Regine Mamba by Stephanie Nolan and Suitcase Lady by Christie McLaren
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“Regine Mamba” by Stephanie Nolan and “Suitcase Lady” by Christie McLaren are two stories depicting impact of poverty on the lives of two elderly women. Despite their poverty they both show tremendous courage. In both the stories it is seen that the women face various challenges which includes family issues, social support and their faith which gives them hope.
Both women face difficult family issues. Nolan describes how the children of grandmother were claimed to death due to infection of HIVAIDS. Now she had been looking after her orphan grandchildren and great grandchildren, telling them stories and singing to them to keep them positive. In Mclaren’s story she describes the story of a divorced lady who got married at the age of 20 and had a child who was now 40, but he dint get along well with her and dint call her mama as he wasn’t raised by her.
In addition both women receive social support. Nolan says how the old lady receives help from other grandmothers and the Salvation Army. The only adult to help with that brood was one of her daughters, Lovegirl Chemba, 51, who had moved home to help. Contrastingly Mclaren finds the old lady didn’t have her family with her nor she had any shelter to live. She carried her belongings in a shopping bag and travelled everywhere seeking for food. She slept wherever she found a place, it may be a park, an underground parking garage or at store. Lady begged on the street and received handouts from local restaurants and strangers. The waitresses brought her food and looked upon her with compassion and made the restaurant owner believe that the presence of lady had no harm.
Despite all the hardships the hope and faith of the women never die and they always hold up to life. Nolan says that her grandchildren give her the strength to move forward. She always tries to remain happy as if children see her sad than they also would get upset. She believes in God who she feels protects her and her family. Mclaren expounds that the old lady believes in her country, city and the dreams and memories of her suitcase. The inner peace and happiness that she gets by helping the young and old always keeps her determined to move up in life despite all hardships. Also her faith that god always takes care of her keeps her encouraged to hold up in life.
Hence both the stories Regine Mamba” by Stephanie Nolan and “Suitcase Lady” by Christie McLaren showcase the wretched poverty which they pass through and the family issues which they face, the social support they get and the faith which gives them hope to move on in life.