My mother abandoned me

September 11, 2017

Dear Pastor,
I am 29 years old, and I am living with a man, but I am not happy. I have one child by him. He wants me to have another child, but I can’t come to it. I grew up with my grandmother. I have a brother who is younger than I am. He is still with my grandmother. I don’t have a good relationship with my mother. She abandoned us when I was 15 years old. She came home one day and told my grandmother that she got married to an American man, and she was going to America to live with her husband. She went away and we did not hear from her until a year after.

Somebody who knew my grandmother told her that my mother and the man are not together again. The man was on drugs, and my mother had to run from him. She was living with another man. She has another child. We got a number and called her, and a man answered. When I identified myself as her daughter, the man cursed me and told me I was lying because my mother did not have any children living in Jamaica. He told me not to call back his number, so I never called back.

My grandmother is keeping up. She said she has gotten over what her daughter has done. My boyfriend wants us to get married. He would like us to go to live in Canada. I told him that I am not going anywhere and leave my grandmother. He said he does not want his child to grow up with a stepfather, and I told him I don’t want to leave my grandmother alone. I love him, but I love my grandmother because she is everything to me. When I got pregnant, my grandmother did not ask me to leave and she has taken care of my son.

I believe my mother is hiding from us. I don’t know why. My grandmother grew us up in church. I backslid and got pregnant. My boyfriend is very jealous, but he treats me well. But I would rather lose him than go away with him and fret over my grandmother.

What do you think I should do, pastor?

Dear H.T,
You are a good woman. You have a good heart. Your grandmother has struggled with you and your brother. Her daughter has let her down. Perhaps, she was looking for what is considered to be greener pastures. Perhaps when she got married to this man suddenly and went abroad, she fell on hard times. Perhaps she discovered that the man she married did not tell her the truth. And perhaps she got involved with illegal activities and went underground, so to speak.

I am only guessing. I really don’t understand why a woman will cut off all contacts; especially family members from her home land. I do want you to know that what she has done is not unusual. Others have done similar things. Men have left their women and their children in Jamaica, and have not looked back on them. Years ago, I spoke to a very prominent Jamaican man who told me that he has a brother and from the day he left Jamaica and went to England, they have never heard from him. They don’t know where in England he lives, and he has never contacted his parents or siblings.

Some people may say men will leave and never look back because they are men. But how can a woman leave her mother and two children and don’t look back.

I can understand why you do not want to leave your grandmother. You would like to stay close to her and show her love by taking care of her. I am sure if you were to go out of the country, you would want to take her with you. I am sure that your man will understand why you do not wish to leave your grandmother. I would say try your best to see that your grandmother is very comfortable and that she is not suffering in anyway. Make sure that all her needs are met.

What I am trying to say is, make sure that she is living in a comfortable house and all her bills are paid. The responsibility should not only be on you, but also on your younger brother. So if any of you have to leave, she would not feel abandoned.

Don’t move a muscle until you know that grandma is comfortable, and that she would be able to travel and spend time with you. If you decide to leave Jamaica, just make sure that you make arrangement with someone who will see to it that your grandmother goes to the doctor and will not suffer in any way while you are away. You would visit her as often as possible, and she should visit you too.

I will not, therefore, say to you that you should never travel because of what your mother has done. But what I will not encourage you to do is to turn your back on your grandmother in the way your mother did. 

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