In Praise of My Mothers

Jane Grell with baby Miranda, Leyton ward's Coronation Gardens 1978

I have dedicated some time this 2009 Mother’s Day weekend to getting in touch with and thanking some of the many mothers in my life.

For me, just being a God Mother to little Sofia is such an honour, I can’t imagine what it must feel like for women who have their own.

Motherhood for me isn’t just about whether you were raised by or live a particular woman, rather I believe it’s about women just being there for and caring for other people. That’s why I’ve always felt like I have many mothers in my life and remain grateful to all of them.

Over the past year in particular, I wouldn’t have survived without a very strong support network of some seriously formidable women, all of whom have acted as a mother figure, in one way or another, during what has been the worst period of my life.

The first mother I must obviously thank again this year is Jane (pictured holding a 1978 version of me in Leyton ward’s beautiful Coronation Gardens’ Park). She has quite simply been my rock. We’ve always been close and I’ve always been grateful that I can talk to her about any subject in the way I can close friends, but nothing beats the closeness of our relationship following all the false rubbish that was thrown at me politically and in court in 2007, and continues to plague our daily lives now.

The irony of the situation is that I wouldn’t change what I’ve been through with mum for the world. Yes, it’s been awful and traumatic but it has also been the period where I have never felt so loved and cared for by my mother.

Indeed, the respect and love I feel for mum has only been strengthened by us having had to go through it mostly on our own, without a husband or a father to support us, just as mum had to raise me and my sister completely on her own.

But we believe the solitary journey will only make our eventual victory to reclaim my innocence and reclaim respect for the voters of Leyton ward all the more sweeter.

I don’t just want to thank my own biological mother this year. Both she and I would jointly like to thank all the women in our lives from our family, our friends in London and around the UK, women in the local Leyton community, our friends abroad, women from the local and regional Labour party and other political parties, and women we know from the faith and non-faith communities, who’ve quite simply been the best mothers in the world to both of us during the past year – Julia, Patsy Scott, Jean George, Mary George, Paulina George, Ioni George, Georgiana Ulysses, Eliza Felix, Agnes Joseph, Mary Tuffin, Jane Duran, Alberta Henderson, Jane Welfare Peck, Enide Freeman, Nicky Gavron, Diane Abbott, Sabine Groeben, Dawn Butler, Kobra Avarand, Helen Jeffery, Jessica Mitchell, Jacqueline Craig, Edna Brockhurst, June Young, Jan Morris, Liz Davies, Sue Brackell, Surya Turner, Stella East, Jean Cavaliere, Margaret Gordon, Nazlee Mahomed, Sarah Podro, Rachel Suff, Silma Cobham, Sophia Khan, Yvonne Bailey, Pauline Stewart, Venetta Ndebele, and Zita Holbourne.

Just a massive, massive thank you to all of you again this 2009 Mother’s Day weekend.

We hope that one day soon, we’ll once again be in the position to be as good a mother to you as all of you have been to us.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Lots of love,

Miranda and Jane


3 thoughts on “In Praise of My Mothers”

  1. Dear Miranda and Jane

    You are both so welcome and thank you so much for posting this lovely message.

    Sistahood is our strength!

    Through the bad and the rough
    Through the hard and the tough

    We’ll wrap your heart with embrace
    Bless your soul with God’s grace

    Catch your tears when they fall
    Assist you to stand tall

    We’ll be your rock to lean on
    Beam on you like the sun

    Keep your spirit strong
    And help you right all the wrong.

    love from one of your mothers – Zita xxx

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