What a failed kidney does to someone in a year

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A dark, dull, shapeless face stands there at the doorway, collapsing like a pyramid of cards. The person I most admire, the (now destroyed)figure most important in my life. My aunt.

"I'll put you to sleep", she used to coo, when I feared the evil monster that would jump out from beneath my bed at night. Her soft, silky hands would gently stroke my hair and her eyes – caramel mousse – would smile down at me with tender love and affection, assuring me that the silly monster didn’t exist.

“I’ll put you to sleep”, I whisper quietly in her ears while my eye penetrate through her deep grey eyes, closing like a shutter on a camera – taking the last picture it can save in its memory. Tears avalanche down her cheeks as she whimpers in pain like a helpless baby, because of her useless kidneys.

“To the beach!” She shouted ecstatically two years ago… We drowned ourselves in sweet, strawberry ice-cream and sat a ruler’s width away from the salty sea water, enabling it to lick our feet clean and continue lapping our bottoms, like a dog laps his owner’s face.

I push back the salty water in my eyes as well as the beautiful memories and stroke the layer of skin above her bones. Perfect for a Brail reader: bumpy, wrinkly and rugged. Like balsa that hasn’t been smoothed with sand paper yet. No moisture. My pupils pierce into her skin and absorb the dirty blue complexion. It doesn’t blush a rosy pink anymore. No radiance, no life. Just an uneven road… Your lips have formed a dry, crusty, white skim on top with a crimson crack running down the centre. I see blood attempting to escape… It can’t. You have no blood. You have no bliss.

I really do admire you for enduring the pain you are experiencing. As the blood pumps up and down (in the plastic tubes they sew to your arm every time you go for dialysis) you glue yourself to the hospital bed for six hours every day – without complaint. Do I look up to you for inspiration? No. I look up to you the way you look up to Jesus and pray that someday, the voice that my eardrums used to dance to, the eyes that used to smile like a crescent moon, the kiss that used to warm me up, will come back! Will come back when someone donates their kidneys to you…





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