Recently, another member of my family died. My one and only cousin on my father’s side, Kiwi Fruit. Well, Kiwi Fruit was the nickname that I gave to him. His name was Kerry and he was like an encyclopaedia of games, all things Marvel and DC. His favourite Marvel character of all time, Thanos.
Kiwi Fruit and I basically grew up together as my father took me in to stay with his family in Gasparillo when I passed for a school in the area. It was mainly a financial decision since staying in Vistabella meant more money for transportation and my mother could not afford it. We were barely surviving. My mom, brother and myself used to survive on twenty five dollars ($25.00) a week from the church. God alone knows how we managed but we did.
Anyway, Kiwi Fruit played a huge role in my life as I got into gaming and comics and all that good stuff. His mother was not very fond of me playing games on his Gameboy or his Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64 so my time on these would be limited or I would wake up extremely early in the morning before school to play game, especially when I was playing The Legend of Zelda, one of my all-time favourite games.
Since most of my time was spent up Gasparillo, we were like siblings. All of his friends knew me and I them. Gaming was always at the forefront of things. Then, when God of War came out, Kerry was immediately in love and would get great pleasure talking to any and everyone about it. He was also an avid fan of Mortal Kombat, his favourite character was Scorpion as well as Street Fighter and we were both disappointed at the live action Street Fighter movie. It was garbage.
As we got older, I didn’t have much time to play video games or dabble in the world of comics since I was working and going to school at the same time to support myself and my mom.
Then, he met Teri and decided that she was the one and they got married. It was after the wedding and the first couple of years into the marriage that he realised that he had a problem with is liver. As time went by, it didn’t seem as if the problem was going away. In one of our conversations, he told me that he may have to get a transplant and how expensive it would be and I told him he should consider it, don’ t worry about the costs, we would figure something out, like maybe have a bar-b-que or something. He didn’t seem to worry about it too much though.
As time went by, we didn’t see much of each other since we were busy with our separate lives and family but we still kept in close contact via the phone, with him eagerly ringing me up to talk about the new Marvel movie coming out and of course, his favourite character Thanos. It all came down to Thanos. His enthusiasm rubbed off on me and that’s how I ended up into the whole Marvelsphere, getting excited about trailers and planning when to see each movie when it came out.
Finally, when it was revealed that Thanos was going to be the main attraction in Avengers: Infinity War, Kerry was beside himself with anticipation and glee. Unfortunately though, his liver disease was advancing and he was worried that he would not live to see it. I told him that he would, just trust in God and all will be well. And by God’s grace he lived to see it. And he was so happy, so pleased, so content.
A couple of months after the release of the movie, I received a call from my aunt crying, saying that he went into a coma and was unresponsive and he looked as if he won’t make it. I immediately left work and went there and was greeted with a terrible sight. He was breathing heavily and wasn’t moving. We were all really petrified. My uncle then said we should call the ambulance since he was unable to breathe well on his own. They came and his best friend went with him while my aunt and I followed in the car.
At the hospital, the doctors told us that it wasn’t looking good, that his mortality rate was high and to basically prepare ourselves for the worse. We stayed there all day until about seven thirty p.m. and then we left as they were not allowing anyone to see him again.
The next day, we were told that he was moved to a ward. He was hooked up to all sorts of machines, his breathing was still heavy. We kept vigil on Friday and Saturday and then on Sunday, a miracle occurred. He awoke from the coma. We were all astonished and amazed. Prayers were answered. He may be on the way to recovery. Even the doctors were shocked and surprised.
That first week he seemed like himself but he wanted to go home. Obviously they wouldn’t let him but everyone was happy that he was awake. But, by the second week being in the hospital, things started to go downhill. I remember trying to make it in time to meet my aunts to drop them home when they said that his pressure had fallen so they remained past the visiting hours. I got a pass and went up and the nurse told me that everything would be okay.
Then next day though, I got a call from my aunt saying that the doctors said that his pressure is continuing to fall and he wasn’t responding to anything anymore. This was it.
That evening I didn’t make it in time. He died as soon as I got there. Six thirty p.m. on September 6.
No words were spoken. It was spoken in tears. The funeral was held a few days afterwards and one of my aunts was inconsolable. She still is up to this day.
Everything happened so fast it felt like a blur. It still feels surreal that he’s not here with us physically but I know that he is still around. Now I have no one to get all excited about the new Marvel shows coming out. No one to call me and be all enthusiastic about a new game or new anime series that is to be released.
All we can do now is pray for his soul and ensure that the daughter that he has left behind, would have the same love and support network that he was given while here on earth.
Do rest in peace Kiwi Fruit.