A miracle in a mother's heart
I was eight years old when my mother became mentally ill. I grew up with my grandparents, and my mother was a single mother, and also worked as a Primary School teacher in the outskirts of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. After two years of her illness, the government stopped her salary. My grandparents consulted various traditional healers who demanded a lot of money. However, my mother’s illness never improved. I was afraid that she was going to die and every day of my life I used to cry and pray to God to save her, and also to protect my little brothers (one was four years old, and the youngest was three months old). I matured spirituality and my faith in God grew tremendously, albeit at such a young age. When I was 10 years old, my mother sent me away to stay with my father since she could no longer support me financially. I did not want to leave my mother, nor my grandmother, with whom I was very close since she raised me. At this time, my mother was always in and out of psychiatric hospitals.
Due to the education policies in which my mother had invested, I had the opportunity to enrol at a private girl’s convent school. Also, with the help of my father’s sister I managed to complete my high school and also proceeded to University. I yearned for a close relationship with my mother but I did not have that since she was mostly in mental institutions. I worked very hard and also prayed a lot. Although she has been taking medication every day of her life, my mother has not been in a mental asylum for the past 10 years, and she is as normal as she was before her illness. I have dedicated my life to her and I am currently studying towards a PhD in African Women’s Studies because I want to empower myself so that I can look after my mother. I am grateful to God for keeping my mother this far and for being with me and my brothers all this time. My mother and I have a close relationship and she is the most important person in my life. Despite her history of her illness, my mother is a strong woman and she has become the pillar of strength in her family.
Pamela Makati, South Africa