Our son Ewan finished grade 12 in December 2012 and our daughter Annerie finished school in December 2014. They both are university students in Brisbane.
Charl and I are now officially “empty nesters”.
I am forever grateful for children who are confident enough to spread their wings and make the most of all the wonderful opportunities coming their way.
Although Ewan and Annerie were a bit homesick initially, they love Brisbane and for all intents and purposes, it is now home for them and daughter-in-law, Yvette.
But, Ewan and Annerie finishing school opened a door in my heart which I kept closed for so many years – suppressing memories I hardly ever speak of.
Over the last 4 years I discovered that writing and speaking about the interesting curve balls life throws at me, brings healing. I am thus confident that what I am going to write next will help me to finally say: “This is now the end of this chapter too. Door closed for good!”
It was a Sunday morning, early in 1981. I was 11 years old and mum was 53.
I got up to go to the bathroom and on my way there I found mom, lying on the kitchen floor in a very awkward position. Her legs and arms were twisted. She also got up to go to the bathroom, but collapsed before she got there. I touched her face and she was cold. I have no idea for how long she had been lying there. I remember dad trying to wake her.
I jumped up from the floor and ran to my room and started to pray or rather, I started to repeat frantically: “Dear Jesus, please do not let my mom die. Dear Jesus, please do not let my mom die. Dear Jesus, please do not let my mom die x 1,000,0000,000 times”.
God answered my prayers that day and mom did not die.
The thought of losing my mom really scared me and from that day onwards I would pray: “Dear Jesus, I am not sure that I would pass a grade if anything should happen to mom, so please spare her at least until I finish grade 12”.
Our Matric results got released on Wednesday, the 23rd of December 1987.
The plan of action was that mom and dad would go to school to obtain the results and then come to Hartenbos where we always spent Christmas with my eldest sister and her family. I used to work in my brother-in-law’s pharmacy during school holidays so I was already in Hartenbos eagerly awaiting mom and dad’s arrival.
But that afternoon when mom and dad phoned me to congratulate me on passing grade 12, they also informed me that they will not be coming to Hartenbos anymore as mom had to go to hospital. From what I understand mom had a heart attack but refused to go to hospital until she saw my grade 12 results.
Dad told me how super proud she was when she found my name on the list and realised that I have passed. She jumped up and down and clapped her hands and exclaimed: “My baby had finished school! My baby had finished school!”
My sister and I took a bus late Christmas Eve to be with mom. I wished her a merry Christmas and the next morning, on the 26th of December she passed away. I was there to hold her hand.
God spared her until I finished school.
When Ewan was little over two years and Annerie 10 days old, I landed up in hospital with complications from the pregnancy. I was not doing well at all. My heart took strain and was not working properly.
Knowing that God answers prayers in this area, I asked Him to spare my life, at least until Ewan and Annerie finished school.
Ewan finished grade 12 in 2012 on a high note. With numerous awards and being the Dennis House Captain, Charl and I could not be any prouder of the young man he had become.
Then came 2014 and I listened to my daughter delivering her graduation speech as school captain of Mackay Christian College and my heart almost burst with love and pride.
When I was told in October 2014 that on top of the MS I also had a brain tumour, I caught myself wishing that I have asked for more years. I underestimated how fast 18 years would go by.
But, recently God revealed to me that I am just starting to fulfill His purpose for my life. I know that He had extended my years to many more than I deserve.
I am grateful that I am going to be around long enough to get into a lot of trouble for spoiling my grandchildren and maybe, just like with Keith and Jasmine’s grandmother, Mavis, I will also get to be the flower girl on my granddaughter’s wedding day.
Praise God that He knows when to say “yes” when we pray and when to say “later” and when to say “no”. This is why I trust Him with everything I am. God knows best, always.
Until next time, be happy and be blessed!