Saturday, March 21, 2009

When The Baby Is Due...

It was 16 years ago.

It was in the middle of the night when they knocked on our door. The village wind was blowing cold and hard from the fast-flowing river after the heavy downpour. It was shivering cold and I was sound asleep. My wife switched on the light and opened the door. It was the backhouse family. The wife was ready to give birth to her third child. They begged for help and we willingly complied.

It was misty and freezing cold outside. We got ready and had everyone in our lousy old car. It took quite a while before the car engine fired up. The headlights and the wipers were turned on and we were ready to go.

The village clinic was 15 minutes drive away. The road was narrow, stony and rough, so the drive was full of jerks and bumps. It was completely dark and no vehicles were in sight. It was a tedious and unpleasing journey but we finally reached the clinic.

Have you seen a dark and quiet clinic before? There we were, looking for a clinic staff member. We knocked on barracks' doors and finally we met with a village nurse in her pajamas. It was a really awful sight. And the worse news was that the only hospital assistant was living a distant away.

She ordered us to find the driver to send the lady to the nearest hospital. It was a narrow and windy drive up to the driver's house. And my car's front right tyre was stuck in the drain. With some maneuvering, we finally reached the house.

The dogs rushed at us from all directions and barked fiercely before the owner reached us. It was a scary night especially when you knew that certain villagers did carry guns and dare to shoot at people. We broke out in cold sweats and hairs stood up on the back of our neck.

The driver had a kind personality and was very friendly to everyone he met. Though he looked clumsy but he quickly got ready. I met him a few times later and we became good friends indeed.

The driver sent the family to the nearest hospital and we were on our way home.

The baby died a few hours later. The family had to bring the dead body home. They wrapped up the body nicely, and sat quietly at the back of a fully-packed bus, hopefully no one would noticed the dead body. It was really sad for them as they mourned quietly and secretively for their dead baby in the bus.

We met the family a few times after that. They greeted us from afar with gratitude and broad smiles, but tears were rushing down their eyes. It took them a long while before they managed to forget the whole sad episode.

They blamed no one but they thanked everyone from their hearts. They had tried and everyone had tried their best, but it's life that the baby had to go..........


Twilight Zone said...

this is sad, really sad for the family, and at the same time I really admire you and your wife for having a big heart.

Star-chuu said...

what a sad story, only few people who extend their hands to their neighbors, luckily your neighbor knocked in the right door. God bless you so much and your family. God speed.

Kikit said...

some things are meant to be let go, even those very dear to the heart. :(

PJ said...

i agree, a very sad story. it just wasn't meant to be...:(

Census (aka Cen aka June.S) said...

What a sad story and what a poignant memory.