A mum’s strength

Proud mum with her eldest son Kalaveti Waqavakatoga who is studying to be a pilot. Picture: SUPPLIED

WHEN Melaia Soko Rasolo was separated from her husband more than six years ago, she didn’t know what she was going to do. Her three children were aged 15 years and below and she was at a loss at how she was going to raise them alone.

“My former husband had moved on and started another family,” she shared quietly.

I admit it was quite hard for me and my children.” One thing that will strike you about Melaia is her quiet demeanour.

She is so soft-spoken, you have to lean in to hear what she is saying.

However, underneath that demeanour you can sense a quiet strength.

The Mavana, Vanuabalavu, Lau native works as a cleaner at the Fiji Times Ltd office and on other occasions she does part-time work as one of the inserters for the newspaper’s production department.

It’s work she has been faithful to for the past eight years. “It’s not easy being a single mother,” she says.

“You’re carrying out responsibilities of both parents. I work hard and it puts food on the table. “When my husband left us, my children found it difficult to cope especially at school. Their grades dropped but I told them to be strong and that no matter what happens, they should always remember their father.”

It’s always the circumstances which life deals out that help define your true character.

Melaia said she wasn’t going to let her separation affect her and her children.

“I told my children to study hard so they can be successful in life and not to use the ‘broken family’ tag to be an excuse to be a failure in life and I’m glad that they’ve listened.”

Melaia’s eldest son is a trainee pilot and has just received his commercial pilot’s licence while for her two daughters, one is pursuing a degree at university and another is in Year 12.

“I’m so thankful that we had Government’s free education policy and other education schemes that were available to us as this helped me with my children’s education. They were able to complete their high school and are now studying at tertiary level.

“But all thanks mainly go to God for giving me the strength to go through each day. I would not have been able to pick up the pieces and cope with life. I am content with my children’s success.”