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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