THE last words Sesenieli Naika heard from her son were "I'll come see you on Mother's Day".
But on the morning of what was supposed to be a special day for the mother of five, she was visited by police officers who delivered a message no mother wanted to hear.
"They told me he had passed away last (Saturday) night," she said from her home in Malevu Village, Sigatoka.
"They said he was in an accident."
The accident, according to authorities, was an alleged brutal attack on 37-year-old Manasa Ulunisau by a group of men as he waited for transport near Warwick Hotel to return home to his partner who was waiting for their Sunday Mother's Day shopping at Naboutini Village.
Ms Naika said they were in shock. The Fiji Times visited her home yesterday where she was surrounded by her grandchildren.
"We're still trying to accept that he has really gone," said the 62-year-old.
"The last time I saw him was on Thursday. He came home to drop off some food for us before going into town. He told me he would come back to see me on Mother's Day."
Describing her son, she said he was a hardworking man who always looked after people he cared for.
"There wasn't a day that you would not see him cleaning or doing some kind of work outside.
"He lived in Naboutini with his partner and he always made sure to come and visit us."
About 20 kilometres from Malevu, another mother was grieving the loss of her partner - a former Outrigger Resort staff.
Asela Nabuci had been with Mr Ulunisau for only six months before his untimely death.
"He left early Saturday morning to do some shopping for our Mother's Day lunch," said the mother of one.
"For me, it's really hard to talk about it because it still hurts to think that he is not with us anymore.
"He took care of me and my child and he never once complained about living with my relatives."
"All we know is that he was waiting for transport to come back home and that is when he was assaulted."
Korolevu Police Post officers confirmed an investigation into the alleged assault was continuing.