Life is Just Not Kind

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I think as a mother and a wife you can feel when something bad is about to happen. This morning I woke up with a heavy heart for some reason which is weird and strange because last night I slept a happy person, seeing my parents and how happy they were about my pregnancy, how happy my husband was and didn’t want to leave me at all last night because yena he wanted to bond with his babies and his wife.


Jay says


Sethu says and I giggle because they speaking at the same time

“calm down you guys, I need to hear each one of you. Sethu you go first”

I say because I know Jay will understand while Sethu won’t

“Lukho and I played dress up yesterday and we took lots of pictures”

She says all so excited, I smile to myself but the heaviness is still there

“That’s nice, why didn’t you guys send me pictures?” I ask and she giggles

“I don’t know, call her and ask”

She says and I chuckle

“I’ll ask her to send me pictures. Jay?”

I say

“uncle Bakho took us to the arcade Saturday, I met Jade and Hlonela”

he says all so excited. Hearing my kids sound as happy as they do brings me joy, it makes me happy. I even picture them telling me all these stories when we sit together in the lounge on the floor with snacks listening to only the 2 of them go on about school and daycare. It’s always precious and those are the moments I live for. We talk for quite some time until I heard something crashing, windows shattering, screeching tires, my kids crying. I call out Bandile’s name with hopes that what I am hearing did not happen to them


I call out but all I hear are tires and breaking glass, tears threaten my eyes


I call out and I don’t get a response from any of them, I can’t control the tears that are now rolling down my cheeks, I get out of the bed in panic taking out the drip from my hand

“Bandile please answer me”

I plead with my voice cracking as the thought of something happening to them breaks my heart

“Mrs Tshawe what are you doing?”

A nurse asks walking in and is shook to see me out of bed

“I have to get to my family”

I say walking to the small closet

“Mrs Tshawe you need to be in bed, someone in your condition cannot handle any stress”

She says pleading but I don’t budge “Mrs Tshawe please”

she says but I don’t respond, I call out to my family again on the phone and still don’t get a response. I remove the phone from my ear and there call is cut. I dial Bandile’s number and it goes straight to voicemail. I can’t lose my husband, I can’t lose my children. Not now, not like this. I throw my phone on the bed in frustration and head out of the room like a mad person with the nurse running after me calling out my name. I bump into someone and fall flat on my ass.


I look up and it’s Biko walking with Yoza

“What’s going on?”

He says holding out his hand to me

“Hey, is everything ok?”

Yoza asks

“Doc she just jumped out of the bed and ran out”

The nurse explains, Biko pulls me up

“Sisi what’s going on? You look like you’ve seen a ghost”

he says, I try to catch my breath but it’s difficult when it feels like there’s something stuck in my chest making it difficult for me to breath. I feel like I’m having a panic attack trying very hard to breathe

“Biko she’s having a panic attack”

Yoza says quickly stepping between Biko and I

“Hlali look at me sisi”

She says but how? How do I look at her and focus on her when my mind is with my family. When the people I want could possibly be dying?

“We need help here”

Is the last thing I hear before passing out




I don’t think I have ever seen Mihlali that shaken before, it was like she was possessed or something. We get her onto a bed and rushed back to her room and her doctor tends to her

“What happened with her? Why is she here?” I ask

“She’s pregnant doc, she’s meant to be on bed rest until she is fit enough”

She explains

“She’s pregnant?”

Biko exclaims in shock

“How long has she been here?”

I ask

“She was admitted Saturday morning doc”

She explains and I nod

“Why would Hlali rush out? Did she say anything?”

I ask her and she thinks for a little

“She did say something about getting to her family Doc”

She says

“You think something happened to Bandile?” Biko asks and I shrug

“Probably, why else would she react like that?” I respond

“Ok thanks, keep me posted on how she is neh”

I say and she nods then Biko and I head to my office. Yesterday he came back with bruised knuckles, he told me that he landed Bayanda in a hospital bed and he had no shame for it. We walk into my office

“Mihlali is pregnant? Did you know?” He asks as soon as he closes the door

“I had no idea, I didn’t even know she was here. It’s my first time seeing her”

I respond and he sits down, we dropped the kids off at daycare and then he accompanied me to work and even offered to walk me to my office. He does that at times for reasons known only to him. He can be very possessive when he wants to

“I’ll have to go and check on her and hear what happened”

I say, he pulls me to him by my waist

“Sthandwa sam I’ll see you at lunch neh?” he says and I smile

“ewe Lerato Laka”

I say and he leans in for a kiss. As we are kissing my office phone rings

“I have to answer that”

I say and then break out from him to answer, it’s a call informing me of an accident that recently took place and how I’m going to be needed in surgery so I need to be on standby. I place the phone on it’s stand

“Everything ok?”

