On being "home," and family, and togetherness

Wednesday, August 28, 2013



My cousin has auto-immune nmda-encephalitis and is in the hospital. My heart is broken, and I feel very emotionally and physically drained since being here. There is nothing in the world that can prepare you for something like this - nothing you see on TV, no amount of medical training, no amount of preparation. We're being positive about her recovery and look every day for a sign of something changing, something happening.

They say she won't remember the experience of being in the hospital for the period that she has been in a coma or not-quite-conscious, and they say that she isn't feeling pain now. Still. It has been nearly seven weeks.

We just all want her to wake up.

It's a funny thing, home. I've been back in Cape Town for almost two weeks now, and though I wish it were under better circumstances, I feel as if everything is still wonderfully the same - despite the distance - while we all fit our lives around family trauma.

And so, there's really no place like home. Things have changed more than I expected, since I was last here. My dog, Milo, got old and grey and deaf - but he still remembers me. My favourite shops and restaurants have gone or changed - but the new ones are  lovely and offer more variety than before. The money changed and the notes are now printed in Monopoly Money colours - but they're also printed with Nelson Mandela's face. And even though there's a lot of heartache and hoping happening here, we've still got our family.

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11 comments

  1. Ohhh I am so sorry for this bad news!!!!
    I hope your cousin will soon be able to recover. What do say the doctors?
    How happens such a disease?
    I understand your sadness. That's hard.........

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    1. Thank you Laurence! I hope she will recover soon too. I haven't had any news yet. Fingers crossed! x

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  2. Hello Stacey! improvements desire for her cousin.
    I feel the same when I go to my hometown, I live here 5 years ago and my family is from another city, aged people, the restaurants and bars no longer exist, it is really very funny! Sometimes I go out and meet people in the street think - our that person was not in my city? or is it even here, a little confused!!
    A big kiss for you, I will say a prayer for you.
    Pri

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    1. Thank you so much for your thoughts! xx

      It is funny when you have all this history and must try to figure out where you know people from! Glad it's not just me :) x

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  3. I'm sorry to hear about your cousin, Stacey. That's really rough.

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    1. Thanks Juanita! Posted something for you while I was in SA, hope it makes it to your PO box soon! x

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  4. I feel your pain. My cousin had encephalitis last year, almost a year ago now. She was pregnant and was in a coma for 6 weeks. We thought she would die and that the baby would definitely not make it. She woke up, had her perfect, healthy baby a few months later and is now completely and utterly recovered, 100%. She's fit, happy and healthy. I hope that gives you some hope as I know how scared and upset you must be feeling. xx

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    1. What an amazing story! I shared this with my family while I was home, there is hope yet x

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  5. I am so sorry to hear about your cousin. My thoughts and prayers are with her and you!

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    1. Thank you Julie! I really appreciate your kind thoughts xx

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  6. Thank you to everyone for your comments and emails, each thought was lovingly received and greatly appreciated! x

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