The Love of a Mother
In our last newsletter we spoke of Lada whose greatest pain it was, not to be loved by her
mother. Today, we would like to tell you about a daughter who has been blessed her entire
life by the love of her mother. In the years following India’s independence from Great Britain Bakiam gave birth to five children. Each of them was to die soon after birth. You can imagine how great Bakiam’s joy was when her sixth child, her daughter Pecheammal (pronounced: Pitchay-Ammal), survived. They lived in a village near Kovilpatti, and Pecheammal enjoyed an untroubled childhood. Everything was going well … until the little girl turned five. It all began shortly after she started school. From one moment to the next, little Pecheammal with her long pigtails turned pale and collapsed to the ground, overcome by distorting seizures, which
twisted her entire little body. The diagnosis: epilepsy. Fast forward, and Pecheammal is now over 60 years old and lives in our Long Life Center (LLC) in Kovilpatti.
In 2015, Celine, and her husband, Jeba, who together are the leaders of the LLC, welcomed Bakiam (then 94 years old) and Pecheammal into the home with the same love and respect, as they offer to all those who are entrusted into their care. Several people from the village, where Bakiam and Pecheammal lived, came to the LLC to share the moving story of this mother and how she lovingly cared for her daughter for over 60 years. They saw no alternative but to now seek help for both mother and daughter. Her seizures, which began when Pecheammal was just five, had tormented her every day since and dashed any hope of a normal life, as we know it. Her mother, Bakiam, meanwhile over 90 years old, cared for her as one would a small child, washing her, feeding her and holding her hand wherever she went. It was just as their neighbors had told us: Bakiam and Pecheammal were inseparable - heart and soul. At Bakiam’s specific request she remained the focal point of Pecheammal’s life within the LLC, accompanying her constantly and caring for her daughter’s every need. At night she would hold Pecheammal tightly to protect her. We had the privilege to speak to her of our Creator, and Bakiam was pleased to learn of the protection He promises her daughter and herself. This was critical for her, as she did not know what would become of Pecheammal after her death. One evening, much to her surprise, Pecheammal decided to sleep in a different bedroom. The next morning a very concerned Bakiam asked her where she had been. When Bakiam heard that other residents and the home’s leaders enjoyed looking after Pecheammal, she was able to visibly relax. The following evening, after 98 years of hard work and uninterrupted responsibility for her child, Bakiam passed peacefully in the knowledge that her precious daughter was in caring hands. It was some time before Pecheammal could comprehend what the death of her mother meant, and it was very painful for her. Her joy for life has returned, however, through the love of the homes’ other residents and her new “Mama” Celine. We are also so pleased that she has not had one seizure this past year. In spite of her disability from epilepsy the love of her mother gifted Pecheammal with a fulfilled and happy life.