They live in our memories

By admin
03 December 2010

It looks like a happy scene: three women on the beach, chatting about their little ones.

Manju Moodley (34) says lovingly of her two, Yadin (3) and Tamesha (2), “I could never give Yadin a sweet unless his sister got one too. I live for them.”

“He keeps me going,” Debra Bouwer (41) says of her three-year-old son, Lee.

Debbie Adlington (46), who is hosting Manju of Johannesburg and Debra of George in Cape Town for a weekend, completely agrees.

If it hadn’t been for her three children she would never have fought to live when her skull was cracked with an axe and she almost died nearly nine years ago.

But the kids they’re so enthusiastically discussing are dead – killed by their own fathers.

The three women spent a recent weekend together at a Camps Bay guesthouse. They laughed and cried together and parted with their hope restored.

What they shared wasn’t arbitrary sympathy dished out by someone at a loss for words of comfort or advice. Each spoke from bitter experience.

It gets easier with the years is the first reassurance Debbie gives them “but it never, ever goes away”.

She hugs Kylie-Ann (5), who’s building a sandcastle next to her. “Hearing that sweet word ‘Mommy’ again saved me,” she says of her youngest daughter who was conceived with artificial insemination.

“She doesn’t replace any of them; she’s an extension of our family,” Debbie says of the apple of her eye.

Today lively Kylie-Ann steals everyone’s heart. She tickles Manju’s back and enjoys it when Debra twirls her in the air. Her energy is infectious, for the other two sad moms too.

Tears flow when they think of their own toddlers who are gone.

“It’s okay; it’s normal,” says Debbie. “There will be days when you’ll feel you can’t move one step but you’ll do it – for your children. No one can take away your happy memories of your times together. Relive them and enjoy them,” she says.

Debra feels she still hasn’t had enough time to come to terms with what happened. Sometimes she feels trapped in a nightmare.

She remembers looking forward to Lee starting swimming lessons this summer and that he would have begun karate lessons after his fourth birthday.

“Now you’re talking,” Manju says, explaining that swimming lessons were also on the cards for her Yadin, who was the same age as Lee.

Then they once again have to fight back the tears because they’ll never see their children grow up.

Read the full story in YOU, 9 December 2010.

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