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Thelma Reid profits from ‘To Mom with Love’
BY COREY ROBINSON Sunday Observer reporter [email protected]
Sunday, May 05, 2013

AT age 85 Thelma Reid has only one regret — that she has no children. She got pregnant five times… all ending in miscarriages.
Not being a mother is the only thing that brings sadness to her voice; not even the squalid conditions under which she lives in Waterhouse, Kingston, depress as much.
And it was evident yesterday as she sang praises to the promoters of the concert, ‘To Mom With Love’, who opted to renovate her house as part of their promotional efforts.
“The last one I lost, I lost it on the Tivoli bridge,” whispered Reid, making reference to a bridge in front the now defunct Queen’s Theatre on Spanish Town Road in Kingston.
“I just feel when the van I was in go up in the air, and when it come down me feel the baby body just come right down, too,” she said, holding her lower abdomen as if re-enacting the ill-fated event.
The year that the miscarriage occurred is lost in Reid’s memory. However, the disappointment that she felt is still fresh. It lives on in her dilapidated Rushworth Avenue home — a relic of her dream of becoming a mother.
“I feel I would be happier. That’s why I built it. You nuh see how it build; one side for them alone,” she said. “But is not so it go. That is my greatest trouble,” she continued.
Reid — who lives in the cramped living room of her now decrepit three-bedroom house — was chosen by promoters Isaiah Laing and Joseph Bogdanovich as the ‘headline mother’ of this year’s event. Along with the renovation of her home, Reid’s title affords her a new wardrobe, foodstuff, and a VIP seat at the concert scheduled for May 12, at the Lime Golf Academy.
She will be entertained by the Manhattans, Rose Royce, John Holt, Karen Smith, among others, at the concert slated to be the biggest of the company’s decade-long history. The honour brought a smile to the old lady’s face.
“Oh, gosh! I’m telling you, God himself sent this help for me. I call on him all day. From I small, I always call on the Lord. He is my shepherd, I shall not want,” she chanted, lifting her hands to the sky in praise.
“God himself answers prayer; everyday I talk with him. I have been under stress with consideration but I can’t tell everybody. I just keep it and talk with God. He knows the time when to do things. Him see me in this corner and pointed to me,” she said.
Reid moved to Waterhouse in the 1970s and with her husband, built her house. Over the years, however, and with her husband’s passing in 1990, the place has drastically deteriorated.
Yesterday, the sun’s rays shone through zinc sheets peeled away from the rafters in the small living room. It was as if the rays were drying Reid’s clothes that were soaked by heavy showers Friday night. The rest of the house is uninhabitable.
Truckloads of sand, gravel, steel, cement and blocks were taken to the premises yesterday, said concert promoters, Laing and Bogdanovich, and with the help of men from the community they started the work. Hopefully, it will be completed by Friday, they said.
Businessman Bruce Bicknell is also playing a major role in the construction of the house, as he is putting up most of the construction material.
“We are having a meeting with the people in the community who are going to be rebuilding this lady’s house. We are here experiencing the beginning of a total makeover of this woman,” said Bogdanovich, adding that Reid was taken shopping on Constant Spring Road Friday evening.
“This To Mom, With Love concert is about Mothers Day and about giving your mom love and respect. And when you see this lady at the concert, you’re going to wonder. She will be a woman taken out of this area, Waterhouse, and transformed into the black queen that she is,” he said.
Laing declined to reveal the cost of the initiative thus far, but said that the budget was “climbing”. He said that he is undaunted by the possibility that persons would try to steal the material, a customary practice on construction sites.
“I have no fear about that. Once people know that we are the ones doing it they won’t trouble anything. Because they know that will be disrespect and these are some very proud people, they won’t have that.”


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