Saturday, March 12, 2016

Once more at Eva's

Writing this from Eva’s again. She has left for a holiday but with her customary kindness she is letting us stay anyway so in the middle of our crisis it is at least impossible to think of a better place to be: Denis, her gourmet chef is even on hand to whip together anything we desire to eat. 
  Keita is resting beside me in the guest room. The blood values were still very low at the last test, regardless of the growth factor injections which seemed to have made no difference. But Dr. Touré says the effect may be delayed so not to give up hope yet and Keita has had yet more blood and plasma transfusions in the last days. The plan is now to do a blood test once more on Monday and have a consultation on Tuesday morning with Dr. Touré. We still hang on to a small hope that he might be able to start the all important medication then.
But Keita is bleeding slowly but seemingly unstoppably from the nose and he is getting weaker. He is very patient and bears it all with incredible grace and dignity. I on the contrary am a pretty bad nurse and get quite anguished and annoyed with him when he insists in blowing his nose forcibly thereby increasing the blood flow.

There is an unspoken sense that we are reaching the point where nothing more can be done. Yesterday morning when I was looking through his bag for something he needed I found his passport which I noticed was long past its date of expiry  and I mentioned this to him. “Yes I know” he replied quietly. “But it doesn’t matter any more does it.” 

I  look at his beautiful face and his familiar shape resting next to me, and hear him breathing calmly as he is slipping into slumber. Once again I reflect without being able to comprehend it  that one day soon he will probably be gone. Gone? Ceased to exist? How can that be possible? Once again I remember the brilliant title of that Damien Hirst piece: The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Somebody Living. 
 Should we give up hope? When does one give up hope and when is it appropriate to talk about the end? Should one talk about it? I know only that it has to come from Keita himself.

Meanwhile if it is possible to leave him  I will have to go to Djenné again on Monday but returning on the following Friday. Keita will go once more to stay with his Bamako family. I am going to accompany a German  film crew who are going to stay at the hotel while they are filming a documentary re-enactment of the saving of the Timbuktu manuscripts which were taken down to Bamako surreptitiously by varied means during the Jihadist occupation of the North. They do not feel it is safe to go and film it in Timbuktu so they have decided to do it in Djenné instead. This does give me an opportunity to travel in some comfort once more and to do some overseeing of the work in the MaliMali studio where the two big  orders for the interior decorators are taking shape I hope. It is both comforting and deeply disturbing to me  that life must go on and does go on even while a drama of life and death is taking place simultaneously.


Blogger David said...

Candid and all the more moving for its restraint as ever, dear Sophie. You're together in the kindest environment, that's the main thing at the moment. Much love to both from us both.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Susan Scheid said...

Sophie: Though we've never met, you are such an honest, warm spirit, I feel we have. In that spirit, I put my arms around you both and give you hugs and love. You are both in my thoughts.

8:43 PM  
Blogger mary said...

What a tough time for you both. I wonder who finds it the hardest - to leave or to be left behind? But how lovely that you can be together in a wonderful welcoming environment for a few days.And exciting things happening at DjenneDjenno which is really positive and unexpected. We wish you both continued togetherness.

10:09 PM  
Blogger jm.herraiz said...

I am thinking about you both and feeling from the distance a bit of your daily fight. I hope that helps, and empathy scares the sense of loneliness. Abrazos.

5:04 PM  
Blogger Gilliane said...

Dearest Sophie, I'm thinking of you. What a very difficult time you're experiencing... stay strong.
Lots of love xxx

5:32 PM  

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