November 11, 1924 to September 10, 2012
Yet we have this assurance: Those who belong to God will live; Their bodies will rise again! Those who sleep in the earth will rise up and sing for joy! For God’s light of life will fall like dew on his people in the place of the dead.
I have so much to say about my mother, our mother.
Many years ago on November 11 1924 mama was born in the village of Bellevue in the island of Dominica. The firstborn of Christian and Bernadette Alexander. From a young girl and all through adulthood mother always looked out and cared for her younger siblings. I will never forget many years ago when I was just a little girl my aunt was stricken with severe arthritis that crippled her for a time. My mother just hoisted her on her back and trodded the long dirt road down the hill to the main road to take my aunt to the doctor. This image has remained with me. Then fifteen years ago when my older aunt was terminally ill, my mom left St. Thomas and went home to take care of her sister on a full time basis; and she never once complained about anything. Everyone in the community called her “Esemoine” which means big sister in patois. We never knew anyone that mom wasn’t talking to because of some squabble .She had no enemies. Mom was a great cook and enjoyed feeding anyone who was hungry. She always cooked more than enough to feed passersby. Mom was a giver and her generosity was without limit. One day after Hurricane David when the Island was totally devastated, my sister who was the only one abroad at the time, sent her a bucket of meat since food was in short supply from that aftermath of the hurricane. From the time my mother picked up the bucket she started sharing meet all along the way. by the time she got home there was no more than about a quarter of the meat left in the bucket.
Mom could have been given the title” honest “Esemoine.” Mom would rather cheat herself instead of cheating anyone. If my mother was given $5.00 with the instruction share it among the five of you. Mom would make sure that everyone got more than a dollar so as not to cheat anyone.
But of all of those beautiful qualities, none could surpass her love for her children. She was more than the “Mother Bear” which generally describes mothers intrinsic characteristics for their children. We did not have much but mom always made sure that we were well fed, and not just what she cooked, but what we enjoyed, what we liked. We were spoiled. I for one hated green bananas so mom would cook something else to serve instead of green bananas. We never went to school bear feet like some kids did and even when wearing uniforms to school was not a requirement mom ensured we go to school with uniforms looking well attired and ready for school. All of this she did on a very miserly and irregular income. ‘Though we did not grow up with much hugs and kisses we all know without a doubt that our mom loved us very much. In my adult life when anything painful or worrisome would strike or impending the first person I would think about is my mother. How she would take it. Id ratther shield her from that. All of our cousins called her “Mama” like us. She was their mother too. I know it’s painful for our cousins back home who were not able to make it here today. I thank Debbie and Avril who are here and I especially think of Stafford who could not make it here. We grew up together we were more like brother and sister than cousins.
Mom was strong. People in the village always compared her to the men in the village, .even our father. She would lift a 112 LB bag like it was feather. She had the most beautiful smile. Everyone who came in touch with her felt her warm personality. Mama was such a people person, so generous, loving, strong, hard working, patient . On Monday she went to meet the loved ones that have gone before her. They are rejoicing to be in her company again. She is singing because she loved to sing. When she didn’t know the words she whistled. So I’m going to sing a song in honor of my mother. Mama you are surely missed.