She stood on her own.
You see she’d been prepared for this for a long time coming.
She was born into a war.
She learnt to steal sweets at around four knowing that believing in fairytales wouldn’t get her far.
In her teens after school she would enter a shop – grab a string of Caramello Bears and walk out. Or fill a motorbike helmet. Or collect donations using a pencil then rub it out and spend the money on sweets. And jump trains to go to the beach. Or bunk out after midnight and hitch to nightclubs and fake her age to get in. She learnt to be streetwise.
She dreamt of being free and travelling the world.
And didn’t get far. She ended up in the desert for survival techniques. With a little boy who was good and wise beyond his years. With a brilliant mind and natural talent.
Who stopped her from climbing an electric fence one night after her bakkie broke down when they had to walk for hours back to the farm. And who would stand guard while she sneaked around at night to switch her neighbour’s water pipes to fill her windmill tank. And try to prevent her going out on her own at night because she would drive home with the white lines swirling across the road.
After her debauchery ended she was allowed to have a gift – a daughter.
Who had tantrums – bored easily – was stubborn and cheeky and would rather play more than anything else. Full of character.
She tagged along with her to all night prayers at a Nigerian church – to missionary school – to work in an orphanage in Mozambique. She lay by her side when robbers broke into their home one night. She sat with her through flat tyres – breakdowns and getting stuck driving through the mud whenever it rained. She’s walked with her across borders. All for her to learn to keep pressing on.
Her daughter walked off in high heels and left her to face barrenness alone. And like the Rose of Jericho she sprung up to face the storm alone by chasing after her King.