After three decades of marriage, she rested her head on my shoulder in tears. I sat there, saying silent prayers, not uttering a word. There was nothing to say. I put my arm around her, fighting back my own tears.
We had met through a colleague five years before this particular day, and although she was much older than me, we became friends instantly. I felt deeply drawn to her. In many ways, I admired the woman she was. Her warmth, her charm and her presence- she was my idea of what a woman should be, powerful yet incredibly humble. She carried herself with so much grace, and somehow, that grace was well-balanced with her bubbly personality and compassion for others. I could not wait to learn from her, she had captured my heart.
And now, we sat together in her house, shedding tears.
“My life is over!,” she bursted out in anger. But it was not true.
She was just a woman in pain.
Although my friend did not have a formal job, she worked harder than most people I know (myself included). Her mornings started early and ended very late at night. She cared for her family in ways that amazed and inspired me. She was what we (in Christian circles) call a Proverbs 31 woman. There was nothing she could not do! She was intelligent, hardworking, likable, a good conversationalist and the list goes on. But here’s what I really want to share with you: she was a wife, in the true sense of the word. She was her husband’s best friend. She was his sun. And she honored him. And it was not about her cooking his food or ironing his clothes, it was the way she looked at him, the way she spoke of him and the way she just glowed in his presence. He was her great love. I had been privileged enough to see how their interacted with one another in their private space, it was then that I decided to pray to God about my own marriage. Their love inspired me. It was pure, innocent and incredibly rich. Their love drew me in and I desired something like it. Together, they built a great life and had two amazing boys.
She helped him build his business, encouraged him when he was down and cheered him on when he was afraid and gave him an ear when he needed it.
She was a mother. Her children came home to an immaculately clean house every afternoon. They enjoyed three-course meals every evening, home made. Their mother was their friend, cheerleader and greatest fan. She was a disciplinarian too, and passionate about instilling godly values in her children.
She had invested her time and efforts in taking care of her family and generously tending to all their needs.
And now, all that was seemingly taken from her without a warning. She had to bury her loved ones after a freak accident that left her broken.
What would her days look like now?
She was about to find out.
But even then, my friend gracefully allowed the process to take its course: she cried, she questioned, she prayed, she accepted and she healed.
And today, she takes care of widows and little ones whose parents have passed on. What happened to my friend almost wrecked her life, until she decided that if she could no longer take care of her family, there was someone she could give her care and love to. And she was right! It’s this selflessness that inspires me so much about her. It’s her humility that challenges my outlook on life. It’s her unwavering faith that urges me to see beyond any circumstance.
None of her skills or talents or love are wasted on my friend, she cooks with as much passion for her new family as she did for husband and children. She is doing for strangers what she was doing for her own family. I have no doubt that she has tough days sometimes, but she is relentless and unwavering in her ability to make a difference. And what a difference she is making…in my life!
While some things in life cannot be avoided, they can be overcome. There is no situation too great, no pain too deep and no tragedy so bad that it cannot be conquered. There is no denying that painful things happen in life, senseless things that no one can can explain or understand, but with that said, life goes on. What happens to us is beyond our control, but who we become is our choice. Come what may, we must not go through life as victims, but we must endeavor to be what we were created and born to be- overcomers.
Love and light,
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