This day last year, 14th March, we got the call: get to the airport, this is the end. There was a strong possibility Red Twin would die that night while we were making the 30 hour journey.
Our family sat at her bedside saying in between her Cheyne Stokes breaths, “Hang on [Red Twin], Tam’s on her way,” among other things. When I arrived with Arthur and our boys on the 15th at about 10pm, she opened her eyes and sang to me.
At 3am as Mum, one of our sisters Jess, and I lay with her, Red Twin was annoyed: in her mind, the deal was that she would hang on to see me, and then God would take her home – she’d seen me, and now she was impatient. What was he waiting for? Who knows.
It took another week. It was a very long week.
Even when her mind started to slip, her body was still strong. “C’mon Tam,” she said to me as she was trying to escape from the hospital room, “One last hurrah!” It broke my heart to say no to her, and to try to get her back into bed.
She would realise what she was doing every now and then, and smile her sheepish grin, the same one that used to creep across her face when she realised she’d been sleepwalking.
They call it ‘terminal restlessness’, but people aren’t normally as strong as she was. I guess all that muscle mass and cardio health from aerobics doesn’t deteriorate that fast. For the last several days she was sedated, to try to give her some rest and stop her from hurting herself or others.
Those days were peaceful for her. They were agonising for me, for all our family.
I spent the 12 hours before she died vomiting from the stress of it all. The nurses were worried I had gastro. It reminded me of when we were 8 and she broke her arm and the hospital staff thought I was the twin who was hurt because of how much I was crying.
Categories: Written by Tamie
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.