When asked what she owed her parents Bernadine Evaristo said her ‘introduction to Political Activism.’ Her dad was the first black man to sit on Greenwich Council and her mother a teacher and trade union rep.
So I got to thinking.
My mother was also a teacher but not overly political. She was a single parent and we were latchkey kids without even knowing since it was before the terms were current. Her life revolved around the task she had been left with: earning a living and bringing up three girls.
Much of what I owe, I didn’t always appreciate growing up, but Ma’s bright smile, acceptance, fortitude were obvious to the end.
To her I owe:
Unconditional love and the strength and comfort that brings.
A sense of fun and lust for adventure. She was at heart a great traveller and a firm believer in holidays.
A sense of justice, kindness, fair play, honesty, integrity, perseverance.
Appreciation of art, music, education. Love of books and films.
I owe her everything, I suppose.