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Monday, April 22, 2024

A Woman of Sorrows

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By George Werner (former Education Minister)

Today, I went to see Lorenzo and his mother, Elizabeth Sakpah Pelham. I expected that Sakpah, which means revenge in Kru, would “go off” upon seeing me.

I have known her since Munah’s classmates brought me, their teacher, to her home after her husband, Walter Pelham, Sr., a senior law enforcement officer, died in a plane crash while on duty. She’s been a big sister since then.

Over the years, I have been witness to the sacrifices she has made to raise her children. She’s been a strong and enterprising widow, and she loves to joke, with her friends, about women and widowhood.

I take it that it’s been her own way of coping with the stressors of raising her children without her husband. Sakpah has raised more children than her own biological children.

You would not know, for example, that Oso Ross Pelham, whom she buried in 2011, wasn’t her biological child. That’s the kind of mother she is.

At Johns Hopkins University Hospital and everywhere else, she sat by her daughter’s bedside. She called her friends her prayer warriors, and she relied on Divine Providence to heal her daughter.

Neither Hopkins nor the other hospitals came up with any proper diagnosis of Munah’s ailment.

At some point, it felt like they were really throwing things at the wall to see which one could stick. It was really stressful, and there were moments when we were all scared of Munah not being able to survive the illness.

A Woman of Sorrows

Today, I went to see Lorenzo and his mother, Elizabeth Sakpah Pelham. I expected that Sakpah, which means revenge in Kru, would “go off” upon seeing me.

I have known her since Munah’s classmates brought me, their teacher, to her home after her husband, Walter Pelham, Sr., a senior law enforcement officer, died in a plane crash while on duty. She’s been a big sister since then.

Over the years, I have been witness to the sacrifices she has made to raise her children. She’s been a strong and enterprising widow, and she loves to joke, with her friends, about women and widowhood.

I take it that it’s been her own way of coping with the stressors of raising her children without her husband. Sakpah has raised more children than her own biological children.

You would not know, for example, that Oso Ross Pelham, whom she buried in 2011, wasn’t her biological child. That’s the kind of mother she is.

At Johns Hopkins University Hospital and everywhere else, she sat by her daughter’s bedside. She called her friends her prayer warriors, and she relied on Divine Providence to heal her daughter.

Neither Hopkins nor the other hospitals came up with any proper diagnosis of Munah’s ailment.

At some point, it felt like they were really throwing things at the wall to see which one could stick.

It was really stressful, and there were moments when we were all scared of Munah not being able to survive the illness.

So, when her birthday came in April 2019, while at Hopkins, her son, Walter Pelham, Jr., and others took Sakpah out, with Munah’s permission, to thank and celebrate her.

Today, I saw my big sister, Elizabeth Sakpah Pelham. She was wailing, as expected. “I suffered for my children, Brother George.

You know we thought Munah had been through the worst. This caught me by surprise. Munah let me down.”

Lorenzo? He’s coping well..for now..seeing to his mother’s well-being.

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