I miss my mom. 2 years and 11 days of not being able to talk to her, to visit her or even to argue with her. Yesterday was the worst day yet. She was on my mind at every turn. I guess it took me totally by surprise.
Yesterday I was doing a “values”exercise. I was trying to determine what is important to me and why. Two of the questions that I needed to ask myself was: “What do I surround myself with in my personal space” and “What do I spend my energy on?”. My room is filled with books and puzzles and stationary and that is what I spend a lot of my time doing. Reading, writing and doing crossword puzzles, Sudoku, etc. I started thinking of how a love of puzzles was something that we shared. I can picture her sitting in her room with the Natal Witness puzzle page. She had her favourite puzzle. I can’t remember what it was called but it required you to make as many words as possible out of the 9 or so letters provided. My sister, her son and I definitely share a love of puzzles with her. In my sister and her son, it manifests as a love for picture puzzles while my mum and I enjoyed word and number puzzles.
I also got my affinity for accounting from her. She worked as a bookkeeper most of her life. I will never forget how she beamed with pride after our school awards ceremony. I received the 1st place award for accounting and it was mentioned that I had broken the school’s record for accounting in grade 8 (called std 6 back then). My mother was a very modest person and expected the same of us but that day, that day she threw caution to the wind and told everyone how “I got it from her”. I was so shocked and happy. I don’t think I have ever heard her take credit for anything since. On the weekend before she passed, it was the first time in a very long time that all the sisters were together with her. She was so thrilled to have us all together. I was saying to her that Alex most definitely got his love for soccer from her. You may never have seen her at a match but she always watched it on TV. When Alex was a baby and as he got older, he had no choice but to watch soccer and soapies whenever she looked after him. She refused to take the credit and insisted he was more interested in 7de Laan (a South African soapie).
What I definitely did not get from her was her organisational ability. She made sure that the house ran like clockwork. We never wanted for the basics, no matter how much or little money there was at any point in time. She was very intentional about how she used money. A skill I am desperately trying to teach myself now. She always made sure my car license was paid on time as my car was still registered in PMB and I live in Durban. We had a system. I had one of her debit orders come off my account and she stashed that cash for me in an envelope next to her TV. It was my Royal Show spending money every May and my Car license money in September. it was just one of the little ways that we connected. Let me tell you, my car license has not been paid on time since she has left us, much to my bank account’s distress. Being disorganised is a costly exercise I tell you. I might not have inherited that ability but my sister Carolyn, definitely inherited it from her.
The parking spot I plotting yesterday turned out to be taken by an Atos just like the one that she used to drive. I was so surprised that I almost said to Alex: “Look! Granny’s here”. I guess I have being feeling very disconnected from her of late. I would like to believe that all the little reminders of her that were placed before me in various ways yesterday, was her way of letting me know that she is still near even when it doesn’t feel like it.
When it comes right down to it, she will always be a part of each of us. When we look in the mirror, we see some element of her. My sisters and I, and I think all her grandchildren, have her chin and neck. We realised that night we were all together in the hospital that we all wear glasses like she did. 😁 Almost all her grandchildren inherited her talent for baking. We are all blessed with some element of her skills and personality that allowed each of us to connect with her in our own way while she was here and that we can use to connect with her now that she has passed on. I will take comfort in that.
I hope that you and your families continue to take precautions against the coronavirus. It’s a such a stealthy little bugger. Wash and sanitise your hands, wear your mask correctly, keep a safe following distance, and avoid going out as much as you can. Prevention is better than cure after all.