It is the 28th January 2015. This is the day, I particularly remember my Mom. I can’t really say much more than I said a year ago….so I have copied it and pasted it here, with a few little additions.
It was eleven years ago on this day that I sat at the bedside of my mother and I watched her life slowly ebb away. I read Psalm 23 to her and I prayed for her and then she breathed her last breath and passed from this life to the next. For 11 years, she has been enjoying a timeless eternity, where life is abundant and joyful and very different to the one we live here on earth.
My Mom never wanted to be called Mom or Mum – so we called her ‘Ma’. She left home when I was 12. My Dad raised me for the next 6 years, until I left home.
Here I am with her when I as 16…
My Mom and I in about 1981 – two peas in a pod
I saw Ma quite often, but it was only until much later on in life, when I was a Mom myself that we grew closer. Ma came to know the Lord when she was 60. I’ll never forget her coming to Cape Town, in a rush. After my parents divorced she married an abusive man who locked her inside their house and refused to let her go to work. When my brother found out, he booked a flight and almost immediately flew her from Johannesburg to Cape Town. Unexpectedly she found herself staying with us for 10 days or so. It included at least one Sunday and on that day she came to church with us. We were very keen for her to leave her husband, so you can imagine our dismay when the Pastor (Pastor John Thomas this was YOU!)
“Ma” smiling at me at my wedding
stood up that day and preached on ‘God hates divorce!’ I just could not believe it! I truly felt it was the ‘wrong’ sermon for that moment in time. But God is BIGGER! After the service, my Mom sat very quietly for a few moments in the pew. Later she turned to me and asked, “Did he know I was coming?” “No!!” I said, desperate for her to know I hadn’t set this up. She went on to say that it felt as if she was the only person in the service and that the message was written just for her.
Ma went back to Johannesburg and the rest of the family went to the airport to pick her up. On the way, they were taking friendly bets as to how long it would be before she went back to her husband. They all lost. She never did. She never went back to him, but she also never divorced him. She started attending church and she gave herself fully and completely over to the Lord Jesus Christ. That year Ma was saved and her entire countenance changed.
One day I will see my beloved ‘Ma’ again and so today I rejoice in that and I also embrace with joy the amazing gifts and personality traits I get from her.
Her optimism is my optimism. Her joy for life and sense of humour flow liberally through my veins too. Her hazel eyes regularly look back at me from my mirror and if I get too used to mine, I just need to look at my brother’s eyes to be reminded of exactly the colour of my Mom’s. And these words that spill so easily from my mind and tumble onto the screen of my computer are a gift in equal offering from both my parents. While my Dad was a journalist, Ma LOVED word games. (So friends, when you see me playing scrabble on my cell phone, please blame Ma – it’s in my DNA!)
She could not sing, she cooked to feed, she didn’t sew or garden, but she baked a mean batch of crunchies. She was accomplished and clever, she was kind and generous. She attracted people to her and loved socialising. She died at 72. It was too early, by about 18 years, but I am so glad she got to see me marry and Stacey and David be born. I am so glad I got to see her come to faith.
I have her Bible and in it is a note in her hand-writing. It’s a very good reminder. She probably heard it in a sermon and wrote it down.
Her Bible is well marked with many verses highlighted. I know she had some favourites. Jeremiah 29:11
Thanks Ma! Love you madly and I’m thinking about you so much today!
Keep the smile going.
God bless you!
In His Grip,