[private] Many years ago on a small farm on the island of Bonnaco a small boy lay very ill and though he was being tended to by his loving grandmother the labored breathing of the child was a sure indication that without the proper medication this child would die.
The mother of the child lived and worked in town so the grandmother had sent word informing her of his illness and the urgent need of medication. Finding the medication in the mid twentieth century on the island was only a small part of the problems facing this young mother. In those days there was no motorized transportation on the island so the courageous mother had to borrow a dugout canoe. As the sun began to set she took paddle in hand and began her race against time, in an attempt to save the life of her only child. The trip to the other side of the island was a difficult journey during the daylight hours and it must have been twice as hard when attempted in the darkness of night.
It was after midnight when the mother arrived at the small village from where she would begin her trek to the small farm set in the foot hills about a mile inland. There was no one available to accompany her on this last leg of the race she believed to be losing, but a local gentleman suggested that she continue on horse back because in the dark the horse would lead the way much easier. He then graciously consented to the loan of his prized possession, a beautiful snow white mare called Princesa.
The horse was brought out, but for some reason a saddle could not be located. The young mother would have to ride bareback through the pitch-black night. In the darkness the horse maintained a measured step and though the mother urged it to pick up the pace the horse refused to be hurried.
After what must have seemed like an eternity and with the light of the rising moon filtering through the canopy of the forest, the animal and rider came to the small river that separated the farm from the main road. Beyond the shadow of the trees the mother caught a glimpse of something flashing in the night alongside the road on the other side of the shallow river. The horse must have seen it too because the animal stopped short and refused to budge in spite of the prodding and coaxing by its rider.
The mother summoned all her courage and dismounting she took the horse by the reigns. She led the animal across the river and warily approached the mysterious flashing light which turned out to be a moon beam reflecting from the smooth side of a banana plant leaf.
By this time the people at the farm were on their way to meet her: they had been alerted by the neighing of the horse. They came forth carrying pinewood torches to light the way. The mother asked if her child was still alive, but did not wait for an answer because she was already running towards the house calling out the name of her child. She was hoping that she arrived in time with the medication. She had.
In spite of being weary and bone tired the mother held her child in her arms for what remained of the night and a good part of the next day and would not put the child down until she was sure that he would survive his illness.
The mother stayed on the farm until the child was fully recovered and this time when she left, she took her baby boy with her and swore they would never again be separated.
The feat of this young mother is a clear example of the love a mother has for her children. This journey must have been especially difficult for her since my mama was utterly afraid of the dark.
At 5:30pm on the 17 of May 2005 at the age of 85 my mother passed away and I can’t remember ever thanking her for saving my life that time. All her children and grandchildren will miss her dearly. We love you mama.
I know she will rest in peace because she had put everything right with the heavens and with the earth. We bid farewell to Vesta Irene Moore Fredrick (A.K.A. Aunt Lou) and as we laid her to rest I could not help but remember the traditions and beliefs of her religion that promises that we will see her again in a far, far better place.
My father died only 30 days before her on the 18 of April 2005 in Tampa. [/private]