On March 8, 1911, the world observed the first Women’s History Day—a global celebration of women’s economic, political, and social achievements worldwide.
From my observation, during this period, the women that grace the faces of magazine covers, billboards, newspapers, and television are those who the world feels have significantly impacted society. However, countless women have made what I would call “silent contributions” to communities and the world at large through their love, prayers, dedication, discipline, and commitment. While they might have never made the magazine covers and billboards, they remain the heroes of our lives, and we would not have been here without their influence. So today, I single out an extraordinary woman who contributed significantly to the woman I am today. To me, she will always be the real MVP.
My Mom, Yvonne Constance Daniels, was born in a remote area in Guyana in 1940. She grew up with her siblings on a farm and paddled miles daily in a small boat on the Demerara river to go to school. Eventually, when that became too strenuous for her, her parents paid a family who lived closer to the school to keep her during the week so she would only have to paddle home on weekends. For my Mom, that was worst than paddling miles to school, and eventually, she stopped going to school altogether; her parents taught her the best they could at home.
At age 19, my Mom had her first child, was married at 20, and had a second child. When she was just 22 years old, her first child, who was just two and a half years old, died in her arms, and my Dad, a Seaman, was thousands of miles away on a ship in Norway. He could not be at my Mom’s side during one of her life’s most challenging and devastating times. My Mom buried her precious child and then had a nervous breakdown.
The next few years were a blur to her. My Dad quit his job as a seaman and came home to support her, but she was inconsolable over losing her precious firstborn son. For her, life had lost all meaning.
A few years later, her sister-in-law invited her to church, and my Mom can still remember going to that church and hearing about God’s love and the difference it could make in her life. She understood from that moment that what she needed to heal her broken heart, spirit, and mind was nothing more than the love of God. She accepted Christ into her life and started a beautiful journey of love, faith, hope, and prayers.
When my Mom gave her life to Christ, she was pregnant with me, her fourth child. I, therefore, had the privilege of being born and raised in a Christian household.
My Mom prayed about everything, and she taught us to pray. She taught us to depend on God and to put our trust in him.
My Mom had a confidence that was second to none. She was self-taught, very eloquent and articulate, and a gifted writer. She wrote numerous poems; church plays, and stories. My Mom had the knack for turning anything into a beautiful account. Everyone wanted to be in her Sunday school class because she made the Bible stories come alive and told them with zeal and zest. Even though she did not have formal education, she insisted that all of us prioritized education and instilled it in us.
She taught us the importance of family, loving each other, and being contented. One of her favorite scripture verses was Hebrews 10: 38″ Now the just shall live by faith.”
There were times when there were insufficient finances to pay the bills, so my Mom prayed. No money to buy school books, my Mom prayed. A child gets sick, and her husband is thousands of miles away working at Sea, and my Mom would pray. She often told us, ” more things are wrought by prayer than the world dreams of.” At times in my life, I resented being so involved in church. It made me feel like I was missing out on life. It appeared my friends could do the “fun things” while I seemed stuck living a boring church life.
We had no choice, we just had to do church, and by the time I got to the age where I could choose to do church or not, all I wanted to do was church and began my beautiful journey of living a life sold out for Christ.
Today, I stand on the broad shoulders of my Mom’s prayers, faith, and love. I often tell people that even though my Mom was not a rich woman, she gave me the best gift in life, and that is showing me the way to Christ.
When faced with difficult situations, I do what my Mom used to do. I take it to the Lord in prayers. I have watched God move mountains, cause walls to fall, and make the impossible possible. I now live a life of faith, hope, and love because of what my Mom taught me.
Titus 2: 3-5 AMP ” older women similarly are to be reverent in their behaviour, not malicious gossips nor addicted to much wine, teaching what is right and good, so that they may encourage the young women to tenderly love their husbands and their children, to be sensible, pure makers of a home ( where God is honored), good-natured, being subject to their own husbands so that the word of God will not be dishonored’.
Today, my family serves God because a godly mother raised me. As a family, we have weathered many storms, but this faith in God that was taught to me by Mom pulls us through every time.
May her beautiful soul continue to rest in eternal peace.