Mentor Mothers!MY VIEWS | Nirasha Jaganath | May 4, 2011 at 10:48 am
It is Mother’s Day coming up. I normally forget the day except for the fact that the commercialism of it all covers all forms of media. A long, long time ago I recall trying to make my mom’s day special. While I was growing up money was an issue so there were no thoughts of fabulous gifts but once I started working I tried to make my mom feel really special and showered her with treats and with a promise of no sibling arguments. Mother’s day brings happy memories for me, that was until I lost my mom. It took me a long time to look at the word mom and not wince. I realized how much a mom meant in one’s life. The strength and support is hard to replicate.
You know they say you miss your mom most when you become a mom and they are right. Each thing I do with my kids I always wonder what would my mom have done. When life throws me tough curveballs I wish even more that she was at my side. That was what impacted me most when I heard of the Mothers2Mothers organization. This focuses on HIV+ moms in Africa – of course a stage in your life where support and compassion is of the utmost importance. It is really difficult to connect with people at a certain stage in their life, unless you have been there. And that is what makes Mothers2Mothers so different, the moms who are providing mentorship are the ones who actually needed it too.
mothers2mothers is an NGO that helps to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV through an effective and sustainable model of care that supports mother and child health.
Stories are not just medically astounding but fraught with many more twists and turns. Like the story of Babalwa Mbono from Capet Town in South Africa who was diagnosed in 2002. Her story clenches at my heart strings, bot only because we share the same country of birth but she has had to fight the stigma associated with being HIV positive. Having her husband, who she contracted it from, not be supportive of her meant choices had to be made. Imagine if you will a society where divorce is not a commonplace issue and women standing up for her rights is not that common, now imagine choosing between living in that society while you are dying.
I cannot imagine the strength of Babalwa as she chose life, and against all odds and getting treatment for herself. She could have stopped there and been a winner in my eyes but this remarkable woman went on to be a mentor mother. Having seen the darkest days herself she is now radiant and igniting the will to live in another mother with the same predicament. When we think we cannot go on, we do. Then our strength gives others the courage to forge ahead. See the video below and tell me whether you see despair or hope?
My mentor mother is still my mom. As much as she is not here she left behind a legacy of lessons and advice that will walk with me as I tread on the unknown path. I do know as I struggled with dealing with Autism it was her voice in my head that helped me (and still helps) keep my wits about me.
Who is you mentor mother? Share your story so woman like Babalwa know we all share her faith and appreciate her story. A very Happy Mother’s Day!