As told by Geesha Alaran-Williams
My mom is Trinidadian and moved to St. Maarten with my dad in the early 70s. My dad worked at (Divi) Little Bay Beach Hotel from the early 70s until the mid-90s. Because of his job as head of maintenance/electrician, he worked 24/7 (on call) and we lived in a small house on the hotel’s premises opposite the tennis court. Where our house once stood is now a parking lot.
My mother’s name is Eris Williams (born St. Cyr Bowen). I call her mum or mummy. I would use the word supportive to describe her. My mom always knows what is going on with her children and grandchildren and shows her support whether she is near or far. Even if she does not approve of what we decide to do, she is always supportive and puts her trust in the Almighty to guide and keep us.
When she was angry, she would speak English with a strong Trinidadian accent. She usually threw in some expressions and sayings her mother used (and a lot which she invented herself).
Before pursuing my Master’s degree in the Netherlands, I completed a Bachelor’s in Education at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. My mother turned 50 on April 28th, 1997 and I came home and surprised her with a 50th birthday party at Chesterfields restaurant. I stayed at my friend’s house and hid during the Grand Carnival Parade. I know my mom was also very proud at all three of my graduations: HAVO at MPC, B.Ed at UWI and MSc at Universiteit Twente, NL. When she came to Jamaica and Holland for my graduation, we had so much fun being tourists and visiting neighbouring countries.
I admire her faith, beauty, strength, determination and unconditional love. My mom is 68 years and is still so full of life and energy. She loves to dress up and go to church and never says ‘I can’t’. She would ‘catch a grenade’ for her children and grandchildren.
I love to travel just like her, we love to see different places. We are both also a tad stubborn (both Taureans) with very soft hearts.
My mom always worked; however, when we were in primary school, she was home by the time we got home. When we were in secondary school, my dad dropped us to school and my mom picked us up. I admire her even more for going to work at 5 a.m. every morning and combining this with one household and three children. In the afternoon, she was always there to drop and pick us up from extracurricular activities. I danced almost 5 days a week at Motiance and I often had shows during the weekend with the Motiance Dance Company. I needed a chauffeur. She never complained!
My mom did voluntary work at the Sister Basilia Centre for many years. She has always been an active member at the St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church. Every Sunday morning she is in the Catholic Community Centre at around 7.00 a.m. making coffee/tea/juice and preparing snacks and treats for the congregation to enjoy after church. She has been doing this for as long as I can remember.
My mom actually still talks about her now deceased mom. I think my grandma is still an inspiration to my mom. She is also inspired by anyone with a genuine and strong faith in the Almighty.
When I needed her most during the birth of our twin daughters in 2006, she was there reading her bible during my contractions and brought so much peace and calm to the birthing room. The delivery felt like ‘a breeze’ because of her. Six months after I gave birth to the twins, I had a near-death experience; my GMC Envoy jeep blew up in Pointe Blanch and we were saved by a guardian angel in a Telem car. In the ambulance on the way to the SMMC, I remembered only wanting to see my mommy. When we got to the hospital, she was already there!
Some unforgettable lessons she has taught me are as follows: Don’t follow friends, do what you know is right and create your own journey. In all situations, use integrity.
I love her more than words can say. She is my queen, my rock, my shield and she has done well raising three wonderful individuals. I thank her so much for giving us the opportunity to travel so much when we were young and to meet our family in New York and Trinidad. I have fond memories of my visits to Trinidad, spending time with my grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins and our yearly visits to the US to visit my aunt (my mom’s sister).
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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.