• Jazmine

This day in the life is full of amazing food, genuine reflection and inspiration for us all during this time. If you don't drool at the food or find a new instagram obsession then I have failed you with this one.

First name: Maelynn

Occupation: Higher Ed. Administrator

Currently working remotely

I usually wake up at 6:30-ish to let my dog Violet out. I stay in bed until 8:00 a.m. though, and read or think too much and plan breakfast. At 9:00 a.m. I listen to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Nassau on Facebook. Today's breakfast is a veggie omelette and cottage cheese with blackberries.

I am most grateful for time to rest, time to read, and the time and space to write. I can give my writing the attention it deserves without the usual interruptions. Any writer out there can tell you that this is a real gift. I think I’m also developing a deeper bond with some of my friends and I’m especially grateful for that. I’m getting to see them in different ways, see their growth and it’s bringing us a little closer.

For lunch, I made an Orzo salad. And yes, it was just as delicious as you would imagine.

Pre-Covid I was always on the go; planning new ventures, dreaming up new projects, and how to execute some of my best ideas. I know there is this “grind culture” or “hustle culture” that says we have to be constantly improving the quality of our lives or learning new skills and making extra dollars, but I’m taking a wee break from that. I’m out in my backyard more, giving necessary attention to my plants and myself. I finally have time to drink that glass of lemon water in the morning. I think survival and mental well-being are more my goals.

Dinner was cracked conch with salad and sweet potato fries.

The most challenging thing has been being away from my friends. I get to see my family, but no drinks with my gals, no book club meetings, no lunch at Ms. Barbara’s (one of our favorite spots on the Fish Fry), no spur of the moment outings that last all night. And because I don’t have those things, I’m not laughing as much. I’ve had no real deep belly laughs, that make you hit someone or push them, and I kinda miss that. Laughing makes you a different kind of relaxed.

When this is over I am looking forward to:

  1. A night out with friends with all the bells and whistles. I wanna get dressed up and put Fenty Beauty highlighter all over myself! We gonna start with dinner and cocktails and end lounging in Baha Mar talking nonsense.

  2. The beach. I keep dreaming about diving off of a boat into the sea. I need a really good tan.

  3. Going back to work. It seems kinda unexpected, but I miss the young adults that I mentor and interact with at UB, and I am tired of Zoom meetings. Looking at a computer screen is draining in a whole new way.

Here are the Instagram accounts that are really getting me through:

  • @thenapministry – helping me connect with the liberating power of rest.

  • @rebelwomenlit – an online book club in Jamaica. They have been hosting live poetry readings that have been absolutely awesome!

  • @pineapplesandpowertools – it’s a product and services company, but seeing all the pretty things and flowers makes me happy.

  • @gailrenatta – she reads and reviews books, which makes me spend all my money.

  • @700islandpsychology – mental health awareness and mental well-being posts. Lots up uplifting bites.

Some Bahamian artists I’m following:









  • Tammi

Mother’s Day, the one day out of the year when we brag about our mothers to the world on social media, overcrowd buffet lines, and send slightly embarrassing singagrams to their jobs. This year, we are unable to celebrate in ways we normally would, so I hope to brighten this mother’s day with this article.

With gratitude in my heart for all women who have had a tremendous impact on my life, I celebrate both mothers and mother figures who do not have biological children of their own. I celebrate by sharing stories of three beautiful, strong women through the eyes of their loved ones. The first tribute is to a woman who has shown remarkable strength for her daughter through a troubling time.

Zina’s Mom

(Pictured: Baby Zina and her mom)

“I was born on my mom’s birthday, so we were pretty much destined to be the same person, and the older I get the more I become her. Not only were we destined to be alike, but she’s always been my main girl. My mom and I may not talk everyday like some people and their moms, but when we do we talk about almost everything. Obviously when you’re the same person there are times when you don’t get along, but my mommy and I are like the people who’ll be like ‘you still mad?’ and the answer is always no.

Recently, I started facing challenges with my health, and my mom had to jump back into caring for me even though I’m a big grown adult. She’s the one who travelled with me to the doctors, she cooks all of my meals, she makes me tea, she runs me baths when I don’t have enough energy to shower, she gives me foot massages, hell she’ll lotion my body if I need it. And the crazy part is, even though it came out of necessity, she is absolutely loving this second chance of caring for me and this bonding time because thanks to Coronavirus it’s literally just us two. Mommy and daughter. Day in and day out. I might miss my friends and get annoyed when she puts flax seeds on all of my food or when she watches judge shows on TV every day; but I truly wouldn’t have it any other way.

My mommy is special because she shows just how much she cares about me through her actions, even though her mouth is hard. She’ll tell me to my face because I’m so picky with food, but then call her sister to ask for suggestions of how she can mix up my meals. She sends me flowers for special occasions like Valentine’s Day. And most importantly, she lets me know that I’m the prize and how proud she is of me all the time. She’s the mommy everyone deserves but only I am lucky enough to have.” – Zina Williams

Though today is a happy day for many, others grieve on this day due to the loss of their mother. You are not forgotten; your mother was a gift to this world and was instrumental in who you are today. Today, we celebrate mothers who have passed on to eternity, leaving beautiful memories behind. The second tribute is for a beautiful soul who left this earth much too soon.

