Life has a funny way of making oneself sit back and reflect at what happened in one’s life, whether it be with happy and the sad moments.
Well, what can I say, I have been on and incredible journey so far in my 27 years of existence. My birthday is almost here. It’s just another two months approximately and then I will turn 28.
Time has flown so fast. So many things have happened, both happy and sad.
Today, I wanna talk about one of the saddest and most tragic moments in my life. I can remember the exact date, it is clear as the air I am breathing right now typing this. The day my late beloved mother died, would be the first time I have experienced true powerlessness.
My mother was born on the 22nd of December 1951. She had 4 brothers. Two brothers older than her and two bothers younger than her. She was the middle child and the only girl of my grandmother’s children.
My mom had a lot of hassles/issues growing up as a child. I can remember my mom telling me that she didn’t know how sex worked, my grandmother never gave her the ‘sex-talk’ about the birds and the bees. She had to find out about it when she learnt the human reproductive system in biology class from high school.
My grandfather was apparently a very domineering person. Unfortunately I was born too late, he died in an airplane crash. The flight was leaving from Hong Kong and had to fly via Taiwan back home to South Africa. However, at that time, South Africa had international sanctions imposed upon it and so they were restricted to what countries they could interact and trade with.
My mom remembered that when my grandfather was making his latest business trip , almost all of her close relatives came to wish him well at the airport. It was almost if they all knew that they would never see him again.
And so on the 28th of November 1987, my grandfather died on the doomed South African Airways flight called the ‘Helderburg’. Essentially the pilot was scared to make an emergency landing on any one of the small islands near the coast of Mauritius for fear of international reprisal. The previous government, was purchasing weapons and ammunition from arms manufacturers in Asia and so even though my grandfathers flight was commercial, they still chose to smuggle it on board and so the cargo hold caught fire and the plane eventually crashed just off the coast of Mauritius.
The South African government did give the grieving families of the passengers, some compensation. This was obviously not really enough but it was at least something.
My grandfather didn’t know what to do with my mom. He was so used to raising boys, that when she came along, he never really expressed his love for her properly. I can remember my father wanted to throw out this old bar fridge she had in her apartment when she was single. She argued with my father and said that was one of the only things her father ever bought just for her. I can understand now the sentimental value she had in it. It was one of the rare times, my grandfather showed his love for her in his unique way.
I can remember my mom telling me of how she remembers my grandfather telling her that she was an ugly baby when she was born. This led to her having low self-esteem in her teen years and 20s. My mom also had depression in her twenty’s and so her outlook on life was bleak.
In the end , when she was almost 30, she found her faith and put all of her trust in the local church she attended and in Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior. It made her change her whole perspective of herself.
My mom told me that , eventually she forgave my grandmother for not being there for her and for not defending her when my grandfather bullied her.
My grandmother got sick in 1994. This was because of all the chain smoking she used to do from her youth up until a few years before she quit smoking. My grandmother became ill with emphysema and had to rely on an oxygen tank to keep her breathing. My grandmother died in 1997, I think I was 5 or 6 years old at time.
And as for my grandfather, well, my mom said she had to forgive her dad, because there was no use staying angry at a dead person. I believe that the church community really helped her to grow as a person. Yes she did take an antidepressant. She took Prozac every second day of the month.
Sorry let me get to my point now. I felt absolute powerlessness when my mother suffered a massive brain hemorrhage right in front of me and my father’s eyes in our home.
I can remember pacing up and down the emergency waiting room. Everything felt like it was about to come crashing down. I kept asking my cousin, who is a doctor, if my mom was okay. My mom had stopped breathing in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. So they were trying to resuscitate my mom in the emergency operating room.
Eventually the doctor on call said to me and my dad that after 45 minutes of tying to save my mom’s life, she died. The minute my dad and I heard those words, we immediately broke down in tears.
Yeah, so that a bit about my life’s journey.
There will be more posts to come.
To be continued…