‘I always wanted to have rice and chapati and rice.. I always wanted to live in a house that doesn’t leak.. I wanted a house that had light so I didn’t have to grope in the darkness to find my way to where my sleeping space was.. ‘
Every one of us is quiet. I feel myself swallow up a lump. Tears threaten. I don’t know if it is sadness for her past or awe at her passion.
‘ when I started this, we started in a house that leaked. The kids and I slept on the floor. The house was dark.. the roof did leak. Every time it rained, I had to feel where the kids were sleeping to know if they were being rained on. People said I was stupid. How could I help yet I was so poor?
But I wasn’t. Total dependence on God was all I had and is all I still have. If we slept hungry, He is God. If he gave us food, He is God’
She pauses and you can tell that everyone is awake.
The noisy lot of youths was totally quiet.
I smiled at the thought of how hard it is to have them this controlled. This woman did have them all awed.
‘ I kept going because I knew I couldn’t be reborn. I would struggle to give these kids what I didn’t get. The opportunity that nobody offered me. I ain’t giving up none of these up for adoption. None of them is gonna be a househelp at 9 years as I was. None of them is going to be 17, pregnant and helpless as I was. None of them is going to get married to a man that nobody in the whole neighbourhood doesn’t want..
These are my kids. My family. I will watch them graduate, get married and marry. Then I will hear their young ones call me grandma.
That way I will have everything I would ever have wanted on this earth..’
She nods at me to mean she is done..
I can’t find my voice.. it got lost somehow..
I feel a strange voice out of me say
‘You guys go ahead and ask questions’
Right there in the middle is the Founder of Mother Little Angels Hearts Family home doing the ‘chill’ sign with Sam, Bonnie, Eva and I .. names from left.
She is one of a kind