Tonight I got a call from my mom and sister that my Ouma Chrissie is very sick – as in, at the age of 75 she may not live. She’s old.. and never truly recovered from Oupa’s death in December 2007. Hell, she has not even left the room.
The doctor had advised that if one wanted to see her before she dies, now would be good. Okay, I fail to mention that after a rather large, ugly words and shouting argument in November last year I’ve not been in contact with my family so it meant I had to also put myself together again to face everyone. This was very hard from me… baie. You have no idea how much baie is.
Noid gave up four hours from working and came with me to be with Ouma Chrissie. My family was friendly and dignified – nice and I felt okay. I think they tried for everyone to be okay and I appreciated it very much. I do love and care for them hugely but I don’t think they understand me… or why I do or say what I do. It doesn’t matter, it was okay.
Ouma’s room felt calm with soft light… she looked worse and better then I imagined – making no sense at all I am. She is nothing like the woman she use to be, but when I lay down beside her, she took my face in her hands and I felt like heaven had just touched me.
It was the most incredible soft, lingering, tender, loving feeling of adoration that came from her. Sweeping movement of her soft hand on my hair… such comfort I have not felt. She is the one dying and yet I felt she was giving to me… I was enough. I WAS ENOUGH!!
She spoke every now and again a few audible sentences… she said she is happy with the life she has had, that she loves me, that I am a ‘dierbare kind’… she told Noid that she raised me from the time I was one month old… that she was so happy when I was born that she cried for weeks… she said I was her first grandchild and her favourite, she told me over and over again how happy she is to see me, she asked if I was happy with Noid and if we will get married.. she asked me if he will look after me.. she specifically asked to see Kevin.. my heart was sore for him because him and I did this together not so long ago with Oupa…. She said she is so glad that I came, she loves me.. I said I love her and thank you for everything and and and ….and all the while I didn’t want her to stop touching me. It was the most tender and intense love I have felt in a very long time – as in overwhelming complete peace and contentment – healing. I wanted to drink it in and have it run smoothly inside my body, fill me up with tenderness and love. It was beautiful.
I never want to forget how I felt. Ever.
It does not matter to me what is physically wrong with my gran. I don’t mind her dying because I saw her LIVE. I don’t know if she will be with us for a few more hours, days or weeks… I feel content in knowing that she loves me and that I love her and that’s enough. I will miss her so much, but I am so glad she was my Ouma Chrissie… and the person who I slept next to, holding her hand for the first eleven years of my life.
When we got home, I lay in the darkness. Craving the silence, seeking that contentment, I climbed under the dovet in an effort to feel more ‘protected‘ – snug – a hug almost .. . I closed my eyes and pretended the fan was raindrops and that I could almost smell the cinnamon from the pancakes. As the wind blew the curtain, I hoped there was a life after this one… one in which Ouma will find Oupa waiting and they will once again walk hand in hand as they did for 57 years.
“Love is stronger than death even though it can’t stop death from happening, but no matter how hard death tries it can’t separate people from love. It can’t take away our memories either. In the end, life is stronger than death.” – Unknown