While I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.Psalm 146:2
This part of my memories follows ” the continuation of being invited to tea…” as that happened in the mid year break and this at the end of the year, during the Christmas holiday time.
The first year studying away from home was over.(Our academic year ended in December) I was unusually tired. Exhausted. I had successfully completed my first year of a primary teaching course and my first year of a BA degree through UNISA (the University of South Africa). There was also the excitement of having met someone I really loved and still do, Roy.
My mum felt that these were all good enough reasons for her daughter to be tired and that I just needed some good sleep. I suppose I did, but within days I had a heavy feeling on my upper right side of my abdomin. Mum prodded ever so gently and yes my liver was quite hard, soon my skin went dry and yellow with my whites of my eyes to match. Then there was a communication that several of my classmates and a teacher all had Hepatitus A. (Hepatitis A is usually caught by consuming contaminated food or drink.)
Mum went into action. I was isolated. My plates were washed separately, my family spoke to me from my bedroom door. (Covid 19 type isolation) It worked, no one got ill. I had nothing with any form of fat in it. Mum prepared vegetables, salads, fruit and pulses. I ate little and often. I wasn’t hungry. My weight dropped to 107lbs. (While studying I had put on weight working in the kitchens. So much so that mum on my return thought I was wearing layers of clothes, but it was all me.)
Shelly practised baking a cake for me made with few ingredients. I really appreciated her love. Mum made brown bean vegetable soup with big, fat, soft macaroni pieces something I still love.
I remember one of my school friends who had just completed her first year at medical school coming to visit me. Apart from wanting to see her sick friend, I think she was curious to see my symptoms. I didn’t disappoint. I was ill and took a full six weeks to recover my strength.
I remember I asked Mum for some white cotton material and embroidery cotton and I hand sewed a blouse. It kept my hands busy when I wasn’t sleeping. I can’t remember reading much. I guess my subjects of English and Education (with Mathematics , the class I met Roy in) had kept me reading enough all year and I wanted a change.
During this holiday Roy’s brother got married in Bloemfontein and his parents, who were then back in the UK, came out to be with their family for the wedding. Mum Dorothy and Dad Brian had returned to the UK after working for thirteen years in Africa. Their return was to support Dorothy’s aging Mum, a lady who later would facilitate a change in my life .
Sickness comes on horseback ,but departs on foot.Dutch Proverb
Some days there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway.Emory Austin ( An internationally sought-after speaker)
Thank you for reading my memory.