Today, I share the second part of the eulogy that I read for my mother’s funeral, along with my side note regarding a certain choice she made that changed the course of our family’s history (for better or worse) and planted in my psyche, the seed of independence.
In 1962, Daisy graduated from UWI and moved to St. Thomas where she worked as a nurse at the Knud Hansen Hospital. While on St. Thomas, she met Moleto Smith A. Smith, Sr., the father of her eldest child. Daisy continued to seek advanced education by applying for graduate studies in New York. While several months pregnant with her first child, Moleto A. Smith, Jr., Daisy moved to Brooklyn and worked at the Brookdale Hospital.
In the late 1960’s, she moved to Elizabeth, NJ where she continued to pursue her education, by attending graduate school at Jersey City State University. She also taught for the Newark Public School system during the daytime and worked nights and weekends as a nurse for various hospitals.
On November 9th, 1965, she married Solomon Bellony, a native from the island of Dominica and the union produced three other children- Gerald, Richard and Deborah (that’s me!). Throughout her time in the metro-New York area, she worked at the Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital and several other prestigious hospitals. In 1976, she re-located her family to California after having separated from her husband Solomon.
I was around 5 years old and I still remember how my mother packed me, my brothers and her sister and brother-in-law all in a car with all of our belongings and drove from New Jersey to California all by herself. Whenever anyone asked why she left my father, she used to say, “There was no way he was going to have all the privileges of a married man and live like a single man.”