The picture you are looking at was the profile picture on my Facebook account for the whole of July. It came down from my profile today. To symbolize that, I am sharing here what the past 35 days have been like without her since she passed away on 27 June 2016. We laid her to rest on 30 June 2013.
Hers was a sudden death. Taken ill at 2:00am and passed away about 7 hours later. It was a very strong blow that left me reeling with shock and a bit confused.
I find work to be very therapeutic for me when I am going through some stressful time. This time around my favorite therapy lost its edge. I tried to immerse myself in work just so I would not lose the rhythm. This time my heart was just too heavy for me to be productive. I am grateful to my team who went along with me. They allowed me to do what I love, albeit not so well. It was important to me that they did not treat me as an invalid to be kept away from work. So thank you Team Elevation. You guys rock!!
There were two bitter-sweet occasions that happened in the interim:
My first born son Jabulani had been 4 years behind schedule to go to university. My mom had been a strong encourager for my son and I. She was my very strong prayer partner as we both prayed for a breakthrough for him. When it miraculously came we celebrated together. Mom was supposed to have spent just over a week at our place. She was to spend time giving some informal counseling to the young man. Sadly we buried her on the day that she was meant to be traveling to come to my house for that. Sending Jabu off was quite an emotional roller coaster to say the least. We smiled, cried and laughed all at the same time. Thank you to my mamomdala and cousin who rose to the occasion and came to be by my side. The support of my local church was also invaluable.
She Missed Meeting Her Grandchildren For The First Time
My mom had met my sister-in-law briefly five years ago before she married my brother. they got married in the USA and now have two adorable kids, a boy and a girl. Mom had been denied a visa to the USA to see them when they were born. Thanks to technology she was kept abreast on their progress via videos and the occasional Skype call. A few days ago she would have held her grandchildren in her arms for the very first time. They came to visit as had been scheduled. I went to meet with them in my hometown last week. We hugged each other with my sister-in-law and wept over what was meant to be.
Mom had planned to do the traditional bridal welcome of ukucola for my sister-in-law. We did it at my uncle’s homestead at the village last week. A goat was killed. We prepared good food and relatives gathered to welcome her into the family. We tried our best to make it the festive occasion that it was meant to be. Yet no one could ignore the void that we felt. For my mom to have missed that by just four weeks! One cannot help but ask WHY? Accompanying them to the graveyard to lay their flowers was the climax of the bitter-sweetness.
Lessons Learned From Mom’s Life and Her Passing Away
- It takes a lot of faith and inner strength to lose a mom and still be able to think straight. Life has to go on. The bills must be paid. The kids must go to school. Moments worth celebrating must not stop. God gave me that strength and faith to carry on and do those things.
- Every moment counts in life. I am ever grateful for the special times we spent together. The one international vacation I took her on to Durban stands out as a special memory. We had Israel lined up for May 2017, having been postponed from 2015. The reason for postponing seems so trivial now. Seize every moment that you have to create unforgettable memories with your loved ones.
- Where my mom is concerned, I have very little regrets as to our relationship. We were the best of friends. She was like a sister to me. She passed on a legacy of faith in God, total forgiveness, unbounded generosity, unconditional love and more. From her I learned that the most precious things in life cost only your commitment, not your money. More than material possessions, what matters most to pass on to your children is what you place into their hearts. May the Lord help me be the kind of mom whose teachings and example will live on in my children’s hearts.
- Never be angry at each other when you part with your loved ones, even to go to sleep. I spoke with my mom and we bade each other good night the previous evening over the phone. Our conversation had been filled with laughter and the usual jests about her being my four sons’ girlfriend. That was the last we spoke to each other.
- There is power in prayer. I know that my mom’s prayers will cover me and my children till our last breath. She taught me to pray for the present and the distant future. I know that the peace that I feel inside is because of her prayers that she paid forward for me for a time like this. The tears still flow and they will flow whenever memories call for it. Yet I will still have that calm blessed peace in my soul that only the Holy Spirit can impart.
- It is possible to have a balanced life between work, family and community. My mom was an excellent example of that. She worked her fields diligently and productively. She was there for us and we felt her love as a family. She was a visible presence in the community, especially at church. She touched people’s lives in a very profound way. Their testimonies were enough to show me that.
This might not do justice to the total person that she was. It is my own way of celebrating her life and giving you an appreciation of the amazing lady who was called Naka Madlala (Mother of Madlala). She had been married to my dad Luke Nduna Mguni in 1965 until he passed away in 2012. I was her first born and only biological daughter. She had also given birth to three sons Njabulo and Gugulezwe (both late) and Dingilizwe. From this progeny she left behind five grandsons (Jabu, Bongani, Anele, Sibusiso and Luc) and three granddaughters (Natasha, Minenhle and Chloe). She was mom, grandma, mentor and counselor to many who came into her life. I look forward to that great reunion day of Christ’s return.
The video below was my labor of love and a part of my healing process that is still ongoing. If you knew her personally, may this heal you too.
Nomusa is a loving mother of four sons. A professional water resources consultant with a Masters degree in Water Resources Engineering and Management, she has mastered the art of mindset shifting and integrating her conventional professional training with becoming a successful God praising network marketing business owner.
My Skype: madlala2010