Today is a one of the most significant days in the year because it is the day we honour, celebrate and show our appreciation for the critical, life defining roles that mothers play on a daily basis throughout our globe.
In a world that places high value on jobs related to intellect, academia, commerce and development, we must acknowledge that there is no greater job than that of raising a child. Without the work of mothers, our societies would cease to be successful.
Mothers are not only pillars of stability in families, they also represent the true meaning of strength and character. Fulfilling the roles of caregivers, teachers, mentors and counsellors, mothers are always willing to sacrifice their own well-being to ensure that their children have a brighter future, filled with better opportunities than they had.
We must also recognize those who are fulfilling the role of mother, even though they may not be biological mothers. There are foster mothers, step-parents, grandmothers, aunts, godmothers, even older siblings who are sometimes charged with the responsibility of loving, caring for and raising children. All of these individuals must be commended for the extraordinary effort, commitment and love which they offer those who they are looking after.
Today, as a mother and grandmother myself, I always reflect on the qualities of my own mother in moments of joy as well as in challenging times. I remember her loving embrace as well as her stern teachings. Her strength, determination and ability to make a little go a long way, has ensured that I was able to obtain success.
The words of wisdom and encouragement which she imparted to me many years ago as I set out to chart my own path, something that went against social and cultural norms at the time, always remain fresh in my own mind. Today, these are qualities I have passed on to my own child and grandchildren. Qualities such as always being confident in yourself and your abilities, and most importantly always seek out new opportunities for your growth and development.
I clearly remember the many sacrifices she made for my sisters and I such as her seemingly magical ability to make everything better. We all would have similar memories of our own mothers which we must always cherish and pass on.
When I think of my life’s path, I know I would not be here if it were not for her intercession and support. It was she who convinced my father and other doubtful relatives to allow me to pursue my education in the United Kingdom. She, like so many mothers in our world, was a woman of faith. She had faith in God and faith in her children.
Today we remember all mothers and women who nurture us, protect us and ensure our dreams become a reality. I could not imagine a world without their unconditional love and tireless support.
As the foundation of many of our homes, mothers are the builders of our communities and by extension, our nation. It was because of this significant role that mothers play, my administration instituted the baby grant as a means of ensuring each mother could provide for their children. Further, my administration played considerable attention through our Ministry of Gender, Youth and Child Development to ensure that our young girls had effective development programs to groom them for motherhood if they so desired.
Truly, there is no way to quantify a mother’s value or fully express our gratitude. However, on this special day, we must make every attempt to do so.
As we celebrate our mothers, I encourage you to reflect on your favorite memories together and to make an effort to create many more. Spare a thought and a prayer for those who may have lost their mothers or loved ones.
Let us commit too, to building a stronger Trinidad and Tobago, and a better future for our children and grandchildren.
I join with so many grateful hearts around the world to wish all mothers a Happy Mother’s Day.
May we forever hold on to the love and light you instilled in us.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
11th May 2019