On this day (2 May 2015) we laid my mom to rest. I used to think that the day she passes on, I would definitely follow. I said this, not knowing much, except for the fact that I did not want to live life without her by my side.
7 years later, I’m still here. I didn’t die with her but I do wish that she was still alive. I always wonder how life would have been if she was still around. When she past away, Bontle was merely 2 years old. Although my world came crushing down, life seemingly had to continue. Whether we understand it or not or want to accept it or not, everything happens in its season. The season Bontle was born in, I felt unprepared and unqualified. But God knew what He was doing. When Bontle was born, an immense sense of meaning and purpose were attached to my life. And when my mom past away, my daughter became my ray of hope: the sole reason I wanted to continue living and be the best I can be.
Before Mom past away, she raised Bontle as her last born. She used to jokingly tell me to go make my own baby because B was hers. And when she past away, I had to step in fully and take the reigns. I barely had time to mourn or to grieve. I had to be a mom, not only to B but to my siblings too. With the reality that these kids depended on me and were looking to me for guidance, support and love, I stepped up. I took my role to nurture so seriously that even in times when I made mistakes, I never forgave myself or gave myself grace (I’m learning how to, now). I thought everything should go smooth and perfectly and when it didn’t, I beat myself up for it. I also resented the position I was in. It was heavy and felt imposed on me. I remember thinking, “I didn’t sign up for this! Mom why did you leave us?”
See, no matter what life threw at us, and our lives seemed to crumble right in front of us, with no glimmer of hope, my mom was always that glue that brought everything together. She made everything right for us. She went all out to make sure we had what we needed. Today, on this 7th burial anniversary (if there’s such a thing :)), I am reminded of all she went through to get us to where we are today. She used to say “I only live for you, and I want you to have the best”. And she did just that, give us the best, with her best. And as a parent, I aim to do just that for my daughter. So when life tempts me to give up, I look at her and I’m re-energised to keep it going. I guess that’s what she used to do too - keeping those smiles on our faces even when the going got tough.
As I remember my mom today, a couple of days before mothers’ day, I want to continue to cherish the memories etched on my heart - some vivid and other faint. I want to remember my mom in a happy way.
Mom, you were the epitome of love.
I truly saw Christ in you.
You loved in the most remarkable way.
Showing grace and mercy to everyone, even those who hurt you.
You were so unnaturally forgiving.
Such a peacemaker.
A giver of note. An ordained philanthropist.
I always wondered where you got the strength to look out for others even when you didn’t have much to offer.
My then lack of wisdom told me you were naive and you let people trample on your head. What I didn’t know was that the Christ in you lead everything you were doing. Reminds me of Danny Gockey’s song, "Love God and Love people”
You were selfless. Never putting your needs above others’.
You led our family, as a single parent for the longest time with such grace.
I honour you.
I appraise how you raised me.
Humble in your demeanour, you’d call out what isn’t right.
In a loving manner, correct our wrongs.
You loved people and they loved you back.
You were truly Masechaba (Mother of the nation).
I miss you today and everyday.
Continue to rest in peace Mom.
I love you.
If your mother is still alive, I urge you to show your appreciation whilst they are still alive. My siblings and I never got the chance to. Don’t wait for a special day, express love at every chance you get. You never know if it will be the last one.
Happy Mother’s Day in advance to all of you playing motherly roles.
We see you and we appreciate you!