It is true that I have had one year of silence on this blog. In December of 2020 I published my last entry on the AmaBhulu blog. Roundabout that time my mother’s newly returned cancer hijacked our family. She had originally been diagnosed with oral cancer on 1 October 2016, but fought that into remission in 2017. By end 2019 it was back and they could only provide limited radiation treatment, which pushed it back by about one more year.
Given that this last stage was during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown here in British Columbia with the hospitals in a crisis, it was decided that we would nurse my mother, Nickie, here in our home. We thought this both sensible and considerate. Hospital beds were scarce and most attention went to the crisis stricken terminal COVID patients. Cancer took very much a second seat. I’m sure time will tell how many postponed cancer diagnoses and treatments led to preventable deaths.
In the very last week before her passing we received round-the-clock nursing attendance. By far the best nurse we had was a black lady from Jamaica who took one look at the situation and took command. I was 100% happy to follow her instructions. She did things “softly but firmly with a smile”. Along the way, we also had in-home support staff from Nigerian immigrants, who were great fun to deal with under terrible circumstances. One lady was called Lobola and I could explain to her what that meant in isiXhosa (bridewealth”). Her eyes went wide and she said that in Nigeria it meant “wealth”. So, Africa is a small place. I could speak to these ladies in a way I could not communicate with regular Canadians. Their faces lit up the moment I started talking to them. It was a small point of light in a dark time.
It has taken a long time to adapt to the sudden quiet in this house. After all, there are three relationships among three people, but only one among two, so there is now one third of the previous joint activity. Nickie’s influence on this home and on the community was huge. The Sunday after her passing, the sermon in our church was pretty much based on “What would Nickie have said?” After all, she had pointed out Biblical facts to the minister and to the assistant pastor who led the Church Meet. Condolences came from Canada, the United States, Britain, Germany and South Africa. She had touched many people’s lives.
Having shared almost every moment of the last months of her life, I can tell you that my mother gave up on life the moment Donald Trump lost the election in the USA. Until then she was quite lively, and asked every day to see what he had done that day and which of his demonstrably evil political enemies he had “slammed down” that day. She equated him to the character Trompie in South African culture, a very naughty boy with a heart of gold. On the other hand, she often said, “No, my child, he should not have said that.” The next day she would ask, “My Child, what has Trompie done today?” However, she even shut up her Church Meet group when they launched into their unthinking knee-jerk anti-Trump rants, which many Canadians seemed to think their duty. Facts did not seem to mean much to them. I do not think South Africans are capable of believing what extreme garbage was dished up to the lamentably unthinking North American public. It boggles the imagination and revolts me to this day. And much of it is now being revealed for what it really was by the Durham Probe in the US. Nickie is probably smiling in vindication.
I think I have now dwelt enough on the passing of this special lady who commanded so much respect from everyone she touched, the Afrikaner Farm Girl who had literally jumped over a cobra, who had broken the glass ceiling, who had won her own face-offs with both the Church and the Police, who had survived a terrorist attack by the ANC, and who outlived both Mandela and his terrorist chief, Joe Modise. I only wish the circumstances of her passing were more positive and that we could have had a proper funeral service. COVID made it impossible.
I am ready to proceed with the AmaBhulu Blog again. I am starting with a recent livestream with Scott Balson of Loving Life and with an interview with a great friend of civilized South Africans, Alex Newman, on his Sentinel Report.
— Harry Booyens