From St. Mary to Marcie
And Minister Manickchand

Just five days ago we joined the Americans and the world in observing or celebrating Mother’s Day.

I’m not really one for these annual special “Days”, but none should begrudge a genuine mother a special day. Yes, I mean one who really strives to be a complete mother, whatever her circumstances or station in life. The basic definition for “mother” is “a female parent”. Oh how many of our thousands of under-thirty mothers know about parenting? Except what comes naturally?

Again, influenced by last Sunday’s Mothers Day, I’m penning a few thoughts on this single-parent-mom social phenomenon, to provoke yours – on the issue.

In my youth – the fifties/sixties – there had to be “single-parents”. (My own mother “abandoned” me at six months and for my first thirteen years, I knew only a grandmother who loved her smokes, drinks and me – as she struggled to survive.) So the single-parent syndrome hit me early. Never-the-less, even so there seemed to be some, some privacy, shame (?) even dignity about the condition. Older folks could assist me to articulate the phenomenon much better than I’ve done here.

Single Marcie – and St. Mary

Changing values, depressed socio-economic conditions, illiteracy and the inability to reason, to be tolerant or even know what love is; as well as rampant moralistic decay, have all throw up thousands of single-parent “Marcies”. Abandoned young moms, break-away matured mothers and others who are single by choice, or genuine widows. (Mind you I’m not even discussing the current scourge of domestic violence and spousal abuse.) Like the growing legion of homeless street-people and drug addicts, Guyana now probably “boasts” more unmarried mothers than wedded moms.

I have no space to detail the reasons here. Rather I can indicate the failings of those who, in the past were powerful enough to minimize the phenomenon of the past sixties: the good old-time parents and parenting, the church, the wholesome community organizations and moral education in schools. Granted, as those institutions became diluted and more cosmetic young men felt more free to be irresponsible and eager hapless girls spawned teen pregnancies.

The other day I came across the Jehovah Witnesses’ take on the matured Virgin Mary, as a single parent! Whether you agree with the provocative Witnesses or not, their views on a struggling, faithful, religious mother make interesting reading. With an open mind (you Christians), check these quotes.

A Devoted Wife and Mother

Apart from the accounts of the birth and infancy of Jesus, Mary is mentioned little in the Gospels. Yet, we know that Mary and Joseph had at least six other children. You may find this surprising. However, consider what the Gospel says.

Joseph had great respect for Mary’s privilege of bearing God’s Son. Consequently, he refrained from having sexual intercourse with her before Jesus’ birth. Matthew 1:25 states that Joseph “had no intercourse with her until she gave birth to a son.” The word “until” in this verse indicates that after Jesus’ birth, Joseph and Mary had normal sexual relations as husband and wife. The Gospel accounts say that, as a result, Mary had children with Joseph, both sons and daughters. James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas were Jesus’ half brothers. She had at least two daughters. (Matthew 13:55, 56) However, the children were conceived in the usual manner.*

Enduring in the Face of Suffering and Loss

What became of Joseph, Jesus’ adoptive father? After briefly appearing in the description of that one incident from Jesus’ youth, Joseph disappears from the Gospel record. Some take this absence as an indication that Joseph died sometime before Jesus’ ministry began. In any case, it does seem that Mary was a widow by the end of Jesus’ ministry. At the time of his death, Jesus entrusted his mother to the apostle John. (John 19:26, 27) Jesus would not likely have done so if Joseph were still living.

Mary and Joseph had been through so much together! They were visited by angels, escaped a tyrant, relocated several times, and raised a large family. How many evenings must they have sat together and talked about Jesus wondering what he would have to face in the future, concerned about whether they were training him and preparing him in the right way? Then suddenly Mary found herself alone.

Have you lost your mate in death? Do you still feel the pain and emptiness such a loss causes, even after many years? No doubt Mary found solace in her faith and in the knowledge that there will  be a resurrection.* (John 5:28, 29) Such comforting thoughts, however, did not end Mary’s problems. Like so many single mothers today, she faced the challenge of caring for her children without the help of a husband.”

They go on to expound, in informed speculation that the elder Jesus probably took over the “father” role. Since I do not wish go spark any controversy over these views about Mary, and end there. I want to depict a courageous, spiritual single mother. But my point, my hope is: there should be fewer single moms! Except when a good father is taken away.

What’s to be done, Minister?

Of course it is unfair to unload this problem at the feet of/into the hands of a single government functionary that is the single–female minister of Human Services and Social Security.

Many agencies, many “safety-nets” and councilors should confront and manage this single–parent syndrome.

I’ll merely note the programme being attempted to empower these ladies. $100M is, of course, chicken feed. Some columnists have called for clear definitions of “single–parents”. What’s to be done about those wretched dead-beat, dads who don’t support their children? Employment for –Dignity is also one key and I’ve read, this week, about a modest programme to house women parents who have lost husbands.

My role? In a few days I’ll write the Minister about my take on domestic violence and irresponsible, absentee fathers!


● 1) Is it true? The Bahamas has again abandoned CARIFESTA? For the Miss Universe instead?

● 2) is it for real? The conditions the nurses at the National Psychiatric hospital in Berbice work under?

● 3) Is it not time that FITUG reveals, exposes the differences with the TUC!?

● 4) PNC Reform(ing)! Aubrey Armstrong, Dick Van-West Charles, Donald Ainsworth. Imagine teaming up with the Alexander group-and Trotman, and Ramjattan, and …

● 5) What’s happening with GT&T’s 2009 Telephone Directory?

● 6) Witty sign, Cartoonist Harris: “One People, One Nation, and One Radio Station!”

‘Til Next Week!

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