Monday, December 3, 2007

My life as a Single Mother

Time to write about something that is very near and dear to my heart. Being a Single Mother.

I am the mother of a 27 year old daughter who resides in the USA with her husband and our little princess, my granddaughter. Truth be told, I believe I am one of few single mother's with a happy and successful story. I grew up with my grandmother and an aunt because my mom died when I was seven. It wasn't difficult because I was always at my grandma's house when we would come up to Corozal every month when my mother had work to do for the Ministry of Education.

As life would have it I fell in love and DECIDED to have a child. Yes, people. Some of you get pregnant by mistake. My pregnancy was planned! I stopped taking the pill and after a few months was happy to find out I was pregnant.I had no idea how I was going to tell my grandmother and aunt but as faith would have it they told me!! How do some people know these things?? They must have been psychic! In fact I know they were! I had a good job, was second in position in an organization at age 21 and the world was mine. I was in love and nothing could have stopped me.

The love flourished during the pregnancy. I have never been able to erase one person's pain at learning about my pregnancy. I still carry it in my heart to this day. My father. I was his eyeball. I was his little girl. Destined for great things and to him this was the end of his dreams. This was going to be my reality and he was hurt. More so, I believe because the father of my unborn child was married and had a family of his own. Where did this totally Catholic girl go wrong? I was in church every Sunday almost from birth. I helped clean the church every weekend in Belize City as it was just across from our house there. LOVE! That damn emotion that makes young girls blind. Who can control young hormones young energies and youthful joy? I was no different than the average youth. We believe we have it all. We are so sure we can have it all. We are invincible!

I won't lie and tell you my pregnancy, the birth of my adorable daughter and bringing her up in this world was hard. IT WASN'T. Remember I told you I was one of few single mother's who would have a good story. My family was there for me. Even those in England sent things for my daughter and for a while the father was present, too. All the stars shone on us. Life was great! I had my job and my aunt and grandmother took care of my baby while I was at work. The years pass and my baby went to pre-school, primary school, high school, Sixth Form and University. Oh, those I PAID FOR. Yeah, somewhere along the line my daughter's father got lost in taking care of his other children and did not help in educating mine. I thank God for the strength, the ability and the intelligence He bestowed on me because I was able to do for my child what her father didn't. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate him. I can't. When people ask what I would like to change in my life I say having had that affair but it would mean I wouldn't have my daughter so that wouldn't be acceptable because she means the world to me.

I am not saying everything was all a bed of roses. There were ups and downs. The usual illnesses that children have, my grandmother finally dying after a painful illness, my aunt succumbing to breast cancer, and my dad dying of diabetes. I was there for all of them. The dutiful granddaughter, niece, and daughter took the task of caring for those who had given their support over the years. My grandmother and aunt bore their illnesses with dignity. THEY WERE FORMIDABLE WOMEN. My worst patient was my dad. Men do not take illness well. He was grumpy and made my life miserable but I did it.

Then the time for university came along. Lord help the single mother when it comes to educating their young. Five years of hardship no one can understand if they do not live it. I was not able to spend money on luxuries. Thank goodness I don't drink nor smoke. I was also brought up to be careful how I spent my money so I struggling and made it. I don't want to advertise for the bank but the Belize Bank believed in me and still does. I spent over $250,000 in university and maintenance in the USA for my daughter and today I proudly smile and can say I DID IT. At times I bit my nails as I kept afloat with two pay cheques, selling off land that I had inherited and items that were mine. I must say it was all worth it. I have no regrets. I did it out of love and I would do it again. My daughter and granddaughter mean that much to me.

However, I am aware that not all single mothers will have the opportunities I did so I am pledging today to help all those single mothers who need the support that is not available to them. At this very moment I am working on an organization that will be there for single mothers. I strongly believe that no mother or child should have to be alone or go through hardships caused by society's stigma, economical situations or absentee fathers.

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