I’m feeling the need to recap slightly.
Seven and a half years have now passed since I left my island home of Fiji to settle in America. I’m feeling desperate to see my family. I needn’t reiterate the hefty price tag attached to this desire of mine.
A seed planted in my brain way back in my youthful Fiji days came to mind. There was a friend of mine who had told me, “If you want to see the world, work on a ship!” He worked on the SS Mariposa and if you can recall I did actually take his advice. More to the current situation I previously stated the possibility of my working on a Merchant Marines ship going in that direction.
This would make the visit a reality and at the same time I’d earn money for the support of my children as my family is my first and foremost dedication. I’m seeing it as a win, win! Susan and Lisa right next door made it extra comforting. Then Diana wouldn’t feel lonely and she’d have help with the children; the family is there for one another. So let’s pick up from there.
During this time, I asked around to people who may have worked or are currently working on passenger/cargo ships.
I was advised to take a trip up to San Francisco where the Seafarers’ Union was located. They would help me land a job on a ship a lot easier than if I tried without the Union in the Los Angeles area. That was the word at the docks.
Again Diana and I had a serious discussion to reiterate my determination and what all would be involved. The plan was made to go up north and clearly I would be taking this trip on my own. I would move around faster and get straight to the points, not to mention financially, it would be easier.
As fate chose to have its way, a couple of days prior to my leaving for San Francisco both of our sons somehow became very ill and with rising fevers.
We took them to the family doctor who after looking them over and in all his current wisdom made his diagnosis, “… so keep them cool and be sure they take in as much clear fluids as possible. Constantly check their temperature and if it doesn’t break bring them immediately to the emergency room!” It was pneumonia and he wrote a prescription.
We returned home with the boys and their prescribed medication. I prepared a large bowl with ice cubes and cold water, putting in some face towels. We placed the cold towels on their foreheads and patted down their little bodies in hopes of relieving their fevers.
For whatever reasons, this wasn’t working; Diana and I didn’t hesitate for a moment in getting them to the emergency room at Saint John’s Hospital.
Straight away they took in both of the boys. Amar our eldest, was placed into a bath of ice cold water in hopes of reducing the fever swiftly. They had taken the younger Alok into a different room.
The emergency room staff’s efforts with Amar worked and soon after, his fever broke. They would release him after a couple of observation hours. Diana and I were to say the least, relieved in that good news. In the same moments we were being informed of their efforts with Alok in that, they were not so successful.
Of course we knew it was absolutely necessary to keep Alok in the hospital overnight at the very least, he simply must win this battle with the unrelenting fever which reduced itself only ever so slightly.
We quickly talked it over and Diana took Amar home while I stayed in the room with Alok. His tented bed was oxygenated and at the same time would keep out any nasty germs. I promised my wife I’d call before bedtime and update her of his progress.
I was so completely distressed to see my little baby boy lying there, knowing that I was helpless to do anything more but pray. In light of my traumatic heart ache a few years back, I admit, I was scared.