In 1994 someone that I knew very well died. She was a young woman still in the prime of her life and there was much for her to live for. She was a good mother and devoted partner. Perhaps she was too much of a devoted partner. Although she was aware that her partner was cheating on her she opted to remain in the relationship. He was having relationships with women inside and outside of her community. He fathered children that she knew about. It was no secret; he was a Casanova.
She could have left this man. He lived at her home, she could have packed his belongings and told him to go. A part of the reason she remained was that she wanted her children to have their father in their life another reason was the fact that she loved this man unconditionally in spite of everything.
He traveled a lot and he lived overseas for a period of time. He returned home and married her. It should have been a happy time but shortly after that he became ill while overseas and died. At the time it was now clear what had caused his death. At his funeral another woman turned up claiming to be his wife. Even in death she was having to deal with another woman.
About two years later she too became ill. After many doctor visits and many tests she was finally tested for HIV. Her results came back positive. Her health rapidly went down hill after that. She was a voluptuous woman but in a matter of months the disease reduced her to skin and bones. I recall visiting her looking at her lying in bed just a shell of her former self and I couldn’t help thinking this disease is really a killer.
She was in good spirit. There was no bitterness, no blame, no self-pity. She accepted her fate, accepted the fact that she was going to die. She wanted me to run my hand through her hair. She spoke lovingly of him…how she used to love when he run his hand through her hair. She was not angry. I could see that she had forgiven him. I was so moved by her that I wrote this poem in her memory:
A Tribute to Someone Special
I saw, not for the first time,
Traces of tears mirrored in your eyes,
But the tears lost, for you did not,
Once let go of the smile,
I saw quite clearly the pain,
You did not try to disguise,
And a part of me grieved,
And inside I wept.
You who gave love to one and all,
And mothered those who weren’t,
even your own,
I ask myself, how can someone,
Who has given so much love,
Bear so much pain?
I saw you, a strong tower,
A great mountain, unshaken, unmoved,
A woman like Job,
And like Job you bore the things,
That were unjustly thrust upon you.
The passing of the years multiplied,
Your sorrow and your pain,
And yet you did not complain,
I saw in you no bitterness,
No revenge, no regrets, no hate.
I looked at you and I marveled,
Surely, you were no ordinary woman,
You must have been an angel,
Sent down from heaven,
Taking the form of a woman,
I don’t know, but wherever you are,
I just want you to know,
You must be someone special!
Sometimes the decisions we make in life with all the right intention are not necessarily the right ones. In this particular situation both parents died and the children were left orphans. In a relationship you can’t change your partner. You can encourage him to change. You can give him reasons why he should change but ultimately the final decision is his to make. You have two options accept his lifestyle or leave him! Do not stay tied down in a relationship and tell yourself if I leave him I won’t be able to take of the children by myself. Have enough faith to believe that God will see you through. If he went out and got hit by a truck and died wouldn’t you have to go on with your life?
Ending a relationship is never an easy decision but at some point in life you have to take control and decide what is best for you!