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).
My mom was also very much involved in the uplifting of women. She was on the Board of the Women's Aglow and co-hosted both a radio and TV program called the Virtuous Women. She has helped 2 women through their battle with cancer until the end. I remember her always cooking enough just in case anyone came by and, trust me, our house always had women passing by for lunch. If that's not giving then I don't know what is
On a normal day by the way she pronounces certain words, you might guess that she's from Trinidad, but when she's upset you don't have to wonder anymore. My family calls me Tasiana or Tassy for some odd reason, but when my mom is upset, she puts that T right back in there and break my name down in syllables; Ta-Ti-Ana. When I heard that I knew I was in big trouble. Great memories!
For one of her birthdays (I can't say which one cause I would rather live to see another day), I surprised her by flying in her sisters for her surprise party.
I admire her humor. She always enjoys a good laugh. When my mom laughs, you don't even need to know the joke; it's just that contagious. Most people smile, but not all can laugh like it was their last. Her ability to smile and laugh through her storms is what I admire most.
I think I'm most like her in the way I raise my kids. They are my number one priority as my brother and I were to her.
My mom was a stay-at-home mom most of our lives while we were growing up, but she studied to be a pre-school teacher while working as a Secretary at a top nursery and play school on St. Maarten back in the 80's. She also acquired various certificates while working for an airline at the airport as a ground stewardess.
If I think about the people she quotes, I would think her inspiration came from her mother, Ivy Cox, and her aunt, Rita Hall. They are both now deceased, but they were both very strong women that did what they had to do for their offspring.
It's difficult to choose just one time because she has always been there, but if I have to choose just 1 time, it would have to be during labor with my first daughter. My mom stayed by my side for 18 hours and then through a C-section after those long hours of the worst pain ever. She even cut the umbilical cord. She was my strength, my rock at that moment.
She taught me the attitude of gratitude and to put God first in everything that I do and he will always see me through.
I would want her to know how grateful I am for being the best mom ever, the sacrifices she made I could never repay, but I plan to spend the rest of her life trying to.
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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.