Today is about my maternal grandmother, Ena Evancia Marie Labadee. Born in St. Lucia with roots in France. She worked as a housekeeper and cook on the American base in Chaguaramas, Trinidad. In addition to being a single mother to 2 girls, she was also an entrepreneur...a seamstress. On her day off she sewed dresses, draperies and other items for her clients.
These are the women whose achievements I celebrate today. These are the women whose legacy live within me. These are the women who fought against all odds in a patriarchal society for their rights, economic empowerment and equality; and in their own unique way, succeeded.
Today, I honor my queen, my mother, Annette Simeonise Gibson-Commissiong. For the first 10 years of my life, she was a Stay at Home mom. She never missed a PTA meeting, ballet practice nor recital. She did classes in floral arrangement, cooking, ceramics. She is a creative genius. In addition, she attended Secretary school. My mom is phenomenal....a badass who pursued her dream. She was also a singer in a choir. In the midst of all of this....she wanted more. Today I celebrate my mom, who decided to go to school for nursing while she was pregnant with my little sister. " Life for her was no crystal staircase". However, she had a vision for her life and she executed that vision in the midst of resistance and adversity.......and she faced many adversities but NEVER gave up!
She took us to help the poor, serve orphans and read to the elderly. She opened her home to women who had no place to go. She even brought children who were left at the hospital to spend Christmas with us. Today, I celebrate this woman who made tremendous sacrifices for her family. Her achievements are immeasurable. She raised us to be kind, loving, responsible well adjusted human beings who put God first. She believed that there was no substitute for education and exposure to other cultures. So she took us on many adventures during our summer holidays.
I come from a long legacy of strong,determined persistent women and I am very proud and grateful that they paved the way for me to be great. It is my responsibility now to pass this legacy on to my children. This is what I celebrate today on International Women's Day and this month, Women's History Month. Because of them, I am. Celebrate the women in your life, give them the honor and respect that they deserve. Stand with them! Speak up for them and their rights because women's rights are human rights. They deserve your support. To all you beautiful women, continue to be determined, be inspired, be motivated and embrace your journey.