Monday, 26 November 2012

Transubstantiation : Part One : T minus 8 days

Cape spring.
The best city in the world to live in...and the best season to enjoy it all...the wet winter already forgotten  and the heat and tourist madness of the summer season still to come.
Cool wine.Warm days and  glorious evenings .

November  1967 and the temperatures that year were higher than seasonally normal...

'There is never a good time or place to die', the man thought to himself as he sat hunched over a cardiac table trying to breathe...
...trying to enjoy the final moments of his life...
...reading a pulp paperback novel about the Wild West...
...trying to make sure he had said his final goodbyes to his many friends and family...
...there were often more than 30 people waiting to see him...
...trying to sneak in a last taste of "Oros" Orange Squash which the nurses were determined he should not be drinking because it messed up his blood sugars...
...determined to face the end with courage.

He was a fighter...everyone was agreed about that.
A grocer by trade, an avid sportsman by inclination, a mensch by nature.

Jewish, and originally from Lithuania, he had volunteered to fight for the Allies , seeing service with the South African Army in North Africa and Italy.

And in 1967, he was reduced to lying in a hospital bed and was on 15 different medications.

He had cardiac and renal failure;cellulitis to his left leg;and was an insulin dependent diabetic.
He was in Ward A1 at Groote Schuur Hospital and he was so ill that his wife Ann had been given permission to visit him any time she wanted.

His name was Louis.
Louis Washkansky.
He was 54 years old and didn't know  if  he would live long enough to become immortal.

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