For Motherless Daughters

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So, last week was Mother’s Day.

Social media was ablaze with wonderful messages celebrating mothers for their unconditional love — and sacrifice — and selflessness — and sympathy — and empathy and —

Guess who looked on with sheer apathy?


Believe it or not, it’s extremely hard to read wonderful messages dedicated to mothers described as kind and caring and nurturing.

It’s even harder to look at pictures of doting mothers gazing at their children with love and adoration knowing you will never be able to relate.

So, for years, I greeted Mother’s Day with resentment and hate.


I was so consumed by hatred, I blocked the beautiful blessings and the wonderful life lessons being ‘motherless’ taught me. Today, I’ll share three:

1.  I Was Raised By a Village

Now, don’t think for a second that I am going to glamorize my story. I am the first person to tell you that there is still a great void in my heart … there is still a lack of belonging … a longing to know more about that woman who left me in Jubilee.

But, I am also the first person to tell you that God provided me with the right people at every single point of my life’s journey.

There was the aunt who taught me how to read using scriptures from the bible, the grandmother who took me to church and taught me how to pray, the cousin who would send money to buy uniforms so I could go to school, the cousin who got $10:00 JMD for lunch money each day and gave me $5:00 JMD. There was the foster-mother who financed my high school education, the aunt who treated me like her own child and ensured I got into a good college, teachers who taught me more than what the curriculum offered, and the mentor who gave me a glimpse into what my life could look like if I choose to become victor over my circumstances.

I stand proud today and I can truly say, I am not a motherless daughter, I am the daughter of many mothers, and a true child of the universe.


2.  I Became a Goal Digger — I Decided To Win

My drive to succeed came out of a need to prove to the world that I was meant to be here. I had to win every award there was to be won, ace every test, and prove I was the best. How else would I validate the fact that I was much more than an abandoned child? How else was I going to show the world that I was bright, loving, lovable and meant to be here?

The various medals, awards and trophies taunted me from the spot created for them on my bookshelf. They said: ‘Your mother still left you on a step. This doesn’t prove a damn thing.’

They were right.

It took me years to realize that I was not defined by my accomplishments and my achievements didn’t determine my value.

 Don’t get me wrong, I am still, and will always be, a ‘goal digger’.  But, I am not as obsessed with the notion that I need to prove that I am the best anymore, and now I don’t mind failing — as long as I learn the lesson — and get right back to winning!


3.  I Am a Lot More Empathetic

I have been blessed with the ability to hear the pain behind the long, loud laughter of the chubby girl trying to fit in, I am able to see the sorrow behind a mask of smiles, and I can aptly identify the ‘Bruce Jenners’ of the World — those little boys who run the fastest, shout the loudest and do every single ‘manly’ thing to prove they’re not trapped in the wrong body.

I see, I hear, I feel — and I am the first to say — talk to me, there’s no judgment here. Talk to me — I understand.


Until next time, I leave you with the words of Charmaine Johnson Garwood:

Try as we might, we can never change the fact that life is not always about our realities. Sometimes, we get the bitter end of the stick. But the blessings reach us when we forgive ourselves, we love ourselves, we accept our circumstances and be the best human beings we can be.’

I wish you all endless, endless blessings.

As per usual remember to LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH A LOT!!!

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27 thoughts on “For Motherless Daughters

  1. Charmine

    Nice Bree! I feel your pain and loss with you. So sorry you were too young and innocent to register your mom’s tender looks into your eyes when you were born. I will share a story about love and compassion. In 2001, a mother fixed breakfast for her husband and 5 children and ate with them. She kissed her loving husband goodbye as he left for work. Soon after he left, she grabbed the children one by one and drowned each one in a bath tub full of water. During the court proceedings, the prosecutor evoked the wrath of the jury by showing the images of the children’s dead body over and over in court. Years later, I watched as the grieving husband recounted the story on Oprah. He said, though tears and knots in his throat, what the prosecutors did by showing the images over and over to the perpetrator (mother) was “the most insensitive and cruel thing that anyone could do to another human being…” Though he grieved for his five children, he could find love and compassion in his heart for the woman with the fatal hands. I say this to say, we can lament our losses without being embittered by our life circumstances. We can grieve, yet find compassion in our hearts for those who perceivably caused us pain (like Christ did as he hung from a cross). People are confined by their limitations and we can never know for sure what drives their behaviors. We have to practice compassion towards self and, by extension, compassion towards others. I hope your next Mother’s Day will bring you the joy and happiness that you deserve. I hope the next Mother’s Day, you will celebrate the womb that carried you for nine months and the mind that said, “I will never let a doctor put his forceps in my uterus to remove this child..” I hope you will celebrate the “evil hands” that placed you gently and quietly on that step and sought refuge in a false sense of purpose (thinking it was best for you). Forgive me if I share my faith by saying, You got what you deserved – A chance at a better life than mom could have given you at the time… Good “Piece of Mind…” Love always my dear one!!!

    1. Keisha Brissette

      This was absolutely beautiful. Thank you for the comment. Be happy to know that I won’t have to wait for next mother’s day to celebrate my birth mom….I did it on Monday, May 11, 2015. After an entire day of reflection…I was able to look at my life through new eyes and with a different perspective: ‘She did what she thought was best for me” and this has granted much ‘peace of mind’ 🙂 Bless you.

  2. Clayton Hall

    Keisha, I know that you have surpassed even your expectations and the circumstances of your past are responsible for what you have become. We have been taught to believe that Job was a better man after his suffering and that the three Hebrew boys were better after their near death experience. You have become a wonderful person and the love, adoration, care and guidance you will give to your children will validate that you not only fought through your situation but emerged better because of it. Now I will provide you with two cans of baby feed and a box of diapers when my Godson or daughter arrives…

    1. Keisha Brissette

      I am coming for the baby feeding and diapers!!! And I want four cans of baby feed and more than a box of diapers. Love you Clayton. Thanks for reading.

  3. Sue-Ann Johns

    every time I read one of your posts my heart breaks am so happy u have done so well continue to be the sweet person u r and in all things thank God

  4. Lenford Salmon

    My darling “niece” your pain was etched on every word in your post. Happy to know that you are gradually emerging from that dark tunnel of bitterness and self-pity, and is now recognizing the true BREE. Keeping soaring my friend.

  5. Patrice

    Beautiful. It is not only nicely packaged but you seem to have spoken from a deep place. This is what you need to start the catharsis. I wish you well on this journey. You are a child of the universe. You have a right to be here. You’ve touched me in so many ways. Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to read your writing.

  6. Meg

    I really enjoyed reading this post and also Charmine’s comment. It always warms my heart to see the person you’ve become regardless of your past. You have inspired me in so many ways. Keep doing what you’re doing. You are here for a purpose 🙂
    I love you!

  7. richy

    this spells passion. I could feel every letter….they say what dont kill make u Stronger…..that said ur a gifted writer

  8. Pingback: Mourning Mother’s Day - Eelasor | A Piece Of Mine

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