba language that my father was giving the wrong medications. He was given the wrong dosage of  drugs too.

I scratched my head in pain. Roared inside me. Just a mistake had made lose my father and my mother, just a mistake!  In a minute I had lost my parents. Young me never forgave the doctor and the nurse. If I  said I  was able to cope and didn't suffer much after their  death  I was going to hell for such lie. At sixteen,  I  left my aunty's place where I stayed after  my parents death. I left to make a living for myself . I managed to enter federal school.  With what happened I was determined to read medicine but my results were not good,  so I read  psychology. 

As time went on,  I began to appreciate my course.  I created an NGO  that  enlightened nurses on what it is to be a  nurse and the power they have to save a life, with much more recognition  doctors started to  attend the program. Now,  I'm a well  known  successful psychologist . I won't say it was easy to achieve  this but with determination,  I made it.  So, my point is that, I didn't let my bitterness take the better of me.  I didn't let my past  make me  toxic to the society, instead I  helped. I  used my painful  experiences to make a difference, to make sure no other child  in my time would  lose his/her  mother or  father  to the negligence of a nurse or doctor.  Truly smiles could come from our point of sorrows if we don't allow our selves to be blinded by the pain.

 

              Mr.  Ola Daniels.


ABOUT THE WRITER

My hobbies are writing and listening to music. I am a student of University of Lagos.

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