It was a cloudy Monday. Drained and tired, accompanied by my best friend, who also happens to be my brother, I was to finally see a doctor about my problematic eyes. I had had noticed a slight change in my eyes on the mirror reflection a while back, precisely three months ago.
I had to do something about it. My eyes annoyed me enough to withstand the forever long-queue at a nearby Public Hospital. With my eyes worsening-up, my brother and I hardly slept last night. We shared a bedroom and almost everything else but the eye sight. Woke up very early in morning so we could form part of the first helped patients before lunch time. We headed to the hospital and made it to the first round. First group to be assisted. Hooray! It’s was such a relief.
On my left hand side sat my brother, he stood by me all the way. Who sat on my right hand side? A cheerful, eighty something year old women. She carried with her too much, she couldn’t manage at all. She was aging that walking became sort of a mission for her, at least she had her walking stick with her. The eighty something year old women sitting next to me took and read her novel out of her hand-bag as we shifted around the chairs.
The very first time shifting, she struggled to multi task – the book, handbag, walking stick and now shifting around. “I’ll help you with that” I said to her. She looked at me with a smile but seemed puzzled by what I just said. I reached down for her walking stick, handed her and kept the rest of her belongings in my chair. “Oh thank’s dear..” She said with a clear soft voice to me while taking her granny steps to the next chair.
” Oh my! This granny sound like a radio Dj, she’s cool.
After settling down she asked “What is your name, or
should I call you Gift? With a loud smile “I’m Njabulo” I politely replied to her question. “You’re kind- helping me move around, kids like you are scarce nowadays. For that, you’re a gift. So, what does your name mean in English Gift?” Granny asked, at this moment she had ceased reading her novel.
She seemed happy and curious. “Njabulo means Happiness in English” I replied. “Oh…happiness! You certainly made me the happiest Grandmother in this entire hospital today. I’m glad to meet you Happiness, you made my day.” She said with a smile.
We were now only four chairs away from getting service, finding out what’s probably could be the worse news I’ve received: the reason behind my three months unwell eyes. I was horrified.
This Grandmother didn’t give me a break to think about the reason I was there at the hospital. She’s such a chatterbox, our conversation got serious. Granny told
me about her beautiful kids, even asked for my cell phone number. Till today, she calls and asked how my eyes are doing. Isn’t she the sweetest stranger ever?
Finally our turn came, to see the doctor…..
We said our pity goodbyes. On our way back home after I had my very first Eye Test. Turned out my eyes weren’t bad as they felt to me. Now that my new friend – “Granny” is gone, this was a perfect time for us – me and my brother – to digest all that occurred inside the Hospital.
“So…how do you know that old women you were talking to the whole time?” He asked. “Ahem! I don’t know her. She’s just a cool stranger I met, she even gave me a nickname. From now on, you can call me Gift.” I replied.
We were both fascinated by this cool Grandmother. That’s all we spoke about on our way back home. I couldn’t wait to get home and tell my own grandmother about a stranger I met. I’ve never met such a kind stranger. I felt completely renewed after the conversation I had with this remarkable stranger I just
met. She had so much variable things to say, about life, love, and family. As weird as it seemed to my brother, I’m quite glad I met her. She’s fun having around.
This article was originally published on ABC Radio National .