REMEMBERING THE PAST AND ENJOYING THE PRESENT
Mother’s day just went by and I stopped to reflect on the number of women who I could legitimately call my mother, in recognition of their presence and help in my life. I should recognize all women as my mother – without women we would not be here as we know it.
This is just a few:
My Grandmother: Roselia Maxwell, a small spry lady, matriarch of the Maxwell House on Tyrell Street, the mother of everyone in the house. She was the queen of her kitchen which she occupied from morning to evening, preparing meals in which she mixed in physical food and love. My grandmother’s biggest lesson to me was her steadfastness: without missing a day (or so it seemed) Granma was at the window overlooking the St. George’s harbor saying her prayers – 6 a.m.; 12 noon; 6 p.m. and midnight – religiously. I remember Granma whenever I fall down on my resoluteness on any action or issue.
My birth Mother: Meta Agatha Phillips who literally ‘fathered’ five children to adulthood in a voyage that took her from Grenada to Trinidad to Grenada; and within Grenada to Tyrell St. Mt. Gay, and Colombier Estate in St. Andrews. My mother always greeted me with an embracing: ‘Bobby, wha happenin dey, boy’, making me feel that she would sit and listen to my whole life story. One of our proudest moments with Ma was my brother and I giving her $4 we earned from a competition among us two crushing river stones on the side of the road. And I was flooded with appreciation, when, in a temporary release from her Alzheimers disease, she mentioned that she remembered how she would sit with me in Mt. Gay (past 7 pm at a kerosene lamp) doing primary school homework (sums) until she heard me say ‘Aha ah get yuh, yuh bugger”.
My adopted Mother: Lady Thelma Branch (Auntie Thelma) who all but legally adopted me at a crucial time of my life when I began my secondary school career. She invited me to live with the family and treated me as a son. From the Branches, I learnt what I could become. Aunty Thelma always encouraged me with me schoolwork and athletic activities from GBSS to University. I cried at her funeral!
My Hostel Mother: Ma Braf (Maud Brathwaite) who nurtured 30+ boys at the GBSS Hostel. Ma Braf had things worked out to deal with recalcitrant boys – ranging from being icily serious to a caring loving mother to sick boys.
The Games Mothers: At GBSS games – athletics, cricket) there were a group of mothers who prepared and served refreshments – Ma Lottie Phillips; Mrs. Pitt; Mrs. Mason, and several others. These women talked with us as mothers, and were always ready to help, even with the odd request for “more cake”.
Others: Nurse Alexandra Radix: mother of my good friend Jack Radix, and mother to me. Nurse was always welcoming, and was always advising us in our own interests. As a Nurse, she educated us young men in the dangers of promiscuous sex, always entreating us to work hard at studies, and at whatever we did so we could go further in life.
Winnie Strachan: Winnie also adopted me, though she also called me “Thelma’s boy”. I could not go to Grenada and not visit Winnie. Winnie had a relaxing grace. A wonderful welcome always awaited me, and I was so happy to have her meet my own family. She was a lovely person.
It was my blessing to have all of these mothers. All of them are now deceased; what exists for me now is the Universal Mother. Those of you whose mothers are still alive SHOULD MAKE EVERY DAY ‘MOTHERS DAY’ BECAUSE WITHOUT THEM…………??
GRENADA’S VIBRANT FECUNDITY
Strikes again at the Chelsea Flower Show – Gold Medal. The display and ideas have “provided visitors to the world’s greatest flower show with an authentic taste of Pure Grenada”. Who was it who said that this little country could not “run with the big dogs”? And likewise, Kirani James won again in domineering fashion.