BLACK HISTORY MONTH: CELEBRATING MYRTLE MORRISON
Myrtle Morrison is a PSW at Revera Kennedy Lodge Long Term Care Home in Scarborough, Ont. Myrtle was born in Jamaica and raised by her loving grandmother. She immigrated to Canada when she was 19-years-old to move in with her mother and stepfather.
Unfortunately, the relationship with her mother was not a loving one. She experienced mental and physical abuse. She moved back to Jamaica after only a few months but returned shortly after realizing she could find a job and move out on her own.
Each year, she returned to Jamaica to visit her aging grandmother, and while there she tried to assist with her grandmother’s care. But her grandmother refused because she thought she was too young. So, her grandmother had to wait until her aunt was available to do her care.
“It was hard to see my grandmother not getting the best care, so I became interested about wanting to care for others,” says Myrtle. “I had done other jobs, but I knew that taking care of the elderly was what I really wanted to do. I have been a healthcare aid/PSW since 1984 and passionate about it ever since.”
After living with pain for years and feeling too ashamed to speak up, Myrtle published her personal life story in in her book: “Mother Dearest, Imperfect Love”. She says she documented her tale to let others know they can be bold, speak their truth, and be strong.
Myrtle always likes to support her fellow members by hearing their stories and helping them with any of their concerns or challenges.
“Sometimes people just need to sit and talk and so I listen to their stories. They walk away feeling a lot better because someone heard them. I’m a helper—I spare no one.”
While Myrtle says she celebrates black culture year-round, its great that recognizing black history is at the forefront during the month of February.
“I appreciate our forefathers and mothers who have given up so much for our benefit today,” says Myrtle. “We are now in a time where we can have better lives and raise our children to have a better future.”
During Black History Month 2019, we are profiling outstanding black SEIU Healthcare members who are making a difference in their workplace and communities. If you have someone you think should be recognized, please send their full name and story to firstname.lastname@example.org.