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The Women Who Mothered Me – Part II

Mother love

After my friend, Norma, read my tribute to my many ‘mothers’, including hers, she added her stories. It was interesting to see the impact each of these women had on us individually, and how much we still appreciate them.

Norma’s Story:

Although I cannot claim to have had the same relationship with your family members as you did, I too have fond personal memories of each lady mentioned.

Miss Edna: [My Mother]: I only had to mention once that I loved ackee and saltfish [cod] and before I knew it, you and I were treated to the most delicious meal. It has been many, many years since then, but I remember that meal well, especially since I had never known until that day that coco [a type of yam] could’ve tasted so delicious.

Sister Madge: How can I forget the many times when I showed up at your home at dinner time, how she made a meal prepared for six turn into seven. Or, how could I forget how cheery and welcoming she always was with me and pretty much the whole of our little town. [Most people in the town called her Sister Madge].

Miss Ira: I knew Ms. Ira mostly through church and remember her no-nonsense attitude which helped to keep us kids in line. She was the faithful servant of God who made sure that the Gospel Hall Church was always sparkling clean. I also remember her for the times my mother would send me to her to get a few sour oranges from her tree. [Sour orange trees weren’t that common in our town].

Miss Elsie: She literally saved me one Sunday morning from blacking out on the street. On the Sunday in question, I had made a trip to Jackson Town from Kingston to surprise Mama. When I arrived at the house, she was not there, neither was anyone else.

I decided to return home, but by the time I got to the bus stop, I began to feel dizzy and started to stumble and felt sure I was going to die. I had travelled very far and had not eaten anything that day. I stumbled until I found and knocked on Miss Elsie’s front door. She grasped the situation quickly and offered me peppermint tea, which worked like magic. I was profoundly grateful. Miss Elsie talked with me as I sipped the tea and told that me I was welcomed to stay until I felt well enough to leave. I have always been truly grateful for the kindness she showed me that day.

Sonia: Before Mama got her home phone, I only had to call your sister’s home phone and Sonia was always willing to deliver any message I had for Mama. After a while Sonia was also one of the only familiar faces of my generation that made it seem like home whenever I went to Jackson Town. Whenever Sonia knew that I was home, she would stop by to have a chat with me on the veranda or to have a quick word as she made her way to church.

Mama: My own mother, Miss Madge, was like the pied piper of young people and she drew them in with her stories, jokes and youthful attitude. Mama loved to be surrounded by her children’s friends and they kept seeking her out even when the children (we the friends) were not at home. My mother would often write to tell me of a visit from one of my friends and how happy the visit made her feel.

All these wonderful ladies were a part of what made Jackson Town home and I will always remember them with love.

Additionally, I now find some comfort in visiting the grave sites of these wonderful people and others whenever I go home. I go to the First Hill Church, the Anglican Church, and the Gospel Hall church yards and realize each time how much they are missed.