Thursday, 20 May 2010

Homeward bound!

''My mum went home yesterday!''

Now this may not sound like any major news, but when i say 'home' i mean BELIZE......The country of her birth...The home she left behind 30 years ago, and has only been able to go back and visit once before in all that time and that was 15 years ago.
So its quiet a major statement!

''My mum went HOME yesterday.....''

It was no easy feat either. Flying from the U.K to Belize. Her Plane left 6.30pm Tuesday evening UK time, and a hop, skip, and a jump, involving 3 planes and an 7hr wait at Newark airport later, she finally touched down on Home soil at 10.30m local time (3.30pm UK time) thats 21hours of travel. This for a woman in her 50s who suffers from fibromialga (achy joints!) and packed enough stuff in her suitcase to cloth all the woman of central America ( seriously! $50 excess fee!!!)


Dorla Marjorie Broderick (nee. Gentle) was born in Belize in 1957.
She is the eldest daughter amongst 12 siblings, 6 boys, 6 girls.
Her father was Pastor Alvin Gentle, of the local Pentecostal Church, Esperanza village, Cayo.

I wouldn't say my mother was a 'wild child' exactly but she certainly (and still does) had a very playful spirit. She gave birth to my elder brother and sister when she was in her late teens. Their father was a longterm romance with a local boy. That relationship did not last and my mother soon discovered that she quiet liked the look of the white English soldiers who came for training in Belize's rainforest's during the 70s. They were exciting, they were blond, blue-eyed , and liked to flash the cash at the local girls. My mum was young, very pretty and looking for adventure (aren't we all at that age!)

My mother had many admirers... but only one she was in love with. He however ,decided after he had got her pregnant, that he really didn't have the balls to marry a local black girl with 2 other children and ship her all the way back to West Yorkshire....I guess we have to remember that it was the 70s, interracial relationships were still a bit 'taboo' in the North of England!!!, Anyway he swiftly disappeared into the mists of the rainforest's, never to be seen of again.......Thanks DAD!

Step in admirer no2. He courted my mother for 2 years and had been back in England for nearly a year when my mother received a telegraph ( Telegraph!!!) that he was on his way back to marry her.
They were married by my Grandfather in his church.
My brother Eldon was 6 by this time and my sister Lynette was 4, she had had a serious case of meningitis as a baby which had left her severely brain damaged. The plan was that I, the baby, nearly 3, would come over to England with my mother to live at my 'new grandparents 'house and once we were settled and given family quarters my brother and sister would be bought over as well.
We moved from Belize to England to Germany, and then back to England. During this time my younger brother David was born and my sister sadly died back in Belize.
My mother was devastated, she had not seen her daughter for nearly 5 years . My step dad did not offer to fly her home. She had no money to go herself.

The marriage lasted 6 years.

Once they were divorced, my seemingly devoted stepfather wanted nothing more to do with any of us!
My mother was quiet literally left in a strange country, entirely on her own to raise two young children.

In 1995 my mothers closest sister died. She went in for a routine operation ( i forget what for now) but something went wrong and she never recovered. I had just turned 18 years old and i was able to cash in the money which had been put in trust for me after the divorce. I was happy to use all of it to fly the 3 of us to Belize for a 'holiday' . By this time my older brother had moved to the U.S.A so we didn't get to see him. ( My mother flew out to Chicago to visit him and his family a few years later.)
We only stayed for 3 weeks but i fell in love with Belize! The people, the food , the country. I have no memories of being there as a baby but i remember now, how much i wanted to stay then. I had to quiet literally be dragged kicking and screaming onto the plane back to England.

So flash forward 14 years to last summer, when sadly once again someone we loved died without my mother having the chance to say good by. This time it was my grandfather. My mother was once again devastated and home sick. It is an expensive journey flying to Belize. Fortunately some scrimping and saving and a lucky tax refund has meant that this summer she was able go home again.


This time she is staying for 6 weeks, during that time she will celebrate her 53rd birthday, the 1st anniversary of her fathers death and the 25th anniversary of her daughters death.
I'm sure it will be a very emotional trip for her, there will be a lot of joy, laughter and a little sadness.

I guess i have shared a lot here about my mothers and my life, and i have done it because i want to share exactly how PROUD i am of my mum. She was left with nothing, and she worked so awfully hard to give me and my younger brother everything. Back in the early days she could have given up this English life and gone back to the bussom of her family, but she stuck it out for us, she believed the opportunities would be better here for us and to a certain extent she was right. Theres no denying England has a better education system, a lower crime and drug rate, lower infant mortality rate. Better social and health care!
I often used to wonder about the things that we missed out on.
The reason i fell so in love with Belize when i was 18 was because it was the first time in my life i felt i was somewhere i belonged, I was amongst people who looked just like me, and i don't mean just the color of their skin ( although growing up i only had one other black friend and she was mixed race too!) but the shape of their eyes the contours of their cheeks.

I was amongst kin!

I was amongst faith!

My Grandfather was a Preacher after all ,and i spent more time in Church those 3 weeks than i have done in the years since, I was mesmerized by the love i felt just setting foot inside his church.

But i am glad for the life my mother gave me, i m grateful for her sacrifice. I Have that sense of belonging once again, I have a man i love and am loved back (blond and blue eyed....I'm just like my mum i guess!) We have a beautiful daughter and a happy home. I have friends who have been my surrogate family for the past 23years.

I hope that my mother has a truly wonderful time and that it wont be another 15 years before she is able to go back to Belize again, because next time i want to go with her and take my daughter too.
I want Ruby to know that although her mothers family may seem really small (uncle David, cousin Kienan and Nanny) It is in fact huge....Enormous even.
Seriously! If you ever find yourself in Belize, just ask anyone if they know Pastor G's family. I guarantee the answer will be yes!



Christals Creations said...

Aww that is an amazing story. I am a forces wife and my hubby's work mate is going to Belieze in July for 6 months. While we would love a posting there it will be a few years before we can take our children.
I hope your mum has a wonderful holiday/trip home.
Hugs. xxx

made by val said...

What a lovely post, thanks for sharing this story about your amazing mum, you are so right to be proud I hope she has a fantastic time back home. :-) x

B said...

Oh Kym, what a beautiful, and sad, story. I was just having a quick blog 'peek' before the school run and now I'm going to be late, it is so worth it! My Mum also had a hard time; I am also mixed race and was born in the seventies and it's amazing the strength women have when they have to support and raise their children on their own - I've been there myself before I met my husband. But the added pain of the loss of a child and being so far from home makes your Mum a special lady. I hope she has a lovely trip. B x