After a few weeks of being terribly ill, my mother was transferred to a home where she would spend the time that she had left on this earth. On my first visit to the home, the nurse asked me what she and her staff could do for my mother. My answer was simple: “Just take good care of her, please”. That was all I could ask, because the fact that my mother would be dead in four weeks had not yet settled into my mind.
The nurse was a very kind Nun, who along with her staff made good on their promise. They made sure that she was as comfortable as possible and also made sure that she was always well presented: for they quickly learnt that my Mother took particular pride in the way that she looked and did not see being ill as any excuse to look otherwise.
The only problem the nurses faced however was getting her to eat. My visits to her in this time became more and more difficult, because telling your Mother that she should be sure to eat is not something an eighteen year old would be able to do with ease. Seeing her lying in that bed was even more painful because the person I was looking at and talking to was no longer my mother, and yet she was. My strong, powerful, humble, amazing and beautiful Mother had turned into a frail little woman and it scared me more than anything else in this world.
And then, the call came one morning. The school councillor and I sat in the school bus hand in hand and in absolute silence: this was perhaps the longest drive imaginable. When we arrived at the home at 08:00 that morning the Nun told me that my Mother had passed away. For what felt like an eternity I sat in that little room and cried, and cried. My world had been shattered, I no longer had a Mother, no longer had a guide in my life.
Days later at the funeral, as the casket was lowered into the ground my brother and I held hands and from that day we became each other’s guides, even though life would soon take us on two very different paths.
Take action! This post was submitted in response to My Story: Holding Hands.