At a senior age, on most summer mornings in North Western Canada, with my bedroom window open while lying in bed, I listen the two-note song of the Black Capped Chickadee [bird] and a flood of emotional memories return about my mother and what she did for us. It was a similar sound I heard while going with her and our donkey cart, to our farm for mangoes and other tropical fruits.
There were ten siblings in our family and our mother selling fruits and vegetables from our home garden at the open street market, supplemented our father's income for us to go to school and to sustain our modest living conditions, on the sugar estate logies.
It grieves me with pain, as I thing of this wonderful woman whom I call Ma and what she did for me to have the lifestyle I now enjoy.
I can still remember her cheerful face and the tone of her voice whether she wanted to compliment me, or when I am in deep trouble for doing something wrong..
At times when going to the farm and the roads was too slippery for the donkey to walk, she would carry a large basket of fruits on her head. Being vulnerable to the weather conditions, she would also slip and fall, scattering the fruits around her. Calmly she would pickup each item, wash them in a nearby trench, return the dripping basket on her head and continue the journey home.
On Saturdays at about 4:00 am, she would leave Albion with our donkey cart, with a lit kerosene lamp hanging on the cart and with a cartful of fruits, she would sell them at the Port Mourant Market.
One time our dog Colla, who was given to us by GNI Queenie parents, followed her unannounced to Port Mourant . On the public road opposite where our new house was later built at Belvedere, Colla got into a fight with other dogs and was killed by a car. Our mother returned home crying, with Colla wrapped in a sugar bag. It was one of our saddest days, because we all loved Colla.
As with most mothers, after we get older and experience some of their parenting challenges, we seem to appreciate their efforts more. But it is the fortunate ones, who have this realization while their mother is still alive and spare no effort to thank them for their life. .
Wherever you are MA, I love you very much.