It is hard to imagine what life would be like without your backbone. It is just as hard to imagine life without your mom, but still, Silveria Jacobs (and many St. Martin women like her) was made stronger by the care and memories of her beloved mother, Nadia Bryson, whose heart was medically weak, but abundantly pulsing with love for her children, an electricity that gave her such a strong will she did "the job of a man," changing tires and driving big trucks despite the doctor's recommendation.
As told by Ana Gardener
My mother is Sylvia Conner. I call her mother or mommy. She, in one word, is “caring". I chose that word as out of it springs other adjectives to qualify her. Because of her care, gentleness can be seen. She endures situations and is always there for her kids and husband. I admire her gentle words that calm me.
When angry, she speaks St. Martin English. She was happy when I cooked dinner, but wasn't very good. It had no taste, so I added sugar instead of salt.
As told by Ludmila York-Duncan
Solange Duncan-Trona aka Mama can be described in one word, selfless. There isn’t another human being that I know who puts the needs of others before themselves like my mother. Her family and friends are important to her and she would do anything for them.
When she was angry, she speak… Papiamento! For her birthday, with help from her closest friends, we flew her to St. Thomas on a surprise vacation, where my sister and I were attending UVI. This made her so happy.
I admire her generosity, extreme likeability and sense of humour! She gives without expecting anything in return, is loved by everyone who knows her and enjoys making others laugh and laughing! I would like to think that I’m pretty funny and I enjoy making others smile. I also try to match her selflessness as much as I possibly can.
As told by Silveria Jacobs
My mother is Nadia Bryson born Willemsberg, deceased at age 66 on November 5, 2012. I call her mama or ma, most of the time it was ‘mama.’ It was used as a term of endearment, but also exasperation.
I can describe my mother in one word: feisty. She was a very short lady, 5 feet 3 or so, but she was such a strong character and had such a sharp tongue that she could cut a six foot man down to her side. My mother was loving and one of the most generous persons I knew, even when she had little to give, but if you crossed her, you wouldn’t even recognize the sweet little lady whom you’d known previously. She had a strong sense of fairness, family and love and many were drawn to her because of this.
When Dr. Rhoda Arrindell’s children were 11 and 4, they prepared a plate of food for their hardworking mother to come home to. It was inedible, but Rhoda smiled and I am sure you just did too. Our mothers are our rock, guide and fuel and it’s hard not to want to impress them.
There is just something extra special about our St. Martin mothers, primarily because they belong to us. They've taught us age old Caribbean and spiritual morals, fed us Johnny cakes, puddings and tarts, showed up with the offering of their voice to soothe our college woes.
As told by Ayana Tyrell
My mother is Marguerite Josephine Tyrell aka Mommy. Awesome—I chose that word because there is no other word to describe her. After everything we've been through, she's still standing when others around her would have fallen by the wayside. She speaks St. Martin English when she is angry; however, one time I made her very happy was when I got called to the utter bar of England and Wales. I knew that she was extremely proud. It was not only my dream but her sacrifice, tears and sweat. So we were being called that night.
I admire her tenacity - no matter what life has thrown at her - yet she stands! I am like her in every way because she is a part of me and those before her; and hopefully for my children, I will be me, her and the ancestors that came before.
As told by Abishag France
Angeline van Heyningen born Artsen, I call her Mommy. She is, in one word, selfless. She's always made sure her family has what they need and want even if she doesn't get anything in return.
She would speak in St. Martin English when she is angry. When I was about 7 or 8 years old, I asked her for money. I went up the road to a store and bought her a vase for her birthday. It made her so happy. It was my first gift to her and she still has to this day. That's over 20 years ago!
As told by Ester Bradshaw-Gumbs
My mother is Sylvina Gumbs, affectionately known as Momsy or Sna (short for Sylvina). I would use the word Queen to describe her. I know that most people will say that their mom is their queen, but really, my mother walks and talks like she is royalty. When people see her, they describe her as a queen.
Well, that is funny because Momsy, when angry, will let loose her St. Martin northern dialect as she was raised in Galisbay, Marigot and regulary she speaks with a Great Bay dialect.
As told by Tamara Groeneveldt
There are so many names that she is affectionately known by because of her somewhat unorthodox name, Antonine. Many know her as Anto, but I often call her the nickname versions of her name that people often give to her. Some call her Tony, Anton, Doña and Antonina (just to name a few). However, as long as she responds when I call her Mommy, I’m happy. Her name means beyond price or invaluable, which is very fitting to my generous, kindhearted yet very stern and frank mother.
Charismatic. My mother is quite a character and has quite the personality. She is charming with just the right amount of crazy. I love her nonetheless and wouldn't trade her for the world.
As told by Tatiana Arrindell
My mother's name is Carline ARRINDELL -Cox. I call her Cox, her maiden name. No particular reason, my dad calls her that so my brother and I just took it over, just as my mom calls my dad Arrindell. Never understood it and never asked. Maybe one day I might.
Giving. I chose that word to describe her because my mom gave up so much of herself for her family and many women on St. Maarten. Born and raised in Trinidad, my mother traveled with a church group to Aruba almost 40 years ago where she met my dad. They've been inseparable ever since. Even when my dad moved to Holland to finish his studies, she moved there without hesitation and learned to speak Dutch. When my dad got his job with the Government of St. Maarten, my mom moved us all here (not having any relatives living in either place).
Hello, I'm Rochelle, curator of saltfish & Lace, a St.Martin lifestyle blog that oozes with the sticky sweet love for the written and spoken word, natural Caribbean living and of course, natural hair.
Learn More About My Debut Poetry Collection HERE