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.
She was so happy when I told her I was expecting her first grandchild, and was there when I was in labor with my son. I admire how proud she wears her skin, her history and her heritage. My mother is very much into the arts and culture as I am. We love the same colors earth tone and green. Love to give and get great laughter.
She works still and I’ve benefit because I learned to become responsible at home especially because I am the eldest of four siblings. I observed what it was to earn an honest living and how to work hard for what you want.
Momsy was a part of the St. Martin theater with the late Sir Ian Valz for years. She also made time to read children's book at the Jubilee Library for kids. She supported most art functions that took place here in St. Martin.
I think her inspirations are her mother and her eight sisters.
Her lessons mostly came in the form a St. Martin "saying" most of which stuck with me because the words would always make me think:
“Who don' hear gon' feel.”
“When dollars talkin, ten cent keep out.”
“Coward man live to tell brave man story.”
“Who in the kitchen feel the heat.”
“You never see fowl behind until de wind blow and careful how u spit in the air or it will drop in yuh' face”
I thank her for being my northern star, pointing me on my way into life’s long roads whether they are smooth or rocky. Her strong roots blanket my future with a tree bountiful with mangoes, sea grapes and guava berries. Thanks,.... Sna.
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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.
Learn More About My Debut Poetry Collection HERE