The best mother in the world, my Mom, died on Tuesday morning, 31 July 2012 at approximately 08:30. God granted us a grace period of 9 months since we literally prayed her back from the dead on the 1st of November last year. Though I couldn’t be next to her bed when she breathed her last breath, I could at least be on the phone with my Dad while it happened, as it happened quite suddenly. If you could call any end to her suffering suddenly.
Her health has steadily deteriorated over the last eight years since the huge heart attack where she literally died for a few minutes and came back. She told us then that she felt a sudden rush of air as she literally shot up in the air. Another man was with her that died at the same time – she could remember vivid details of what he looked like. Halfway she suddenly stopped. Jesus was with her. He stood behind her and told her to close her eyes. She told us that at some point she tried to open them, but it was impossible as the glory of His presence was so overwhelming. He spoke to her and He gave her the opportunity to listen to the prayers of her husband and her three children. She said that when the prayers arrived in heaven, it sounded like thunder. She told each of us what we prayed when she came back, prayers that we prayed in the solitude of our own homes or in the waiting room of the hospital.
She was very emotional when she spoke about it and I remember that she told me once that she didn’t want to come back, that the peace and the love she experienced was so overwhelming, that she wanted to stay. But Jesus told her that her work wasn’t finished yet. I asked her many times what they talked about, and though they talked about a few things, she always said that He emphasized that there is not enough love in this world. If only we could all love each other more, He said. We keep ourselves busy with things that don’t matter, He said. I remember at the time that I didn’t think the message to be thát profound. But as time passed, it was as if my eyes opened and I came to understand why He thought it was so important that He sent her back to tell us all.
On the first of November last year, she nearly died again. I was in America, just three weeks away from returning to South Africa and I begged God to save her life long enough so that I could say goodbye in person, and hold my Dads hand through the process. He answered my prayer and gave us 9 more months to enjoy her for old time’s sake.
She really suffered the last 6 to 8 weeks. Her health deteriorated rapidly and she was in constant pain. I felt so guilty for asking God to let her live a little longer and I kept praying, God, is this what I have done to her? Is she suffering because I wasn’t ready to let her go? Please forgive me my Lord, it was so selfish of me. Please don’t let her suffer too long. I promise that I won’t pray her back from You again.
The last time she came to visit was the last weekend in June. She could still walk, but she couldn’t get up without help and my Dad had to bathe her and dress her. It became clear that we weren’t equipped to care for her at home any more.
We started to make arrangements to get her 24 hour care. We finally had everything lined up and she was supposed to go into frail care on Thursday, 2nd of August. It was heartbreaking for all of us, but mostly for my Dad, who had to help make arrangements to let the love of his life leave him to stay somewhere else. Luckily, God had other plans, and her last move was to a much better place.
I remember when I was young, how my Mom used to tell me about her house in heaven. How she thinks that her kitchen tiles will have fresh roses in them. How big her kitchen is going to be. How she is going to dance on the streets of gold. She loved turtle doves, fruit trees, carnations and the sound of water, so I can only imagine how beautiful her garden must be. I have such vivid memories of her walking in my garden, talking to the plants and I’m sure she is doing that in her new garden.
When I close my eyes, I can see her leaping with joy, with a fully functioning body, finally free of pain. I imagine the joyous reunion with her grandmother, whom she loved so much, her dad, her brother and my twin brother. And the way I know my Mom, she is probably baking and cooking up a storm in her new kitchen. It is her birthday on the 13th of August and I think she is going to have the mother of all parties, doing all the catering herself with all her favourite recipes – chocolate cake with caramel, lamingtons, sausage rolls, custard slices, milk tart, frikadelle, marshmallow pie, peppermint crisp pie, lemon meringue – ag Ma, I just know you are going to make way too much food like you always did.
It was such a privilege to have you as our Mom. I don’t know of any other Mom that prayed so much for her children. You made so many sacrifices for us, most we only learnt of many years later. You taught us so many things, things I thought all moms did, but as I grew older, I realised you went the extra mile.
Thank you God, what a privilege is was to have such a phenomenal woman as a mother. Thank you for lending her to us. And thank you for ending her suffering. Though we cry tears of sadness for our personal loss, we cannot help but to sometimes laugh through the tears as we remember her quirky personality.
You will be dearly missed, Mamma.
Until we meet again.