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Strong in faith

Solomoni Biumaiono
Thursday, November 15, 2012

Her unwavering belief has carried Irene Navukitu through so much after she quit her work to look after her elderly mother on a full-time basis.

Navukitu says her Christian belief made her persevere especially when looking after her mother, Talica Navukitu, who is now 85-years-old and starting to show signs of Alzheimer's disease.

"I reached a stage where my frustrations and stress started showing because I knew at that stage I was actually burnt out and even to the extent I started losing weight as the difficulties I went through started getting to me.

"But I never lost my trust in God and also because I know this is the God of restoration," Navukitu says.

In 2003 she moved in with her mother after her flat in Raiwai was demolished to make way for new ones but she continued working through this time.

Navukitu's parents used to look after the old Raiwaqa cinema and have been in the area for 24 years.

As a single mother, Navukitu was raising her daughter as well as looking after her mother while a niece would be staying at home.

"At times whenever she (niece) had other things to do, I would step in and look after her and sometimes I would even take her along with me to work," Navukitu says.

It was not until 2009 when she finally decided to quit her job at the Sports Locker to look after her mother.

"My previous boss had sold the business and the new owner wanted me to continue but after two weeks I gave it all up because I thought of my mother. What is the point of looking after someone else's business when I have my own mother to look after. It just came naturally.

"I informed my boss that I just couldn't afford to continue working and in fact I had raised this point in my prayers," Navukitu says.

She dedicated her time to looking after her daughter, household chores and being a caregiver to her mother.

"I have three brothers and there are five of us girls but they all have their own families to look after and I understand that. They always visit us but they do not have the time because they have their own families to raise as well," Navukitu says.

As she gradually settled into this role, the reality of there being no breadwinner started to plague them as their access to water was cut because of non payment. This was when she started losing weight and was always angry all the time and her frustrations were getting to her and affecting those around her.

"At times, I would just sit there alone with my mum and I always asked her for her forgiveness for those times and even though she may never acknowledge the way I want her to, I do hope that she remembers it somewhere in there," Navukitu says.

Just when all seemed lost, Navukitu's prayers were answered when former school and workmates as well as relatives and friends started turning up with money or groceries to help her out. Even her former bosses have stepped in and helped her out.

"I see these as answers to my prayers and whenever I ask the Lord for help, sure enough someone turns up wanting to help us out. It is unfailing," she says.

"I would like to bless each and everyone who has contributed to my family especially in helping my mum."

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