And I have hope toward God…that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.Acts 24:15
To say the last two weeks have been difficult would be a gross understatement.I presume if hell existed,it will be everything the last two weeks have been.They have been days of tears and nights of sorrow.I have stood bewilderd as life shifted about creating the strongest waves carrying me away from the safe shores. Within a span of 2 weeks I lost two people I love and care about; one a childhood friend who died too soon and too young the other who even as she was old,we were not ready for her departure.
Now the thing about death is how it reminds one of ones mortality.It moves us to ask questions about our existence,our goals and our purpose.More than anything it reminds us of the shortness and the unpredictable nature of life.Those harsh reminders make me want to hold on to the people I care about and tell them I love them.
On reflecting on the souls I am mourning,I am happy to say they lived their lives to the fullest and it brought them joy.They were special women in their own unique ways and they both touched our lives in the most intimate and special way.Of them I wrote the following:
I want to write something about this day but coherent words escape me.What do I say about the sadness I feel about the loss of a vivacious young sister and friend? How do I write about her in the past when I all I want is a call to say it was all a mistake,that any moment now she will sweep back into our lives,bells,whistles and all and charm us all with her beautiful smile and warm heart?
I have felt the pain of losing a loved and cherished one but never like this.I was just not prepared.But then,are we ever prepared for something this much against nature?
I feel like a part of me has been ripped off.Where a part of my beautiful and happy youth,a link to my past that was filled with love,kindness and a healthy fear of God used to be is now a gaping hole.Losing people I care bout is becoming a familiar occurence but it does not get any easier.In fact it gets worse.It feels worse because it makes me aware of my own mortality and those closest to me.
In all my prayers I pray never to have to bury my child for that must be the most cruel and unnatural thing.The raw pain I saw in her mother’s face today is something I hope never to witness again,in whatever shape or form.I fail to imagine how helpless a parent must feel in that situation because as a parent all you ever want to do is take your child’s pain away,no matter what the cost.
Gugu,I will miss you forever and I pray that I remain strong and faithful to see you in paradise.We will talk about all the things that make us happy.I wonder what fashion will be then,but I’m sure whatever it is you will rock it to the nines and we’ll take a thousand selfies.We will explore all the exotic fruits and vegetables and from them make the most delicious dishes for our friends and families.Your perfect husband will shower you with love deserving a queen that you were and you will be blessed with the most beautiful and sweetest children you ever dreamed of.
You ran the race.Rest peacefully soldier of Christ.
Today we lost one of the greatest woman I had the privilege of not only knowing but of also calling my mother and gran.She was my mother-in- law;a woman of faith,love and great self-sacrifice.
I came to her family as a young woman and must admit that even though at that time I did not fully appreciate her wisdom,I never doubted her love and care.Fast forward 20 years later I looked forward to spending time with her,listening to her life experiences.She always had a wise word for everybody,most of it from the scriptures.She was a library of stories collected from preaching far and wide and,she was always ready to share them sprinkled with her kind of humour.
It was a joy watching her get older because she was never sick and it was our hope that when it was time for her life to end,it would be peaceful and painless.
The devil had other plans.
Her life deteriorated very fast in the last 6 weeks.I clearly remember visiting her in April.She was still her usual bubbly and talkative self ,full of great family stories and anecdotes.Seeing her again in May was like seeing a slightly different person,a little shy from the deformity on her face caused by the swelling but still full of life and love.I remember she went to her wardrobe and took out clothes we had bought for her,some so old I had forgotten them.They still looked great and she still loved and cherished them
She reminded me of a time very early in our marriage when we helped her in a time of great need.It had touched her so much that, in her eyes, it defined our relationship going forward.I on the other hand had totally forgotten that incidence.
Over the years I have met many people,young and old,whose lives she touched in many ways.She was known for her kindness,her helpful spirit and her love for Jehovah and her neighbour;the latter she displayed through her tireless share in the ministry.Very few people knew her real name because everybody called her ‘Granny’ and she did not mind a bit.The name suited her nature.
As a mother-in-law she was the best kind.I have never had a bad word from her.Even when she felt she needed to give me advice,it was always with love of a caring gran and elder.Young as I was she never made me feel small or inadequate for her favourite son.On the contrary,she was one of the least demanding yet most grateful people I know.
I am going to miss her in many ways.Mostly her ever-present smile,her great gift of storytelling and the cutest way she will call us just to make sure we arrived home safe after visiting her.I will miss her wisdom and her open heart.
I will always remember her unwavering faith to Jehovah till the end.
Her last few weeks may have been unpleasant but they are not the sum of her life.Hers was a life full of love and service.Yes there were challenges but they never defined her.She got up,put on her amour and soldiered on.She reminded everybody who will listen that the best way to live was to build a good name with Jehovah.In that she led by example.