Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Mothers (05/02/05)
TITLE: But for Mum
By Anthony David
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Sam began to cry. He was not even two. There were so many people around. “Why are they all looking so sad?” he wondered. His sister Lysa hugged him. She wanted to console him. But she herself was struggling. “What is happening at home today?” mused the five year old, “ Dad seems to be peacefully sleeping and they are covering him up with flowers!”
“Poor, poor kids. Imagine losing their Dad so early in life? How will they survive?” whispered the visitors, quietly among themselves.
Grace, their young mother was in a shock. “Is it true?” she kept asking herself. Just over a year ago she had a disaster when her healthy father-in –law took ill and passed away. And now this. Her beloved husband Frederick, the doting father of Sam and Lysa, now lying dead? She couldn’t believe it! It was like a dream- a horrible nightmare. “Oh! When will it pass away?” She murmured.
It had all been so sudden. Theirs was a lovely little family. Frederick was having a good job and recently she began to teach in a primary school. They were just beginning to settle in life. Faith in God played an important part in their life. The kids were so young and it was a pleasure to watch them grow.
Just before Christmas, Frederick became very busy in Church activities. Then suddenly he became ill. They said he developed infection in the chest. It slowly spread and became serious. They had a traumatic Christmas as he was hovering between death and life. Finally, he gave up and died after Christmas. “Why should this happen to me.. to our little family?” sobbed Grace as she knelt hugging her two little children.
Slowly the relatives began to pester her.” Why don’t you get married again? You are so young. Who will look after you and your children?” But Grace was adamant. “God has given me a job to do. I have to bring up these kids. I’ll remain single and raise them up,” she asserted.
It was not easy for her. She had to struggle. To make both ends meet, she had to tutor other children and do some odd jobs too. The three of them lived a simple life. They didn’t have many comforts. All of Grace’s energies were focused on Lysa and Sam. The kids too did well. They were steeped in the Bible and grew even spiritually. God had given them an innate intelligence and their hard work made them do well in studies.
“My dear children! Work and study hard and God will definitely reward you,” she told them often. Both of them took things in their stride and carried on. Only Sam sometimes would wonder, “How would it be if my Dad were alive? He could have taught me how to ride a bicycle and fly a kite. I miss him. I don’t even remember him.”
Years passed by and the kids grew up to be youngsters knowing the value of hard work. They did well in their studies and prospered in good jobs. Their devoted Mum made sure that they married godly partners.
Grace aged gracefully and could retire with pride. She was now spending more time in Church activities. Meanwhile her daughter Lysa had a daughter. Grace loved her first granddaughter to distraction. Later on, Sam had a baby boy. They named him Frederick and she was the apple of Grace’s eye.
She was about to enjoy her retired life now with her beloved grandson, when disaster struck again. Grace fell seriously ill. She had a terminal illness. The fighter that she was, Grace did not give up. She struggled with death and kept her cool.
As the end came close, she called her son and struggled with her words, “ Sam, remember to love the Lord and your sister. You both have only each other” She fell back on her bed exhausted as Sam cradle d her head, struggling with his own tears.
It was after she saw a birthday of little Frederick that Grace passed away. As they sat down in the all-night vigil by her body, Sam told Lysa, “ But for Mum, Lysa, where do you think we would be today?” “Yes Sam,” replied Lysa tearfully, “After God, all that we have and are today is due to her sacrifice. Let’s praise God for a wonderful Mum”
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