At the age of 18, my mom left for Durban for almost a year; and I had to play “mommy,” looking after my brothers, ironing their clothes, cooking, putting in lunch for school, help with homework etc. This should give context to my intuition about my mother’s absence as mentioned in my previous blog post, as I saw it unfolding and becoming more and more obvious as the years went on.
I was in matric at the time, as if that was not stressful enough. My mom would send money for groceries and I would have to “take off” from school, along with my brothers, walk to Shoprite in Van Riebeeck road, kuilsriver and walk back with the items we bought. The groceries was not nearly enough to last us for 2 weeks. Two weeks out of the month we would eat mielie meal for breakfast and supper. My grandfather and my step grandmother was our saving grace, whenever they could, they would bring us some things I could cook besides mielie meal; and occasionally bring us cooked meals.
The one thing I looked forward to was my matric ball, not knowing how it will materialise, I was still excited about it. Was it maybe God that gave me that hope and faith? I do believe it was, although I did not realise it then.
So exam time came and went, now my focus was on one of the milestones in my life. The panic started setting in, I did not have a dress, shoes, money for a hairdresser and I had no make-up. My mom was not there to help me plan prior to the “big day”, she was still in Durban. My step grandmother came to my rescue, she opted to make my dress, she was very good at sewing. Can you imagine what a relief that was?
I decided to do my own hair, I was use to it anyway, so no use crying over unspilt milk. All I needed was a day to remember my achievement that I truly felt I deserved.
Two days before my matric ball, I “dreamt” that I was having a very calm conversation with my dad.
His words to me was,”Be mindful about the differentiation between your need and your want. Do not be blinded by the cosmetics on the face of it all. The achievement is not to prove anything to anyone, but rather what you prove to the “ÿou”, here inside.” He put his hand on my chest where my heart is, when he uttered that phrase and then those last words broke me, “Goodbye monkey,” that was his petname for me.
I woke up mourning the same way I did on the day he drowned, it felt like I lost him all over again.
His words motivated me and I knew God sent him to give me that message; and I found consellation and refuge knowing that God had faith in me, more than I did in Him.