She looked at her mum lying on the hospital bed, looking lifeless but yet smiling at her. Though weak, her mother’s smile held her heart and felt like glue holding her being together. She was too close to breaking into pieces, but how dare her break into pieces when the woman who will soon go into nothingness was still smiling. Her mum was in pain and she knew it, though her mother tried her possible best to hide it. Her father was also in pain and though he didn’t try to hide it, he let his strength overpower the pain he was feeling.
He excused them to attend to the Doctor. She moved closer to her mum and held her fragile hand. She didn’t know when a tear slipped from her eyes and only realized when her mother struggled to get her hand up to her face in order to wipe the lone tear from her face. She couldn’t hold herself anyway as she released the torrent of tears tugging at her eyes.
‘I can’t do it mum. I just can’t. Not now. I am not strong. I don’t want to be strong. I need you mum, I need you,’ she said holding her mother’s eyes.
‘I don’t quite agree. I think it’s all about perspective,’ her mother said weakly. ‘What?’ she asked gently, cleaning the mucus from her nose. ‘I said it’s all about perspective,’ her mother said writhing in pain. She had to move closer to her mum so she could hear her.
‘Remember when you called me to tell me you lost a lot of money?’ her mum asked. She nodded her head, briefly remembering how she had expelled a lot of money on a project which didn’t work out. She had called her mum to cry about how much she had lost. ‘What did I tell you?’
‘You told me to be grateful. Grateful that I had money to lose. Grateful that the loss of money didn’t drain my account. Grateful that I learnt lessons from the experience which will come in handy next time.’
‘Exactly. It’s all about perspective,’ her mother reiterated. ‘So why not look at this too through the ever helpful eyes of perspective.’ Her mother shut her eyes and rested her head on the pillow. Talking was exhausting for her these days, but this might be the last time she will really get to advice her daughter. She was determined to help her daughter see she was strong enough before she goes into the abyss.
‘Are you saying I should be grateful that you are dying?’ she asked trying not to express her anger. She was angry quite alright. She had a right to be. She was losing her best friend. Her dad was losing the love of his life. They made plans and now, death was going to rubbish those plans. Yes, she was angry and here was her mum telling her to be grateful. Grateful for what exactly?’
Her mother could hear the anger in the question. ‘Well… not exactly. Why not be grateful that you have a mum that loves you? Why not be grateful that you got to spend twenty-six years of your life with me? Why not be grateful that we had so many good memories that many others never got to have? Why not be grateful that you didn’t lose me since. I mean, many have healthy mothers who cannot stand them and who do not love them. Why not be grateful that you get to say a final goodbye? Many don’t get the chance to do that. Should I continue? There are more things to be grateful for. I know I am grateful I had a good life with you and your father. It’s all about perspective.’
She chuckled amidst the tears running freely down her cheeks. ‘You have always drummed it in my ears: Perspective is everything. Often times, it’s all about how you interpret what you are seeing. Your interpretation will always inform the actions you take. A man without perspective is not doing himself and the world any good. It’s all about perspective,’ she smiled at her mother and held her hand tighter, but carefully. Her mother smiled back and gave her hand a gentle squeeze.
‘I see you have been listening to me all those years. Perspective really is everything. It’s like what that American preacher, Judah Smith said…’ She tried to remember his exact words which she got from listening to one of his sermons, ‘Yes… He said ‘life without perspective is almost unbearable’. I really agree with him. I want you to pass that down to Motinuke, the granddaughter I am yet to see. There will be times in her life and yours that pain will engulf you and failure will mock you. But even in times like that, pain can be a motivator based on how you see the pain and how you choose to interpret it. and I know, times when nothing is glass coloured, it’s harder to have the right perspective, but my dear, that’s when it’s most important.’ …
‘Let me tell you a secret,’ her mother said leaning forward. ‘Gratitude is powerful. It’s so powerful that it can shape how you see and react to everything. For example, times that you are faced with failure, you become grateful that you are even alive and able to fail at something. From there, you see the lessons you can learn from the failure. You apply it next time and keep applying subsequent lessons till there is a change. In the long run, you see that failure as a blessing because of the perspective you took.
‘And God, you can question him, but you can’t doubt him. You might not understand what he is doing, but please let your strength come from total dependence on him. He might not always give us the answers that we want, but that’s okay. He is God and no matter what we think, he always knows what he is doing. Do you understand me?’
She breathed out. ‘That’s hard mama. It really is, but I get. ‘Hmmmm! Motinuke, I like the name.’
‘Go and call your father. I want to sleep now. You see that man?’ she nodded though she couldn’t see her dad physically, but she saw him in her mind’s eye. ‘He is a man with perspective. Marry such a man. A man with perspective will help complement and enhance the vision you already have.’ Her mother closed her eyes. She kissed her on the forehead and went in search of her dad. After a little search, she finally found him in the parking lot. He was standing by his car with his head in his hands. Totally unaware of her presence, she startled him when she tapped him. His eyes were red, he had been crying. She said nothing and put her hand in the crook of his right hand. They walked inside in silence. ‘She went peacefully,’ the Doctor said to them as they entered the room.
Happy New Month Folks. May we have the right perspective to everything this month. Kindly be a blessing by sharing.
Photo credit: Brandoncannon.com1