This week I’m thinking about time … a lot. And thinking about time often finds me thinking about my mum who we lost to pancreatic cancer in 2009.
At 69 years old she left us, never to see her grandchildren make it to secondary school, get married or have children of their own; never to be a part of our family get-togethers or a valuable member of her church anymore; never to hold us in her arms or tell us how much she loves us. She had so many things she wanted to do, and of course there were just as many things we wanted to do – with her and for her.
Mummy would have celebrated her birthday today on October 12th; her family and her friends miss her a lot! But we are grateful for the time we were able to spend together, maybe because we focused on quality rather than quantity.
As I reflect on her life and the hearts of everyone she touched, I recall the selfless way she found time to minister to so many different people, young and old, regardless of race or belief, without a word of complaint or bitterness. We learnt many lessons during her time with us but one of the more significant ones was illustrated in her commitment to sharing her blessings with others. Whether you lived close by or far away, you could be sure of receiving bananas, tomatoes, beans, peas, fresh herbs and other ‘goodies’ grown in her garden if she was coming to visit or you planned to stop by her home. Giving was very much a part of her nature and she willingly donated her time to her church, and whatever was available for those less fortunate.
Looking back now on all of those years, the good and bad times, the ups and downs, the days when she laughed and those when tears fell, her life can be summed up in one word: LOVE. And that’s because mummy loved the land, loved her family, loved her friends and most important of all, loved her Lord.
There are so many great memories and I always let them lead me to the words of one of her favorite songs: I Know My Redeemer Lives by Nicole C Mullen. Do you know it? You can click on the title to listen to the beautiful words but this song became a powerful testimony to the greatness of God, not only to our mum but to all who shared in the rewards of her labor; she not only told us but showed us that no matter how hard life may be, there was no doubt that our redeemer truly lived.
Today we thank God for the gift of her life even as we say: “Happy birthday in heaven Mummy! We love you!”
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” I Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)