Gogo's Journals 1/4

By Drum Digital
15 February 2014

In the first of a three-part serial, Thando's dying gog Mildred tries to tell her a story from her hospital bed.

Mildred muttered something softly as she twisted and turned in her sleep. “It’s all right, Ben,” the old woman said.

Her small and delicate hands fluttered nervously on top of the bedspread and her eyes shot open.

Thando, who had been keeping a vigil at her grandmother’s bedside, jumped up quickly and looked down at Mildred’s face.

“What is it, Gogo?” she asked as she stroked the old woman’s thin-skinned hands.

Mildred muttered something which Thando couldn’t catch, and then, ghost-like, closed her eyes and fell into a deep sleep.

Thando eased back into her chair, her eyes filled with tears.

“Don’t stress, love,” said the white-clad nurse who smiled kindly at her. She stood next to Thando, laying a comforting hand on her shoulder.

“It’s just that I feel . . .” Thando stopped talking for a moment as she swallowed the painful lump in her throat. “I just feel that she’s trying to tell me something.” “Her mind is far away now. Sit with her again if you like. You’ll have to prepare yourself because we don’t know what will happen,” said the nurse. Thando nodded, trying to ignore the sick feeling in the pit of her stomach. She gazed down lovingly, and as if sensing her, Mildred’s eyes opened and she smiled into her granddaughter’s tear-streaked face. For just a moment Thando got a glimpse of the dark-haired, striking young woman her gogo once was – before Mildred drifted back to sleep and escaped into another world, and another day: 14 December 1949.

-by Agnes Kimberley

To be continued...

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