Prof. Edwin-Clarke woke up as early as 5am. This was not unusual; busy has been his mantra for almost 7 years now. His wife seems distant; it’s been long since they had time together as husband and wife. This was despite he had stood her up for dinners more than twice after promising heaven and hell he’d be there – I believe she’ll understand, I never stop commending her for being an understanding wife. Compared to his kids, his relationship with his wife was better. He last saw his now grown up boy and girl on his way to an international conference in South Africa six months ago-six months! Anyway, all this work is just for them, the school fees has to be paid, NEPA bills, cost of maintaining generating fuel, his wife’s expensive tastes, boy he has to work.
“Honey am off! I’m already late for work! ”, he yelled. This was almost the case every time. He has to leave home by 6:30 or else he will be late for work by 8am- thanks to traffic. But today was different; his boss had recommended he saw the doctor before coming to work today. Damn! Coming home late every night and meeting his wife asleep, He hadn’t even had the opportunity to tell his wife about the blood stains in his cough and urine. Even during the day, his calls were just few seconds I love you, as if that was the magic word that tells him all was well- he knew it wasn’t. Dogging raving drivers and trucks he made it to the doctor in forty-five minutes.
”I’m afraid I have terrible news for you Prof. Very terrible I must say, is your wife around?” The doctor asked. Answering in the negative the learned professor cum businessman assured the doctor he was able to stomach any news he had. He couldn’t tell him he last asked how his wife’s day was three weeks ago while he was taking her to church on his way to work.
Then the words hit him like a thunderbolt, “From the report sent from the radiologist’s office, Any moment from 48 hours from now your heart may fail completely, I mean your heart may pack up its functions, we noticed a congenital deformation that was not acute until few months ago and has been gradually killing your heart cells, but your bone marrow cannot produce blood cells at the rate at which they are being destroyed. You actually should have reported the incident when you noticed it and thought it was nothing. Its unfortunate you have to pay for that error sir, I am sorry. I will suggest that you put your house in order, you have 48 hours”.
Though he left the hospital despondent, there was a renewed energy to work. Thinking of all he had to do in 48hrs, he had no time to weep over his woes. He just had to see his wife, though he didn’t know how to tell her but he just longed for her presence, his boss could go to hell! Damn even the #4 billion dollar contract waiting for the project charter to be signed. He had to take care of issues.
Gbum!! He bumped into a smelly raggedly dressed bum begging for pennies. Never had he seen a man so haggard. Well, he could be patient to give him some money now, I won’t be needing it anymore in 48 hrs, all will be wasted. He never even thought of writing a will at 45! Maybe that should be first. He dipped his hand into his pocket and brought out all the $100 dollar bills stuffed in his wallet. He didn’t even notice the stunning way this man looked at him.
Never mind, He had always thought of telling his kids about his early life and to tell them to take care of others, he always had that passion. Due to the pressure of work, he’s never had time to sit and do those things except for talking with them and handing over cheques for school.
He continued thinking about these things as he manoeuvred his way into the boulevard that leads to his #2.5 million dollar duplex. He had to call his dad too. He picked up the phone; no he had to write that all important will, he couldn’t let all his stuff be without allocation – never!, they are mine!
He began to write furiously, his 5 cars to…Wow! The hummer? That will go to his wife; at least it will make up for the lost time….
The phone began to ring furiously, ring, ring,
Yes! He asked. “Hello sir, it’s me Dr. Ford, am sorry sir I just…I mean, it was just discovered that hte repport was not meant for you sir, there was a mix up, am very sorry sir”. Stupefied, astonished, and dazed the held the phone in his hand, and looked into the mirror beside his bed. What he saw? You could guess…It was you.
Most of us have spent our time pursuing the things that do not carry weight in our lives. There are things that matter to us beyond our present pursuits. The need in our hearts to lay a foundational legacy for future generations; the quest to tell the most important people in our lives how well we appreciate them. In the midst of trying to fufill the demands of money, job and status, would we be able to face up to the realities of our lives. A simple question will solve this- if you had 48 hours, what would you do? Do it now!