Mummy: Hey Ruth, listen to me: I love you, hear? And just... be careful on the road... Make sure you pray before you leave the house and watch who you go into taxi with... Just... be careful, y'hear?
An ominous, unsettling dread filled the pit of my stomach. A lump formed in the back of my throat. Sudden weariness overtook me. I blinked hard and swallowed before I hung up the phone.
My mom is worried about me... My mom - this woman who has always been a pillar of strength and certainty that God will watch over her children, this woman who never worries because she knows that when we were younger, she drilled general safety rules into our heads and trained us well, this woman - felt the need to tell me to be careful... because she's seen so many young girls get abducted and raped and sodomised and burned and murdered in the last few weeks that she's become agitated about the safety of her own children.
I can't explain the effect that had on me. I've been watching the news. I've seen the spate of senseless attacks on young girls. But it never hit so hard as when my own mother called me to remind me that she loves me and that she wants me to be careful on the streets... It just pierced my heart and opened my eyes.
Have you ever really stopped to think about how our mothers must be fretting and worrying and praying with all their mights that this angel of death will not visit their homes?? How they must be agitated when their children leave home for schools in the mornings? How they must be relieved when their children return home from school in the evenings? How grateful they must be that the only harm their children saw that day were cuts and scrapes and playground bruises?
Betty-Ann Blaine started an organisation called 'Hear The Children's Cry', and that is very important. But I think, in this time, we need another group. For mothers. Nothing compares to a mother's love for her child, and I think, in this time, if mothers get together and exercise their creative genius, unleash the full extent of their maternal instincts, they will probably come up with more effective precautionary measures and solutions for this crisis than anybody else...
Jamaica needs to hear the mothers' cries...