The First Time I Laughed Once Again

Motherhood is a rare and precious gift.

Happiness, love, and pride race through my heart, as I marvel at my children. They are extensions of myself, yet individuals in their own right.

I was blessed with two children, but the cruelty of life saw my son taken before his time. At 25 he was diagnosed with cancer, the same disease that ravaged my cervix, leaving my body fragile and my emotions raw.

We were both diagnosed in the same year and I had access to immediate treatment. But the cruel hand of fate intervened and my son was not granted that opportunity. His death came quickly, before his treatment could even begin. But the panic and fear that engulfed me when I was diagnosed, was completely surpassed by the horror of possibly losing my son. Helplessly I watched, as the light faded from his eyes.  This tested my faith, and during the darkest of days, when sadness gripped my soul, the pain and toll of my cancer served to remind me that I was still very much alive.

Slowly I grew stronger.

Daily I prayed for healing and strength and today I live cancer free. It was my daughter and sister who cheered me on, encouraging me to walk with God.  Through grace, I began to see again the light that was once in my son’s eyes. This was later mirrored in the eyes of my first grandchild. A bundle of joy, hope, life and future-willing me to live and laugh once again.

Sebenzile Mngomezulu

This story appears at part of the Moments in Time project. Moments in Time features specially selected cancer patients with different forms of cancers; all from different backgrounds, who have opened themselves up to the lens of the camera. The project is a visual expression of the fruits of the Human Spirit and irresistibly captures: “hope in the face of despair”, “passion in the face of pain”, “joy in the face of sadness”, and “power in the face of vulnerability”. Each year a range of calendars and diaries are produced to inspire others and celebrate these ambassadors. Read more stories at

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