A young mother who lost her husband in a tragic car accident last year while he was in New Zealand as a seasonal worker has shared her journey of having to carry on, earn a living and be strong for her little girl.
Lucy McCarthy Vaetasi was shocked when the call came from New Zealand that her husband, due to return home that same week, was killed in a single vehicle crash near the Sandhurst Drive on-ramp on Maunganui Road in the Bay of Plenty.
Selesele Vaetasi Asiata Mati of Satupaitea Savaii was sitting in the front passenger seat of a 7-seater SUV travelling home from a shift with other seasonal workers. They were all tired from the shift and had fallen asleep along the way, including the driver.
Lucy had spoken with her husband not long before the accident, when he had told her their shift had ended, and they were headed home.
Eight months on, Mrs Vaetasi shares how difficult it has been for her since her husband was taken away suddenly. She and her daughter, now 2 years old, have continued to live in Vaega, Satupaitea with her parents; and Lucy has had to take up the financial responsibilities for her family since the death of her husband, who had been the main income-earner.
“I teach Computer Studies at Uesiliana Vocational School and I am blessed to have a job that can help me pay the bills and fend for my daughter;
“But I feel like I haven’t had time to grieve properly, because I had to fill my husband’s shoes to make money as soon as he died, while also looking after our daughter who was less than one when Selesele passed away, and I have to admit it has not been easy”.
Mrs Vaetasi says she has come to find peace in God, and has learnt the importance of family during tough times.
“I drew my strength from God. As a mother I have come to know the pain of a marriage ending abruptly because of death, and I have to say it was so hard to accept…
“I was very close to my husband, and we had so many dreams for our future together.. but I was able to cope through the peace of God. I owe it all to God for giving me a reason everyday to live, and the strength to provide for my daughter,” said Lucy.
“I thank my parents, my brothers and sisters and my family for supporting me, and for the love they show to my daughter. I have learnt the importance of standing together as a family when problems arise..
“I pray for all the women in Samoa who have lost their husbands. Don’t be discouraged, God is faithful and will help to restore your strength and give you hope for the future”.