September 3, 2013
MOM CONSIDERS SUICIDE - Struggles with back-to-school stress
Andre' Williams, STAR Writer
A 48-year-old mother is beginning to harbour thoughts of suicide as she has been unable to figure out how her two daughters will go to school as the new school year begins.
Marsha Jennings, a single mother, of Font Hill, St Thomas, has two daughters, ages 12 and 14, who attend the St Thomas Technical High School. She said the thought of taking her own life has surfaced because she cannot afford to send her daughters to school.
According to Jennings, she once worked as a day's worker, weeding and cutting bushes. She said she was forced to stop working long ago after she was diagnosed with high blood pressure which has caused her to have numerous blockouts. She said owing to the frequent loss of consciousness, her doctor has ordered her to stay out of the sun.
Consequently, she has been unable to work. It is this loss of income that has made her life more difficult, as with start of the new school year, she is unable to say where the first penny will come from.
The situation has sparked Jennings to pen multiple letters, which have been received by THE STAR, outlining her dilemma.
A section of the letter reads, "Please don't tired of me, it's not easy being mother and father ... all I want is someone could give me some day's work to help myself to help and to get a good education at St Thomas Technical High School. I am tired of hungry cry, school cry and as a parent I walk naked barefoot to let dem go to school, I am ashamed to walk naked barefoot but what must I do?"
When contacted by THE STAR, Jennings told our news team she penned the letter herself adding that she has sent many letters, however, she did not think all made it to our news desk.
She said, "I just want a good education for them, I have high blood pressure but mi a try with them because dem bright! All dem want is help, majority A's on dem report card."
Jennnings told THE STAR that transportation cost also adds to her woes.
She said, "A $400 a day fi dem fare now enuh ... mi can't tek it no more!"
Attached to the letters sent to THE STAR was a recent report card from the primary school of the youngest child, which was colourful to say the least, with A's and inspiring comments from teachers.
When pressed by THE STAR as to why she believes taking her life would be the end to her current situation, Jennings said, "I am tired of this life without no hopes, only living on hopelessness ... Sometime I feel to take my life and end the pain but I look on their brightness and try to push on, but it hard ..."
Jennings also told THE STAR that oftentimes she goes to the shop only to trust things for the children's survival.
"Mi willing fi work cause sometimes the kids have no breakfast, no lunch, and no dinner, and dem still a get high marks. Mi daughter come second in her class, I just want help because I don't want them to turn to the world," said Jennings.
THE STAR was told that Jennings' daughters are badly in need of garments, shoes and other school supplies as the ones she sewed for them last year are done.
According to Jennings, "More time when I look at our suffering, I feel like to take some poison or run away ..."
For assistance or to offer work, Jennings can be contacted at 857-9035.