I remember when I was a teenager, a classmate of mine made a joke about my family. “It’s like you have four mothers,” my friend said. I’m sure it was in response to me complaining about not being able to do something or go somewhere. Either way, my friend’s statement stuck with me and back in those days, it did feel that way.

Of course there’s my mom, Peggy. But it truly does take a village to raise a child, so allow me to introduce you to the rest of my village.


From left to right – my big sister Petal, who was the person responsible for encouraging me to be a reader and a writer. So many of my childhood memories are of just me and her, going to the bookstore or library or just driving around St. James and Port of Spain with her. Petal comments frequently on the blog as Pets, so some of you have encountered her before, maybe without knowing! My big sister helped to raise me into the person I am today. AND she’s one of the best real estate agents in Trinidad so if you need a real estate agent, contact her!

My mom’s in the green cardigan and navy dress. Then in front of me is my niece Dominique – Little Afrobella has grown up!

Aunty Gemma is to my right – longtime readers of the site will remember her from this post about her dealing with breast cancer. She’s doing great! Aunty Gemma is still teaching piano lessons and sharing a love of music with her students every day (including my nieces)!

Aunty Opal is in the coral top with the green bag and she’s really the de facto caretaker of the kids in the family. My mom always was a busy, working mom with a demanding career. Aunty Opal is the one who I came home from school to watch Sesame Street with, who made delicious Chelsea Buns on our special occasions, and who was always there with a snack or a hug when I needed one before my mom came home from work. 

And next to her is my other niece, Isabella! She’s such a little cutie Smile

These women helped to raise me and steer me on the right path in life. They are always there for me when I need them, and all I hope to ever do is to make them proud. I think I’m doing alright so far!


And this is my whole family!


From left to right:

Back row – my big brother Dominic, my dad, my husband Steve, my big brother Patrick, and Ken the very sweet and accomodating owner of the Chinese Dragon restaurant in Debe, Trinidad.

Second row – my sister Petal, my mom, me, Aunty Gemma and Aunty Opal.

Front row – Dominique and Isabella

And today they’re all gathering together to celebrate Mother’s Day. I’m about to call home and let them know just how much I love them, and that I wish I could be there to celebrate with them.

Whether you’re a mother with your own kids, or you’ve adopted a family, or if you’re a loving sister or aunt or grandma who really plays a motherly role in the lives of little ones, I wish you a very happy Mother’s Day. Thank you for all you have done to shape a child’s life! It ALL counts. Thank you for being part of someone’s village. You’re more appreciated than you may know.

Happy Mother’s Day, bellas!!!



Dad and Mom says:
May 13, 2012, 12:15 pm
I am happy that you have taken the time to recognise the ladies, who helped to shape your destiny. I am sure that their hearts are all full at the moment. Take care of yourself and much more success in the future. Dad
Pets says:
May 13, 2012, 2:03 pm
Wow! much appreciated and most unexpected and so that makes it the perfect Mother's Day gift for our Mom and for the Aunts and myself. I always wanted a baby sister after having Clint, Patrick Jr and Dominic as brothers and got you so very far along my in life that I was like another Mom. I was very happy that you expressed an interest in reading and writing - things I like - not so interested in sport :) something else I like but each child is an individual. You continue to astound me and make me proud. Keep well and always grounded. Love me
MyPeaceOfFood says:
May 13, 2012, 2:23 pm
In all of my XX years of living, I have never heard anyone express this sentiment before, Patrice. (How sad) and how WONDERFUL of you to do it! LOVES. XOXO
Haute39 says:
May 14, 2012, 8:12 am
Family is truly a blessing and yes it does take a village!
Joanna says:
May 14, 2012, 2:46 pm
Very beautiful family!
Dominique says:
May 14, 2012, 5:30 pm
Thank you for being the best aunty I HOPE YOu hava a great TIME WITH MAX AND UNCLE STEVE . AND I LOVE YOU .HUGS AND KISSES.
iSAbella grell9 says:
May 14, 2012, 5:36 pm
fun to you and uncle steve. hugs and kisses. i love you. even max
bella says:
May 14, 2012, 11:06 pm
Love you so much. Wish I could have been there to celebrate in person!
bella says:
May 14, 2012, 11:35 pm
Love you Petal!!!
bella says:
May 14, 2012, 11:40 pm
Love you, little Bella!
bella says:
May 15, 2012, 7:15 am
LOVE you Dominique!!!!
Pets says:
May 15, 2012, 12:14 pm
Back to you also! hugs
Doctor Cris says:
May 15, 2012, 3:10 pm
What a beautiful family you have. You are so lucky that you had a village to help support and love you. Family is so important and I'm glad to hear that you do not take them for granted.
Sue says:
May 15, 2012, 5:29 pm
Very beautifully written. You are blessed indeed!
Patrick Grell Jnr. says:
May 12, 2013, 11:22 am
Just beautiful little sister! Wish you and Steve were here to come lime with us! We're all doing dishes and bringing them over for a late lunch. Hope you have a beautiful day!
pets says:
January 4, 2014, 1:17 pm
Update 2014 I can be reached at petaldawn@gmail.com for your real estate needs as our company has transitioned out of Century 21. Thanks


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