With Karyl Walker
Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mothers of Jamaica. Where would our country be without your selfless contributions and sacrifice?
You are the first teacher, the nurturer, the caregiver, and the guidance counselor. Our country salutes you.
Indeed, all mothers are special, but the Jamaican mother is extra special. Who can cook like her? Who can take care of the business of running a household like her? Who can use a shoestring budget and spend it like it a fortune?
Only a Jamaican mother.
It is an open secret that many Jamaican mothers have raised their children to become productive members of society without the help of a father. Either because he was snatched away by the grim reaper or he took the unwise choice of turning his back on his family.
But the woman soldiered on and protected her children fiercely, ensuring they got an education and had something in their bellies every day, however, humble the meals.
Special mention must be made of the mothers who never actually bore a child, but were mothers to many. You are perhaps the greatest among mothers.
I am lucky.
I had two mothers. One who gave me life and the other who taught me about life. Though are both no longer here in the flesh, but they live on in me, my siblings and all the other persons whose lives they touched.
Thank you Joyce Ricketts and Ruby Walker.
To all those whose mothers are no longer with them, take heart in the fact that they were extra special human beings, and you are here because of their superhuman strength. It is a hard pill to swallow, but we must celebrate and not mourn them too much.
To all the young mothers out there, your journey has just started. Stand up for your children and ensure that they stay on the straight and narrow path.
You are a protector. Know that the greatest gift you can give your children is education. All the fancy material things you may give them in their youth will be outgrown, but a solid education will stay with them for life.
Do not fall into the trap of placing your priorities as a parent in the wrong places. Partying, fancy clothes, hairstyles, and nail jobs should take second place to the children’s care. You are molding the future leaders of our nation, so teach them well and steer them away from negative influences as best as you can.
It is by no means an easy task, but has been done and must be achieved.
Many of us men, myself included, feel slighted that Father’s Day is not given as much attention as your day, mothers, but if the truth be told, no man has ever carried a child inside them for nine months and experienced the pain of childbirth. There is no comparison, so on that note, I concede that Mother’s Day will always eclipse Father’s Day.
If it were not for the Jamaican mother, there would be no Bob Marley, Usain Bolt, Grace Jones, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, herself a mother, and all the other great Jamaicans we proudly hold up to the world.
Jamaican mothers, this is your day. Bask in it, enjoy all the gifts, pampering and love that you will be showered with.
You are extra special.
All hail the Jamaican mother. Again, happy Mother’s Day.
That is my view from the outside.
Karyl Walker is a multi-award-winning journalist who has worked for Loop Jamaica, the Jamaica Observer, the RJR Communications Group and Nationwide Radio among other media entities. He now resides in South Florida.