Some of you called her Saras, Aunty Saras, and possibly had other names for her but to her daughters, son-in-laws, grandchildren and many other people, she was lovingly known as MA.

Ma was a remarkable woman who loved her family and church to bits. She was a devoted mother, grandmother, and friend who put God first. She would ensure that she attended church every Sunday and then came home to enjoy the afternoon would her family. Often she would surprise us with her famous Biryani lunch treat. And if you visited on any other day, she would not allow you to leave without having something to eat.

Ma was unbelievably compassionate. Her heart and her generosity knew no bounds. Her door was always open. She always made sure that her tides were in order and then spoilt her grandchildren with gifts. And if it was your birthday, you would always get a crisp R100 note. She loved Christmas and having her family stay over, even if she had to share her bed with one of her daughters. She was bossy thou, if you slept next to her you had to watch her Zee TV soapies as well and put your phone off so that the light would not disturb her beauty sleep.

She was spoilt and pampered by her daughters and grandchildren. She wore the best clothes, and ate the best fish and chips, which were her favorite. She spoke very highly of her church, her pastor, and her congregation.

Mas favorite color was red. She loved to wear her famous red lipstick, and matched it with her red nail polish. She loved the color so much that she wanted to paint her room red and get her a matching headboard. Her sense of humor was impeccable. We would all engrossed in a serious conversation and out of the blue she would utter something silly and make us laugh.

I could go all day talking and praising this amazing woman. It did not take much to make her happy, a phone call, a card, or a visit was more than enough. She lived to make our lives better and was so proud of us.

We all have our special memories with Ma. Whether it was going on a church trip, something funny she said, her best dish, or even watching a soapie with her. These are the precious moments that would last with us forever.

There have been and will be times in our lives when situations arise where we'll want so much to talk to her, be with her or ask her just what we should do. I hope that when those times come, we can begin to look to each other and find that part of her that she gave to each of us.

Maybe we can learn to lean on each other and rely on each other the way we always knew that we could with her. Maybe then she won't seem quite so far away.

So, for your wisdom, your humor, tenderness and compassion, your understanding, your patience and your love, we thank you so much Ma for moulded each one of us into the fine lady or gentleman we are today. Words cannot express how much we love you and miss you.

Brothers and sisters we do not want you to be uniformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. - Thessalonians 4:13-14

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