Sam and Ben.
It was a cool afternoon but the report of my lab test turned it hot. Dr. Martin my childhood friend, best friend and family physician stared at me as I sat in his office, his look alone told me instantly that something was wrong. But what actually took me to him last week started as a severe headache and waist pain then indigestion and slight pain on my left vertical, he had me admitted then discharged me after three days and asked me to come for a check up today. He held up my lab result and I saw slight tear drop from his eyes but as I wanted to speak, he shook his head and waved at me; a gesture to calm down, I did then he spoke…
‘Sam, I am not happy to tell you this but your lab result states that you suffer from anemia then the scan result showed that you suffer from a liver condition, the migraine you suffered was due to the degeneration of your liver parenchyma and has progressed to fibrosis and cirrhosis.’
What?... Fibrosis what?
I collapsed but woke up after three hours resuscitation and by now, my dear wife Judith was sitting next to me on the hospital bed.
How did I get here I questioned; what happen?
“My liver will fail if nothing is done within the next three months”
No medication to heal me, no herb, nothing except Miracle if no transplant; gushhh! Where will I get this miracle? Not in the hands on all the big churches in the country, not in the hands of the so called men of God; my world is crashing and I was ready for it. Three months he said.
I had my will ready and every time I look at my two young sons, I cried and asked Jehovah why he gave them to me and denied me the time to be with them. Two months passed so slow and within me, I knew that I was going to die, I felt it every day, although I looked very okay outside but I was dying inside, I was losing my strength and sometimes I breathe in then breathe out after twenty seconds. That’s abnormal.
If it was money for the transplant and I could not afford it, my insurance will but my problem was not money but a matching liver, I need just one matching liver to live a normal life although my original two will be removed but please God just one liver, you gave me everything, you gave me the best woman in the world, two lovely kids, a flourishing business but one more thing daddy, I know that you can do it; just one liver.
That was my thought day in day out and now the third month is at hand and Dr Martin said within three months. I don’t know what happened but I felt like taking a long walk that morning, to walk alone and see the beauty of the city, to walk alone and maybe just die along the road, I was so mad about everything and the book of Ecclesiastes is right; what profit has man of all his labor under the sun? I walked over the river and stood for a while on the bridge head then something spoke inside me; “This River flows into the ocean yet the ocean is never full”. Hallucination; Yes, I was talking to myself and my imaginary companion.
That was it but the next minute, I was sitting right inside that car. It was Ben, my long time friend, we lost touch about five years back, you see, I once helped me in the office where we both worked as junior editors before I left. He was crying until we got to my place
“Good guys suffer so much” he said; “and sometimes I wonder if God really exist”
Anyway, he showed remorse and was eager to do anything beyond human to help me, payback time he said, “Sam, what you did for me made me what and who I am today and I have been asking of you, it was you, it was because of you that I came down to this place, to see you once again.
You see, we both worked at Olive Magazine in Kansas but I established my own publishing firm in New York then five years later, my old friend relocated, actually he was just two weeks old in the city and was even searching for his way after missing the connection at the interlink the day we reconnected.
We all went to the hospital and after all said and done, Ben’s liver matched mine and I will never forget his question when he was told by Dr. Martin that he was a perfect match…
“What are we waiting for” he questioned
For him alone, the operation should be done immediately but you see, we needed to undergo some medical preparation but finally, it was a successful twelve hours surgery and a speedy recuperation. Who says that God sleeps? No! He doesn’t sleep nor slumber, believe me, he doesn’t disappoint when it is time. He is a miracle working God. Thank you Jehovah for the time you have given me to be with the kids you gave me to rare for you and for Ben ‘Angel in human form’.
It‘s been forty five years since that surgery and I am simply waxing strong and strong at 82 every minute of each passing day, thanks to Ben. You see, those days, there was this thing called race which divided us, there was hate and there was pride, there was little oneness, there was black and there was white and I am black, Ben white but amidst all these prejudice, he saved my life. His love broke every barrier and proved that in this planet earth, we have one people living in it be it black or white.
“Better a friend nearby than a brother far away”.