Saturday. Tv, sunshine, relaxation. At last. Maya took a slow, deep breath in, then exhaled slowly, until all the air was out of her lungs and took in one last deep breath. This felt good. Finally, a break from the chaos that had erupted just one week ago and had not quite yet concluded. Maya took a little trip back to the events of Sunday Morning. She had woken up to the stench of Boo’s faeces. She was slightly confused until she had opened her eyes to the sight of it on top of her, well on her duvet anyway, accompanied by a puddle next to her. She had been frustrated at having to sort out her linen when she was already in a rush to go teach the little ones about Jesus. She had planned to spend the rest of the day at the park watching one of the biggest local bands, to celebrate her cousin’s 40th birthday, but fate had other plans.
Maya was looking for a decent pair of flat shoes for winter, but of course, everything these days looked hideous and designed for the risk takers of society, which was any prissy/hipster…. ok any subculture enthusiast… you know… every second girl out there. Maya rolled her eyes at the thought. Maya’s mom stopped her mid-thought, “OK, we’re not going anymore, Aunty Lola has collapsed.”
The only blood link between between Aunty Lola and Maya was her big cousin. His aunty had died on his birthday. Maya and her mother had gone straight to her home to be with the family, but once again fate had more in stall. The car was written off before they made it there. No injuries, just no car, plenty of shakes and a whole lot more on her Parents’ plate now. Maya had stared at the car wondering if the day could get any worse. Fighting back tears was hard, but she managed. By the time her cousin took her to the house, the body had been removed. What a sudden death. Everyone simply looked… stunned. Shocked. Nobody expected her to go, for her sister had been the one to have a stroke just a few days before. Life was pretty strange that way. Maya was getting used to life’s little surprises, or at least trying to, for the older the got the more she felt emotionally weak. She showed it less now, but little life things would get to her, her imperfections, her flaws, faults, whatever you want to call them, they stunted her more than she would wish for anybody else. She was not growing up strong enough, mature enough, independent enough, but she would get there. Eventually…
The funeral was two days later, Tuesday. Her aunts and cousin’s cousins were devastated. She had expected nothing less. She herself had cried in her own space and time for she had grown up visiting this woman and seeing her at church when she had to go to the Saturday services. Maya had been her little Fifi. A haggard lady who smoked herself to death, but so warm with a homey aura. Maya would definitely miss her.
Wednesday had been a busy day, Maya had taken photo’s of all her little children in Preschool as part of their father’s day gifts. A fun day, but long and draining. At the end of the day she went up to her mother’s office, as she did everyday. “Grandmere’s unresponsive and a few priests and deacons went to give her her final rights.” The rest of the details were a blur, but all she had picked up was that her great-grandmother was dying. She had had a bad stoke a few days before, somewhere among the chaos, those details were a blur too.
Grandmere Marie-Joan was in her late 90s. She had 11 children including a miscarriage and early deaths. Maya knew nine of them, the most beautiful of the girls being her own grandmother and one of the boys was her godfather. The family had multiplied greatly from there. There were twenty-something grandchildren, another twenty something great-grand children and some great-great-grand children somewhere in the picture. Keeping could get difficult with half the family overseas. How strange, that her mother’s side of the family could be so huge and yet her father’s side was dwindling away and she hardly knew any distant cousin’s. One or two here and there.
Maya’s family went to visit Grandmere that evening. She had been sleeping so peacefully. So oblivious to anything or anyone around her. Every now and then her legs were jerk from spasms and it was a slightly frightening thing to see, but she slept on through it all. Maya imagined that in her mind she was having long conversations with God in French. Oh how this Mauritian woman loved the French and hated the English. She hated South African too. One of the second most things Grandmere had said to here was, “but you must speak French”. The first being, “Bonjour Maya”. She was the most important member of her family, she was the glue that kept us all so connected, she would be the greatest loss to so many. A sweet, but cheeky little woman with her own quirks about her, Maya had never met anyone so devout and pious. Every baby in the family was absolutely to be baptized as soon as possible after birth and brought up strictly Catholic, following through with the blessed sacraments and living off that faith. She had set that standard and Her children and children’s children had made sure to instill it beyond Maya’s generation. Grandmere had been on and off her death bed, but this time was serious. She had gone home on Friday, to her own bed, slightly recovered and yet deteriorating at a rapid pace. It was only matter of time now. Maya was dreading the day that funeral would happen. Many people knew and loved Grandmere dearly, so it would be a major affair.
Friday the 13th. Now that was a peculiar day. Maya’s mother was driving a courtesy car to school, with the two other people they lifted in the mornings. A car had come speeding past, all too close and Maya’s mother had to drive slightly closer to that one car that was parked on the side of the road. A little too closely. Maya’s mother had hit the side mirror, but stopped anyway to give her details and as she reversed to towards the car, out popped a pole, out of nowhere, right behind her car. How strange right? Not really, Maya had seen it, but her mother had reversed right into it. The driver of the other car had simply looked confused. “It’s ok, don’t worry about it. Now you’ve just reversed into a pole…” Maya wanted to laugh, but this was no laughing matter. Hello admin lane, nice to see you again, Maya thought to herself. they were already in the process of buying a new car and now this… Life really was silly. Painfully silly.
Maya stood on her balcony and stared out over the view of her town. It’s ok Life, you can slow down now, that’s quite enough from you… Where was the lemon juicer and sugar, when lemons were being thrown at you? Oh well, Maya thought, Oh… the freak… well.