I grew up in a small town called Essex County, in Ontario. The 1970s and early 1980s were a tough part of my life and I want to acknowledge the woman who brought me into the world and set the foundation for my life. My mother, Patricia Anne, had me at the tender young age of fifteen. To be exact, I was born on her fifteenth birthday.
A large part of her youth was taken away from her, so she could raise me and my two sisters, Christine and Jennifer who followed. Years later our youngest sister, Stephanie was born when our mother was twenty-six.
By the time my mother was nineteen she had three children under the age of five. What were you doing at the age of nineteen? I was living my own life, going to school, working, and hanging out with my friends the way most nineteen year olds do. My mother was raising children, working at multiple jobs and trying to keep food on the table.
For many years I tried to imagine how my mother raised my sisters and I, with so little. Yes those years were tough, and even heart breaking! Yet I know without a doubt my mother taught me how to survive, and how to be strong during adversity and to never give up!
This is why today I am honouring where I came from. That little town called Essex County. Born to a teenage mother who had nothing, but the love for her children and the instincts to survive! Thank you mom for showing us that tough times can be a strong foundation to becoming the women we are today!
To all the mothers out there, slugging along, I honour you too! We see you! It wasn't until I had my own children that I truly understood what my own mother must have given up to have us! While at the same time providing unconditional love and protection!
We all come from Women and today is our day to celebrate who we are and the struggles that help define who we are BECOMING!