Hmm, was I waiting for such a wake up theme to write this blog post at last? I can’t say I was ashamed of the story, no I just kept being carried away and then missed doing the post last Dec 01. Since I really wanted to feature it on Dec 01 only, I had to wait for 2015 which comes with such a wake up theme.
And so as I said above, her name was Violet… RIP. I can still my little Violet, smiling to me weakly as I picked her up from the bus stop. What had I been expecting when I had sent word frantically to the village that a babysitter be found in all emergency because the last one had just uped and left after falling madly in love with a neighbour of mine? Anyway, there came Violet and I was going to take her home to my 3 month old baby Gaby. We were in 2009, six years after I had made a very solemn promise to God.
When I was pregnant for my first son Alain, I had gone as required, to do an Aids test. Of course I was apprehensive. Indeed, before going to collect my results, I had gone into a nearby church and balled my eyes out to my Almighty Father in supplication for a clean Balance Sheet. In return, I had promised to take care of any Aids patient who ever came my way. I had by 2009, begun to doubt if there was even need to make such an awkward promise in the first place.
As soon as I picked up Violet that fateful day, I drove her to the evening school where she was already registered as part of our bargain. She had insited she wanted to return to school, and I only found that worthy of encouragement. It was on our drive back home that Violet told me the boom. She had Aids. No doubt I had found her so pale and frail, with almost no voice of her own!
I took Violet home and introduced her to all. Baby Gaby and Violet bonded immediately and I was happy for that. My fear was what my X could have done or would do once he came home and got the news about Violet. Well, he told me he knew he couldn’t stay at home to take care of the baby nor was he willing to eat any food cooked by an Aids patient. I told him I was not going to send away Violet, that I was ready to cook his meals every day before going to work, and that my faith was going to see me through all this. I had made a promise in my hour of utmost despair and I was not going to go back on that for any flimpsy reason.
It wasn’t automatic that Violet was going to contaminate baby Gaby, and I was prepared to show her so much love to the extent that she wasn’t even to think about it. And that was what came to be. We spent three priceless months, Violet was happy and talked about her only daughter called Precious. I looked forward to meeting her someday, but this was not to be. Violet fell sick and all I did couldn’t save her. She was discharged from the hospital where I had had her hospitalized, and she left for the village to spend the christmas holidays with her daughter and sister. Violet was so pale and frail, almost white. I could see the disease had even affected her mental health and she was sometimes erratic and incoherent. She actually travelled the same night she was discharged by her own insitence. I pleaded to no avail and she actually signed an undertaking herself. That was the 23rd of December 2009.
The last time I spoke with Violet was on the eve of her death on December the 28th 2009 – she asked me: “Mama why have you abandoned me?” I will never forget those words – was there something more I could have done?
On this day therefore, I really think there is something no matter we can all do for those living with or affected by Aids. The pandemic is no more as fatal or traumatic in my country as it was in the 80s and 90s, but it persits nonetheless…