Happy Mother’s Day seems oxymoronic this May 10 because there are a lot tears mixed with the joy of celebrating mothers. It’s as if we are living in a war zone, due to the coronavirus pandemic and indirectly to the butt dragging by this system and the callousness, and caviler attitude of the bosses toward the lives of its workers. And as a result too many mothers did not live to see this Mother’s Day and too many mothers are grieving the loss of their children.
And adding to the woes of inner city mothers is the constant internecine violence, which continues unceasing as the result of the internalized hatred of an entire section of Black and Brown youth. And adding even more consternation for Black mothers of upper, middle class and poor Black children is worry about whether their children, their sons especially will make it home safely, when always lurking outside is the threat of US law enforcement an agency ironically duty bound to protect them. Ironically those lying in wait have mothers too.
The poor and late and inadequate response to the coronavirus in this country put lots of mothers lives in danger and consequently indirectly caused the deaths of lots of women and children of mothers.
Ironically as the result of being an essential worker and proudly answering the call to serve–while others worked safely from home– too many have gone home to glory for simply ringing up our groceries, getting us our mail, tending to the elderly ,or worse yet trying to nurse someone’s child, someone’s mother back to health.
This pandemic has left too many to grieve the loss of a mom today.
AS much as I am reminded of the importance of and significance of motherhood I am also reminded of the loss of mothers and the cavalier attitude by some hospital executives that have caused too many to lose their lives because they considered cost before care.
So we should remember charge nurse Celia Marcos who displaying extraordinary courage and selflessness rushed to aide a COVID-19 patient though she was only equipped with a thin surgical mask and not the more protective N-95 respirator along with gown, face shield and booties, which the hospital Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center,apparently had not made available to her and her colleagues. She told her niece in a text about the incident, “I was the one right in front of his face.”
She saved the patient, helping to resuscitate him. Fourteen days later she died from COVID-19!
Incredibly her union SEIU local 121 complained that she received substandard treatment while in the hospital. Her colleagues said her last words were, “I don’t want to die.”
Today I am reminded of the young Black woman who died while delivering her child in New York. She complained of issues during her pregnancy and her complaints were constantly ignored by her doctors, so much so that she promised to write an expose after she had the baby. Unfortunately she was right she was suffering from a medical complication that afflicts some pregnancies. Not a big deal if treated. However the indifference of the medical personnel made sure that she would not survive to tell her story, so I am reminding us here.
Today I am reminded of the grief of the only child of a Black phlebotomist who had worked at suburban Farmington Hills hospital outside of Detroit, who told the story of how her mother was neglected by the same hospital she had worked at for years. She had worked there for 30 years, but when she tried to get help because she had COVID-19 symptoms she was turned away three times, once just given cough medicine. She had helped and aided hundreds of others, but when her time came there was no bed for her. She was rushed to a Detroit city hospital after days of fighting obvious COVID-19 symptoms and died the same day.
Today I lament the loss of a mother’s daughter who after working at GIANT grocery store as a cashier died from COVID-19. She died because she had gone to work. She died because as it turns out profit was more important than her and her colleague’s safety. She wore no mask, no PPE as she showed up dutifully to work during one of the worst health crisis in history. It’s likely she wore no mask and had she attempted to, the bosses would have disallowed it for fear it may turn off customers. Her company cynically gave her mother her overdue five year pin as recognition of being with the company for that long which ironically, the company had previously neglected to give her.
Today I am reminded of the hundreds of elderly grandmothers who fell ill and died in nursing homes some left in complete indignity which is shameful considering what many contributed to this country and humanity.
Today I am reminded of the mother of Ahmaud Arbery, who in interviews kept her composure because she knew the nation was watching and so she had to choose her words carefully because an ultra-sensitive and dishonest nation in denial would condemn her if she told the truth. And that truth is the murderers of her son stand a chance of getting away with it, not just because one is a cop, but because they are White.
And this must be a painful day for the mother of the youngest shooter of Arbery. Clearly his Dad did not teach him right from wrong, but I would like to hope that she was not a racist, but tried to raise her boy the best she knew how and taught him to respect human beings, just because they are human beings no matter what color or hue or race or sexual orientation.
If she did not, we still ought to pity her and if so inclined, pray for her.
Unfortunately many won’t experience a real happy mother’s day until the system we live under values the lives of the children that the mothers produce.
Finally I am reminded of Mehrsa Baradaran author of “The Color of Money: Black Banks and the racial wealth Gap.” She tweeted about her mom who despite having children of her own to raise, joined the revolution in Iran to depose the Shah and fought even against those who corrupted their revolution. Her mother paid a heavy price, but Mehrsa said, “She taught me that when some kids are suffering, even if they are not yours, a mother fights for those kids. Motherhood is what you do for everybody’s kid.”
justice then peace