Where there is darkness, light. Where there is despair, hope.

I have not written in a long time. As a parent, I think we all have times like that. Times when stories and statements swirl in the mind but never make it to the point of coherence. Distracted by changing of the guard, changes of colour, changes in laws, changes in all that I know safety to be in my own land, I’ve not written.

Now though, in a dark room, baby monitor glowing back at me and courage at my fingertips, I am typing a plea to my son and all our sons of T&T.

Dear son,

The purest expression of joy I have ever felt was the first moment you were placed in my arms. You made me a woman.

For 38 weeks I carried you. You pummeled me from the inside. You made me appreciate cool breezes and quiet and serenity. Your smile has deepened my understanding of happiness. Your breath creates calm.

You made me understand the importance of women and motherhood and family in ways that are incredibly unimaginably difficult to describe.

I thank you.

Now, I ask you for something. A promise to live a life that instills joy. Live a life of love as first Corinthians so powerfully expresses:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

ALWAYS protects. Keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not dishonor others.

Son, as man, take these words into relationships. Every woman you lay eyes on is counting on you to live by these words.

As your mother, I implore you to choose patience over anger.

May rage be a stranger to your heart. May the warmth of your hands always seek to nurture and love. May terror be a foreign emotion to those around you.

Your birth was the exclamation point for me, for your father…for your grandmothers here and in the beyond. You are living proof that love is beauty. Your birth confirmed that prayer, especially when combined with love is a powerfully, positive elixir.

Take that elixir into life.

You are our family. You carry more than our name, you carry our heart. You carry the heart of our ancestors torn apart by rage and separatism. Your heart pulses with unrelenting protective love that persevered even when chains and whips tried to hold it back.

Be that strong in your love. Let nothing break your understanding. May your tolerance be unwavering. Let your heart and mind always come together for good. Keep evil a stranger.

I write so my message can be enduring. My voice will go, but may my words be ingrained in your soul.

And in case you ever forget, know this: Every woman you meet carries a piece of your mother with them – the twinkle in their eye where fear and love battle for the prize of safety. May love always win. I trust you to ensure that, to live that for me.

Son, protect our women. Be an instrument of peace.

You are love.