Let us celebrate the women in our lives

by Patrick Hunter
0 comment

It is Women’s History Month and we have just, rightly so, celebrated International
Women’s Day. Interestingly, this past weekend Mother’s Day was celebrated in the United
In my last column to mark Black History Month, I touched on my brushes with some
famous people. In that column I mentioned the passing of my mother. As this transition is
so recent, it is hard not to reflect on who that person was, and the influence she had on my
life. It also forced me to think about how significant mothers, and especially Black single
mothers, are to our well-being.
When I spoke about my mother, Edna, at the celebration of her life, I began by talking
about how, as a child, she taught me to sew buttons, patch a hole in my clothes, iron a shirt,
wash some of my clothes and, of course, some elementary cooking. Little did I realize and
appreciate at the time that she was preparing me for life.
Perhaps, more significantly, she insisted on my schooling. To be able to read, to do my
homework and for that she would arrange additional lessons, paying what she could from
what was then a measly wage working as a domestic.
My mother had two of us. My younger sister, Faye, eventually became a teacher following,
I guess, in the footsteps of one set of our great grandparents. Today, among other things,
she is an archdeacon in the Episcopal Church is Southern Florida.
My mom came to Canada first for a nine-month visit and then later as a landed immigrant.
Throughout those periods, she never forgot us. The conditions, I came to realize later, for
her leaving would have been agreements with a very close friend for our supervision and
care. Our mom stayed in very close contact writing letters regularly to check up on us,
sending us a little “pocket money”.
I have seen some of the struggles that my mother endured. There was much that she didn’t
talk about. There were employers who were at times unpleasant towards her. Yet, she had
always maintained a sense of loyalty to them. Perhaps she did so to ensure that we, her
children, would be safe and not in need of anything.
Our mom had dementia in her last days. In a way, it was a very hard thing to witness. I
guess I had taken for granted how strong, how hardworking, this woman was. It was a
wake-up call. And even through it all, her sense of determination – “I can do this myself” –
showed itself frequently. She had somehow convinced herself that she could live on her
own, not wanting any help we would arrange for her.
One of the most touching moments in those last days, in a lucid moment, she turned to me
and said/asked: “I hope I’m not leaving you in debt.”
Yes, in our communities, there are single parents, especially single mothers. I have yet to
come across one of these mothers (and there may be some) who considered their child or
children to be a burden. I believe that what they are most concerned about is the inability,
at times, to balance the need to earn a living to be able to ensure that their children have a
home and food on the table, and the more hands-on care and attention the child needs.
How many times have we come across situations where Black mothers leave their children
to take care of their employer’s child or children?

It is not an easy undertaking, being a single mother. Yes, there are some who lose control
and, through no fault of their own, fall into a situation where the state steps in. These are
some of the challenges that Black mothers face and who are often at the low end of the
wage scale.
I would not want to suggest that these are problems faced only by Black and other
racialized women. But there are biases involved which brand these as a major concern
among the powers-that-be.
So, in this Women’s History Month, let us make a special effort to acknowledge the
sacrifices and strength of the women in our lives. Their health is frequently misunderstood,
their value is all too often underrated and much too often the subject of abuse.
Email: pa**************@gm***.com / X: @pghntr.

You may also like

Leave a Comment


Soledad is the Best Newspaper and Magazine WordPress Theme with tons of options and demos ready to import. This theme is perfect for blogs and excellent for online stores, news, magazine or review sites. Buy Soledad now!

© 2009 Sharenews. All rights reserved.
All company names, product names and logos included in this site may be registered trademarks or servicemarks of their respective owners