Angeline Makhosi Khumalo
January 20, 2021
To my daughter,
My love, my heart, my child of God, I love you more than anything in this world. And because I want you to live a beautiful life, even when I am no longer here physically by your side, I am laying out my wishes that I know your father and all the wonderful aunties in your life will do their best to uphold. I want for you to live a life that is close with God. I know your father will help make this happen. I want you to go with Auntie Faith to our church at least once a month. Please always keep the Lord in your heart, because when you walk with God, you walk with mommy. I will be watching over you always.
I want you to know and remember your roots in South Africa. I want you to know our culture and your family there. Your father has promised me that you can go to South Africa at least every other summer, and spend the summer with your Auntie and Gogo. I want you to stay close with Auntie Zivi and Auntie Corinne. Your father has promised to take you to them for the weekend whenever you want. They love you and will help to raise you with all the womanly love I wish I could still give you. I was raised traditionally, and I’d like you to be ladylike in some ways. Please remember that the words you say are carried in your soul, so try not to speak ugly words or curse words. When you do, ask God to forgive you, and I promise He will.
I want you to take school seriously and study hard. It will give you so many opportunities in the future. You are an American girl, and your vice president is a Black girl like you—there is nothing that can stop you if you put your mind to it. So please work hard and put your education first. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask—your father, your teacher, or one of your aunties. Aunt Zivi will help you apply to boarding school when you are older, and then you can choose if that is the right path for you. All I want is that you get a good education and that you’re happy.
Your father has promised me to give you understanding, because I know what you’re going through isn’t going to be easy. You will need patience and grace. If you act out, he will know that it is coming from pain and hurt, not because you want to be bad. He will need to love you as much as a mom and a dad put together. I know he will do his best. If he ever hurts you, just tell him. He will listen. Don’t hold pain inside your heart and let it grow. Just find your voice, stand tall like your mother, and tell people how you feel.
I never really knew what love was before I met you. Your laughter and hugs and unique, special Mellanie spirit have filled my life with more joy than most people know even if they may live 100 years. You made my life as rich as any queen. I know that you will make me proud. But please know that the most important thing for me is not your accomplishments—it is your joy. I want you to always walk your days with the brightness and joy you carry with you now. And I will be watching you and loving you from heaven.
With all my love, your loving Mommy
The words of St. Paul:
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words (1 Thess 4:13-18).
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10).
Angeline is a woman of faith, and she bears the fruits of grace so boldly that it is no wonder where she places her confidence — in Christ, her Savior. Christ, who once stood on this side of death, has delivered us from the ‘fear of death’ (Heb 2:15).