Pages

Africa

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Three months after we met, my husband boarded a plane for Johannesburg. Africa called to him and he answered. A plane ticket, a promise to call. I was 19. He was 19. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to wait for him or move on.

So I did a bit of both. I waited for the weekly emails. We emailed about the weather. Every once in a while he wouldn't write for a few weeks. He'd have been sick or traveling or without any internet access. He called once. I went to parties, to the mall, ate a lot of peanut butter because I never cooked. I did college as I think it was supposed to have been done: a whole lot of angst and a whole lot of waiting for a boy half-way across the world.

He returned from Africa on fire. He'd been able to see medicine in the provincial hospitals. He'd seen a man with his insides on the outside. He'd helped to get them back inside. He'd written case reports on women that'd poisoned their children to deliver them from that cruelty that is and was Africa. He'd been robbed and pick-pocketed. He'd been sick and recovered.

He knew, as he'd known for some time, but now with even more conviction. He was going to be a doctor.

What do you do with someone so brilliantly inspired but to follow them?