by Leptie Phume
I remember the 25th of May was on a Saturday then, the younger me was very excited that it will be my birthday the following day and mom will come. Well that is what I was told by my grandmother. Normally a party would be thrown for me even though it was never those big fancy parties. It was always pyjama parties which I loved dearly, and only my closest friends attended. It was like more of a ritual thing, they knew that.
26 May 2002, my day on a Sunday. Energetic me is very excited, everything was all good until I question about why we not going to shop for my birthday. My grandma replied with a “Hakena tjhelete Lebo” answer, impossible I thought to myself. From my face only, you could see the anger and disappointment without me saying a word. I couldn’t believe what she just told me, because I knew a day before I saw she had money. I asked myself where did it all go.
Throughout the day the mood was tense. You could tell something was not right. I even overheard my grandma telling one of our closest family friend. She told her how she could sense something bad will happen or happened. I stood there hoping that she will say she’s kidding my party will be happening later at night but it never did.
Monday, 27 May 2002. Weekend done and dusted and I was excited that mom is coming today. I kept telling my friends at school that my mother will be home when I come back from school. After school I bought bunch of popsicles and hurried back home, when I got there the house was full. I greeted and shoot straight to my room to change while sucking on my popsicle, after all it was training day.I remember that day vividly as it unfolds, our neighbour, Sis Thandi walked in the room to call me. When we got to the dining room I sat down, I could see from their eyes something bad happened. I suddenly got worried and scared, my gran was there, everyone whom I’m fond to was there.
My gran started by saying you know we love you, all of us in this room. I just nodded my head and looked at all of them. She asked me who Pinkie is and with a smile on my face I proudly told her that is my mother. She shrugged and took a deep breath while I wait on her to tell me she’s on her way but things took a quick turn.
She told me my mother was in hospital, my heart shrank as she tells me. I got worried, my mind was pacing thinking whether she’s ok where she is. I thought of my sister, my 2nd grandmother all I wanted to hear was don’t worry she will be fine. Instead all I heard was Pinkie passed away yesterday morning, I felt like the world had dropped on my shoulders. My life in a younger age fell apart, nothing made sense in that moment all I wanted to do was follow her.
I quickly zone out, my body was there but my mind was far away. I couldn’t cry even though I wanted to, I felt my eyes getting watery but I held the tears back.
I kept quiet, was told to go pack my clothes as I was going to Springs. I stood up went to my room and when I got there I sobbed so hard. I felt like God doesn’t love me, I kept questioning his ways. I asked him why would he took my mother from me on my birthday. I asked him whether his happy to see me cry like that. Sis Thandi walked in on me crying and I tried to stop but she told me to cry even more and not hold back the pain I’m feeling. I cried so much that I felt like crying ain’t helping. I kept on recalling all my moments with her. I hated the doctors and nurses who couldn’t save her life for me. To this day my birthdays are filled with mixed emotions. I don’t know whether I should celebrate them or not. No matter how excited I would be when my birthday approaches but come the 26th I get emotionally unstable.
I am 25 years today and the pain is still as sharp as it was then. I never get used to it and it never gets easier but I learned to live with it. I don’t wish anyone the pain I endured in my young me days.
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