“Mother, you will be missed greatly! Your love, and kindness, and generosity filled our hearts throughout our lives.”
About five years ago, we noticed that my mom’s mind was not as sharp as it used to be. By the end of 2013 it became very obvious that something was very wrong. When Christmas time came around my mom was severely confused. My wife, Charlaine, found my mom in her room terribly upset. She could not understand what she was doing in that room and why we kept her at this house. At this point my wife explained to her that she had been staying with us for 12 years already, and that I was her son. This caught my mom by surprise. “Really? That is the best Christmas gift I’ve ever had! But how is that possible? I’ve never given birth!”
The thing is, she never did give birth to me. When I was born, she’d been married to my eldest brother for 5 years already. My stepfather, the father of all my siblings, was a WWII veteran and drank a lot. One day, when my real mom was busy cooking, I was crying. My stepfather walked into the kitchen and threw a pot of boiling water at me and my mom. I was about 6 months old then. At this point my eldest brother, and his wife decided that things have gone far enough, and decided to raise me themselves.
It is from this time that I got to know my eldest brother and his wife as dad and mom. Even after I learnt the truth at the age of 7, nothing changed. They remained my parents, and my real mom had become my grandmother.
I got to know my mom as loving, and generous, and caring! Her, and my dad, loved me as their own, and they never looked back to wonder if they’d done the right thing. My mom was beautiful, inside and out. She had naturally dark hair and blue eyes.
My dad died (2000) while my little family and I were in the U.S.A. for 2 years. We returned to South Africa at the end of 2000, and by October 2001 we had bought a house and my mom moved in with us. She lived with us from that time until 1 May 2014 when we put her into an Alzheimer’s facility (AD Care). Her Alzheimer’s kept on eating at her, and in the last year she’d been in and out of hospital 4 times close to death.
It’s been a difficult time for our little family, since my parents-in-law moved in with us 2 years ago with my father-in-law suffering from a debilitating disease. My father-in-law passed away only 2 months ago.
Last Sunday we were called by AD Care, informing us that my mom’s oxygen saturation was very low. We then had to organise oxygen via Discovery Medical Aid. The doctor visited the facility on Tuesday and said that my mom had had a stroke. Due to my mom’s condition, the doctor prescribed some meds and a saline drip for 7 days. Through all this I had to be in Namibia for business from Wednesday to Friday.
Yesterday morning, I got my grown up kids together with my wife, to go visit my mom. She was sleeping and looked peaceful. For at least 2 years now my mom hadn’t recognise me when I visited. I visited every weekend. She would tell me stories about William who called her, or visited her. It was extremely hard at times. To see a parent look you in the eye and not knowing who you are is not an easy thing to process.
However, when we visited yesterday morning, I read Psalm 27, and then prayed. Seeing my mom the way she was, I simply asked the Lord if it wasn’t time to take her home. And this morning he did.
My mom had her trust in Christ, and today she walked through the veil that separates this life from a heavenly life. She is now completely healed, walking and leaping and praising God. She came face to face with Christ, who welcomed her to heaven.