He asks and I turn to him

“There’s been an accident, 2 children and one adult”

I say and he sighs

“I’ll see you later?”

I say and he nods pulling me in for a hug. We break the hug and I walk him out then go and find Mihlali and her doctor, when I get to her room she’s sleeping

“How is she?”

I ask and she sighs

“She’s sleeping, her pressure is way to high and she’s at high risk of miscarrying”

She says

“She’s pregnant with triplets, if we don’t manage to calm her down then she might lose all of them”

She explains


I ask unable to hide my shock and she nods

“yes, her womb is a little too small to hold in all three”

She says and I sigh

“I still don’t understand why she would risk her life like that”

she says

“We’ll only know when she wakes up”

I say and she nods.

We head out of Hlali’s room and we walk around checking on her patients and my patients together just catching up. After what seemed like an hour my pager goes off and I rush out, 3 beds are being rolled past us. I rush to change into my scrubs and then prepare for theatre. When I walk in

“our patients are a 7 year old and a 3 year old. Seems like they were driving to school with their father Bandile Tshawe”

She says and I gasp in shock clasping my mouth

“And the children?”

She looks at her file

“Lwando Junior Tshawe and Isiphosethu Ayola Tshawe”

She reads out, I feel my tears form

“How bad are their injuries?”

I ask

“We don’t know yet doc, they were just brought in. A truck crashed into them and sent them rolling over”

She says reading from the file. I walk over to the table and my niece and nephew are beyond recognition.

“How bad is it?”

I ask the other doctor

“It’s very bad, they lost way too much blood and sustained head injuries”

He says and my heart slowly breaks for Mihlali, I couldn’t possibly imagine losing my boys and that alone is enough motivation for me to save them. I need to save them for Hlali. Operating on family is the hardest thing anyone can do, it’s always painful losing a patient but having your niece and nephew die in your hands is harder.


He asks


one of the nurses reports and I walk out of the operating room

“Dr Mtwa wait up”

he says and I stop in my tracks

“I hope you understand that there was nothing you could have done”

He says but that alone doesn’t make me feel any worser than I already do right now

“I lost my niece and nephew, they died in my hands”

I say with my voice cracking

“How is their father?”

I ask and he shrugs

“I’ll ask one of the doctors and get back to you. Has the wife been informed of the accident?”

He asks

“His wife is here in hospital. She’s pregnant with triplets, her pressure is high”

I say with a heavy sigh

“damn that’s painful. If you want I can break the news to her for you”

I shake my head no

“I’ll do it”

I say and he nods, he pats my back

“This job never gets any better”

He says and I nod

“I’m sorry for your loss”

he says. I’m left trying to decide who to tell first? Is Bandile’s family even here? But then again his family was supposed to have been informed already. I make my way to my office and close the door then just slide down and cry. How do I tell Mihlali that I couldn’t save her children? I hope Bandile at least survives. When I am finally calm I change out of my scrubs and wash my face then go out to find Bandile’s family.

“Yonela, how are the kids? How is my son?”

Bandile’s mother asks walking up to me, I take a deep breath and let it out

“Mrs Tshawe”

I start off

“Yonela how are they?”

My mother in law asks

“We couldn’t save the kids, I don’t know about Bandile’s condition”

I say as tears roll down my cheeks, my mother in law turns to Mr Mtwa and sobs

“I am so sorry”

I say

“How is Mihlali?”

Mrs Tshawe asks and I shrug

“I haven’t told her yet. She had a panic attack earlier on”

I say

“Oh my God”

Mrs Tshawe says clasping her mouth in shock.

“I uhhm.. have to go and check on her. I’ll be back to keep you posted”

I say and then quickly walk away. When I walk into Hlali’s room she is still sleeping or rather she is still out of it. I head to the ICU to check on Bandile

“How is he?”

