Being a single parent is a journey for the strong hearted.
Ana Puleaiese of Leusoalii knows this.
Today, she reflects on her struggles to raise her children alone.
Aged 63 and not a weak bone in her body as she said, she works in the plantation everyday and even sells it sometimes to make extra money.
“I’ve been divorced from my husband since 1985 and from then on, I raised my kids on my own.”
“Whether you’re a single parent or someone with a partner, parenthood is the biggest undertaking you’ll ever face.”
“So back then when my parents were still alive, I took care of my parents and at the same time take care of my children and now look at where my children are; they are successful and have families of their own.”
“My eldest son graduated as a Reverend at Safotu Savai’i whereas my other children are in Australia with their families.”
“I’m staying with one of my sons at the moment; he’s the breadwinner most of the time because my other daughter and her family are currently in Savaii.”
Ana didn’t get married again after her divorce; she gave her full attention to her kids instead.
“I love my children so much and that’s why I didn’t want to have another man in my life.”
“I believe a person is only given one partner in this lifetime and for me eventhough it didn’t work out that was it.”
“And honestly I like being on my own because I get to have freedom to do everything that I want; for instance Bingo is something I like so I always go to play.”
“I am a deacon in my congregation; I consider these things to be all blessings.”
“Furthermore, I’m blessed to have a plantation of bananas and koko to depend on.”
“I’m also trying to develop my vegetables patch.”
“For me, I don’t mind eating elegi (tin of fish) everyday because it’s still food.”
“There are no problems here but I am scared of escaped prisoners; you know I get worried and ask myself what if they come here?”
“Other than that, everything else is okay, and I know that whatever fear we have, we will get past it.”