A single love that will fight for family
Getting to know the single mothers at HCSA Dayspring, I was struck by an observation.
It was the depth of how important ‘family’ was to them.
The girls were from different backgrounds, facing different challenges, and yet the value of family seemed to thread through all of them.
‘Family’ is a familiar word. It’s also a word that has various associations – parental figures, siblings, people who watch you grow up, or people who know your quirks well. It all depends on your experience.
To some, family comprises of people not necessarily blood-related, but who love and support you unconditionally, and are deeply present in your life.
For me, ‘family’ was something that I didn’t consciously feel or think much about, nor realise was so needed.
This perspective I had, changed when I met these girls.
Through their eyes, I saw the greatness and immense importance of family.
Whenever one of the single mums spoke about the family she found in Dayspring, her eyes would water and her voice light up.
She spoke about her house-father, house-mother, volunteers and their families, cooks, and the other girls who stayed at New Life Centre. These were people who were not related by blood, but they cared, loved, and journeyed with her through the good and the bad.
“What difference did this family make for you?” I asked.
“They helped me believe in myself. That I could be more than what I thought I could be. When you’re alone in the world, it’s seriously very scary. You can have thoughts that just spiral downwards and no one is there to help you stop them.”
I am thankful to the single mother in this story for letting me see how important relationships are, and for showing me how much a safe, loving environment can do for a person.
She has given me a glimpse of the incredible love and sturdy relationships that can be forged between ‘strangers’, igniting a hope in me that this is possible in our world.
Since the completion of this story, HCSA Community Services has reorganised its Dayspring programme. In place of the former New Life Centre shelter is SPIN (Singapore Parents INformed, INvolved and INcluded), an initiative to provide services and information to single parents with limited resources. Volunteer with HCSA Dayspring in support of single-parent families.