Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 16th 2015 Contents B5
August 16, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
"Moms," as she is fondly called by customers at her food stall at Morvant, celebrated 17 years of being clean
and sober from substance abuse last Mother's Day .
Her son was dead, they said. Shot
and killed while selling drugs in the
Projects. She remembers briefly feel-
ing something akin to "pain in her
belly." She recalled the "sympathy
money" the visitors at the wake
shoved in her hand and how she
wished for it to be all over so she
could go get her next fix.
She remembered the downward
spiral---neglecting her children, her
home, her job. And then came the
rain; It was Mother s Day 1998 and
the heavy droplets fell on the head of
Lynn, known fondly as "Moms", lit-
erally cleansing her enough for her to
cry out, " Lord, I can t do this no
more, take it away from me.
She claimed that day was the last
time she indulged in any form of sub-
stance abuse, including alcohol and
Nowadays, Mother s Day for Lynn
does not just signify a day to celebrate
being a mom, but it marks an addi-
tional year in her long journey of stay-
ing clean and sober.
This year marked 17 years since she
has been free from crack cocaine and
alcohol. Drugs that would be instru-
mental in her losing every material
asset she had accumulated while living
and working in the United States of
"I lost everything, everything... I
mean, there wasn t anything more to
lose. I had even lost my son," she said.
Her introduction to illicit drugs was
a direct result of the environment she
worked in and exposure to friends
who were using the drugs.
"I worked a side gig selling doubles
and other foods in parties (in the US).
It was all around and I saw a friend
using it. I was honestly curious, so it
was so easy me getting roped in. I
begun snorting it up my nose," she
While it took a number of years for
her life to unravel, her dependence
on crack cocaine led to her all time
lowest as a
mother and person. Lynn had left
three children behind in Trinidad, but
within the first five years of migrating
she had them with her in the US.
When life should have been better
for them being with their mom,
instead they suffered neglect, hunger
Her last two children, now all
adults, were carried to full term, even
though their mother continued to use
drugs. She said, though, that the only
reason they were not "crack babies"
was that she took care of herself dur-
ing each pregnancy.
"I was never doing drugs on the
street, always in the privacy of my
home or at friends who were also
addicts. I worked and supported my
habit. I worked as a domestic help
only to support my habit," she
To this day, the family she took care
of for the first 14 years in the US, has
kept a relationship with her.
Losing her first home at 760 Har-
vard, Washington DC, having to live
in a shelter, and eventually being
deported were just some of the trials
Lynn faced with her children at her
Food stamps and government wel-
fare were traded for more crack
cocaine, even if it meant leaving her
"There was a time I was afraid for
them to get up from sleep. There was
no food, but even then God was look-
ing out for us," she reminisced.
One morning, as a result of a good
samaritan, her children would eat the
"best breakfast" they had in months,
maybe even years.
A friend of her eldest daughter,
whom she admitted she had disliked,
drove her to a nearby grocer and pur-
chased six bags of food items for her.
One night while working at her
sideline job selling with a family at a
party in Georgia, where Calypsonian
Baron was to headline, she snorted
out $14 in profit from the sales. It
finally hit her that she had reached
rock bottom. Walking through the
heavy downpour, Anne begun a des-
perate conversation with God, which
would change her life around for good.
Lynn spoke to a friend and was
introduced to Alcoholics Anonymous
(AA) where she would cry and share
her ordeal with drugs. The with-
drawals were terrible and her youngest
daughter refused to leave her side for
the month it took her to literally
"shake" her drug habit.
"In the past, she would just look
at me and knew I was using. For that
month, she would examine my face
for signs. It took me having money
for an ice-cream cone for her to realise
that I was ok," she recalled.
Her children were given back their
childhood, she said, through the grace
of God and her steadfast belief that
if she ever used drugs again she would
"I have no doubt that I would die.
Don t do it, don t, don t do it---is all
I can tell anyone curious about drugs
or in rehab. I thank God for keeping
me and granting the strength to with-
stand the urges and the times I had
gone up inside my head," she said.
To those who know her, she is the
humble, oftentimes baldheaded smil-
ing vendor who sells tasty pies and
other foods outside Juman s at Lady
Young Road, Morvant. Having gained
the strength to rebuild her life, Lynn s
focus now is completing the con-
struction of her new home in Mor-
"Life is grand and God is always
good," she said as she sold one of her
loyal customers a geera pie and drink.
After years of drug abuse...
'Moms' goes clean
This year marked 17 years since
she has been free from crack
cocaine and alcohol. Drugs that
would be instrumental in her
losing every material asset she
had accumulated while living
and working in the United States
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