As I opened the door I saw the unfinished jersey she had been knitting all these months lying on the carpet. She wasn’t that good at knitting but at least she had the flare and touch of it. In my house knitting had become more than a hobby but an obsession. But, after she is gone; I now realise that Imelda my wife was trying in vain to knit together our broken marriage. She had all what she wanted in life.But she kept on telling me that money doesn’t buy happiness. In spite of all the money we had she wasn’t happy, because she missed the real love from her husband. She desperately needed such love especially in these trying times. Succumbing to a heart problem is not that easy, but its somehow easier if you have a loving partner and family.
In our 15 years of marriage many things had changed, unfortunately changing for the worst. It all came as a surprise when the doctor announced to us that Imelda had a heart problem which required special surgery from world class health facilities in countries such as Cuba, America or elsewhere and not in a poor country like Zimbabwe with dilapidated health facilities. Although we had money (relatively speaking) it wasn’t that much enough to cover for her surgery and upkeep for the proposed 5 months in a foreign land. However, with the love I had for my wife I made many sacrifices and I even went out of my way to source for the required money so as for the operation to go through. It was only at the last minute that her mom objected for the idea of an operation. She had her own fears, fears which I also shared but was afraid to disclose to my wife and to those even closer to us. What if the operation failed? My Imelda would kiss good- bye to this earth. Maybe she would never wake up from the anesthesia. A painful decision it was. I was caught in between a hard rock and a hard place.
But in finality somebody had to rise above us all and the voice of conscience had to prevail. Her mother’s wishes carried the day. Imelda also managed to convince me that through prayers and not through surgeons her condition would positively improve. With the passage of time, years raced and followed each other with great speed. Imelda looked fine and fit as a fiddle. But inside, I knew she was fighting a lonely and losing battle. She was quite a courageous and strong woman. In those years I was always there for here.Whenever, she wanted a glass of water I would reach out for her. Love at its best. In health and in sickness goes the wedding vow. However, as time passed I started becoming impatient with Imelda’s situation.
To ease my stress I resorted to drinking beer so as to relieve my stress. Little, did I knew that I would become a prisoner of the bottle. By the time she needed a hand (helper) I wasn’t around. By the time she needed a shoulder to lean over, my shoulder was leaning on the beer hall walls. On a windy, misty and cloudy Friday night, as I came home holding flowers and a cake I knew that I will arrive and see Imelda sitting on the couch knitting. She had prepared one of my favorite dishes chicken and potatoes; the jersey she had been knitting was lying on the floor. Candles were neatly placed in the lounge maybe in preparation for a candle lite dinner. “Imelda Imelda darling where are you”, I was shouting. But no one responded. As I moved towards our bedroom, I saw Imelda lifelessly lying on our therapeutic bed. She was lying still. My feet became numb and I was frozen. God had taken her soul. The food that I never ate, the candle lite dinner that never was the flowers and cake that she never saw. Imelda was gone, gone for good! She had fought a long, lonely but fierce battle…