I ask when I walk in

“He’s critical. His life is hanging on by thread”

His doctor says

“Will he wake up?”

I ask and he shrugs

“At this point we can’t really tell, he sustained a really bad head injury. Internal bleeding, crushed ribs. It will take a miracle for him to wake up”

He says and I let out a heavy sigh “How are the kids?” He asks

“We sadly lost them both. I have to go and inform her mother who is still passed out from earlier. I hope she’s awake now”

I say and he nods

“This is so sad, lets hope she’ll survive. I can’t possibly imagine losing my whole family”

he says and I nod. I walk out and head to Hlali’s room, she opens her eyes. I hand her a glass of water with a straw

“Thank you”

She says handing me the glass back

“Yonela e…”

“Mihlali there is something I have to tell you”

We speak at the same time

“Is everything ok?”

She asks

“Earlier on Bandile and the kids were rushed into the hospital”

She clasps her mouth in shock

“Mihlali I am sorry, I did everything”

She slowly starts to crumble down

“Bandile is still in ICU, I’m sorry for your loss Mihlali”

I say

“My kids?”

She asks

“I’m sorry Mihlali, we tried everything”

I don’t think I have ever heard a cry more painful, more piercing than the one Mihlali let out. For as long as I have known Hlali I’ve only ever seen her push through and carry herself with so much elegance and poise. I have never seen her break down as she is right now, so vulnerable and so broken.




I’ve always imagined myself as someone strong, a person who can take anything life throws at them and life has thrown a lot of shiit to me and so far I’ve pushed through all of it and made it. This on the other hand? This is different than any life challenge I have ever had to face. Losing loved ones is never easy, we all know it’s going to happen some day but we never get used to it no matter how many loved ones we have lost but we don’t get used to it. I Hear everything that Yonela said I lose it, I lose my mind. My babies cannot possibly be gone, I was talking to them earlier, they were on their way to school and they were happy. They can’t be gone, I can’t lose my children, not like this. I let out a cry from deep

within, a cry I never imagined myself capable of before. It hurts, losing a child is a painful experience and to hear that both of your kids are gone is no better. If I could rip out my heart I would because at this very moment it’s the most painful organ I have and it’s not like a normal scratch wound, you can’t put a plaster on it and hope that it will be fine in a couple days. It’s a wound I will never get over. Yoza tries to comfort me holding me tightly but it doesn’t help, it doesn’t make my pain any better, it’ doesn’t change the fact that my son and daughter are dead and they are never coming back. They cute little smiles, the little arguments we would have over the things they wanted to wear, their voice. I’ll never get to hear their voices again, they light feathered kisses when they come to wake me up, my little gentleman when he pulls the chair out for his sister, when he comforts her when she cries over something. Without my children I am nothing, just an empty shell.

“Mrs Tshawe”

A doctor says walking in, I look up

“It’s your husband”

He starts off, the last thing I need is to hear that he is also gone

“He’s awake”

He says. I look at him confused, the look on his face doesn’t give me any hope

“I don’t know if you ready to see him”

He says, I nod

“I want to see my husband”

I say with my voice half breaking. Yoza helps me get up and we walk to the ICU, my beautiful handsome husband lays on the bed barely recognisable, scares on his face, bandage on his head and most of his body.


He says with a raspy voice barely even there

“Don’t say anything”

I say cupping his face

“Bhabha I’m sorry”

he starts off and lets out a raspy cough, I shake my head no

“It’s ok, don’t apologise”

I say unable to stop the tears

“Bhabha I am so sorry”

He says as his very own tears roll down to the pillow

“I didn’t mean to put you through all of this” he says with his voice breaking

“Where are the kids? How are they?” He asks, I look down


He says, I let out a sigh unable to control the tears


He says and the machine sounds start to beep louder


I call out but I don’t get a respond instead the machines get louder

“Get her out of here”

His doctor says and Yoza pulls me out of the room, I watch from the window as doctors flood in the room and try to save him. I watch them work tirelessly trying to get a response from him until they suddenly stop

“Why are they stopping?”

I ask and Yoza doesn’t respond, I turn back to look and the doctor writes down something after looking at his wrist watch


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