Dominique’s Mom

Pictured: Dominique and Tami Gibson

“My mother was more than just a mother to me. She was my best friend, my number one supporter, my critic, and the person who prayed for me every night. She was a God fearing woman that had so much love for her children and she expressed both of those things so well. She always made sure to tell us when she was proud of us for the smallest of things but also made sure we knew when we were wrong. She was the best mother any child could ask for. She was kind, funny, childish and strict all at once. She balanced being a woman of God, a wife, and a mother so beautifully and with such grace and when I look back at those times it’s unbelievable how well she handled it all. She was at every PTA meeting, track meet, soccer game and spelling bee. She’s an inspiration to anyone who ever knew her. I could only pray to be half as good of a mother that she was.

Mother’s Day for me now is a bit hard, but because of my family it is a lot easier to manage. Although she isn’t here physically I know she can still feel my love because I can feel hers. Mother’s Day doesn’t really make me feel sad or depressed but more so grateful. I look back at all the times I spent with her and I just feel grateful because the love that I got in 16 years some people could only dream of it.” – Dominique Gibson

Here at IQG, we celebrate all women, and today, we remember the women who do not have biological children of their own, but they play a pivotal role in the development of the people in their lives. The third tribute is for a woman who does not have children of her own, but plays an instrumental and unforgettable role in the life of children in her community and family.

Danae’s Aunt

Pictured: Vernessa Rolle, Grammy, and Baby Danae

“My aunt Vernessa is a couple years younger than my mom and currently she’s a P.E. teacher at Columbus Primary. When I was a kid she went to the Dominican Republic as a missionary and though she’s been back for over a decade she is still dedicated to serving God both through her church and the Bible club she started for the kids in her neighbourhood.

I think she’s an opinionated person who can come across as aggressive if you don’t know her, and aside from disagreeing fundamentally on appropriate children’s Saturday morning programming we are a lot alike. She modelled, for me, more than anyone else in my family, the type of woman I would grow up to be. While my mom played sports, she did it more sparingly as I grew up and it was always my Auntie Nessa or my grandmother who would go on the basketball court and play with the boys. As I became an older teenager, I was unsure of where I fit in or what to do in terms of performing femininity, and it was her lifestyle that showed me that women can still find love if they wore pants over dresses or put 21 on the boys. As an adult it was her counsel I sought when it really mattered and it’s just a gift that she has to make me confess the emotions I tried to guard. Once when I was feeling down about being behind my peers personally and professionally and had a mini breakdown at work, she called at the exact moment and when she heard it in my voice she found me and took me to lunch and let me share just as much or as little as I wanted to.” – Danae Cash

After becoming a mother last year, I realized that motherhood is much more than I thought it would be. Motherhood brings a newfound strength, it makes you extremely vulnerable, and it truly tests your patience. Personally, it made me lean a little more on God because the inherent worries that come along with it are a little too much to handle at times. My experiences make me so grateful for the women who moulded me, especially my own mother (Love you, Tanya!).

I wish you all a VERY happy Mother’s Day!

Updated: May 7

Here at the Island Queen Guide, we usually present upbeat content with finance and lifestyle tips; however, with this article, we pause. We pause to acknowledge those who have lost loved ones during the pandemic, to acknowledge those who grieve in the confines of their homes, to acknowledge those who were not allowed to physically attend the funeral of their loved one because they did not make the top ten list. We pause to grieve with you and support you.

As common as death is, we have never truly grasped the concept, no matter how many times we go through it. Each time another hole is drilled in our hearts, but we have to “act normal” because the unfortunate reality is that sadness creates discomfort amongst others. Under normal circumstances, many people only want to know that you are doing “okay”, staying “strong”, and nothing more. As a society, we have been conditioned to take this route when dealing with grief. Your loved one transitions into eternity, there are days where people pass by to offer their condolences, the funeral happens two weeks later, there is a repass with lots of food, and BAM! You are okay. Those that have experienced grief know, however, that this is not the case. You have to get used to a new normal, and that is a soul crushing reality even in the best conditions.

These are abnormal times and we understand that it can make grieving a little more difficult. We are not saying that there is ever a convenient time to lose a loved one, but we acknowledge that these times make it all the more difficult. Along with worries of the economic state, health risks, and job security, you experienced the loss of someone dear to you. Nothing is normal and some people are too overwhelmed to check on you, understandably so. With the never ending concerns, please know that there are people thinking of you, willing to help you with everyday needs, and praying for you, even people you have never met. With everything going on, it is okay to take the time you need to just be; you deserve that much.

For the friends of those who have lost loved ones, please check on them often, give them their space when needed, and try to show empathy while they attempt to gather the broken pieces.

We are not experts on mental health, so we are unable to give advice; however, we write this to let you know that we stand with you, we have not forgotten you, we hold your (virtual) hand, we are praying for you, and we love you.

May the God who provides peace beyond all understanding hold you during this tough time.

With love,

The Island Queen Guide

Dedicated to our friend, Jayme, who lost her aunt during the pandemic. We love you!

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