I Survived, Because Of God’s Grace

Mrs. Margaret “Maggie” Yorke has been through a lot in her life, but she has always had faith in God to see her through it all, and He did. Maggie’s beginning started on the Caribbean island of Trinidad-Tobago. She comes from a large family, being the 5th child out of 11 children. Maggie adored her mother (Valerie Charles), and learned so much from her; things like sewing and building houses/homes which actually served her greatly later in her life.
 
Maggie became a young bride at the age of 15-16 years old, which is not as unusual as it may sound because this was the way of the island; as long as both sets of parents gave their consent. Being a young bride was not easy, learning the ways of being a wife and building her own home to live in (a skill she had learned earlier from her mother, after being given a piece of land to settle on). Maggie obtained other useful skills from her mother like sewing, that she would use as a young adult to survive.
There were times in Maggie’s life when she felt unappreciated and taken advantage of by people that were close to her; they really hurt her deep down in her soul. Being married at 16 years old, pregnant and completing her first home, was a lot to put on a person so young. Her marriage was not one that was full of love, and after awhile it turned somewhat abusive; which definitely rocked her vision of what marriage was supposed to be like. Maggie tried her best to stay in the marriage until it became too much for her to bear. When you think things can’t get any worse, she had to deal with a dear friend fighting for her life; after being diagnosed with cancer. This is where Maggie found her true calling, by raising money to help her friend & others fight this terrible disease.
Maggie got out of the marriage that turned bad on her and made her way to the United States of America at 20 years old. She worked hard to give her family a quality life and used the earlier teachings she learned from her mother (Valerie Charles) to make a life for herself. Maggie always made sure her children had what they needed, by sending money back home for them; then she brought them to the United States after she made sure she was somewhat established stateside.
Working hard was the name of the game for Maggie, and obtaining her green card was her first priority; which she happily accomplished. She used the sewing skills that she learned as a 7-year-old child back in Trinidad (from her mother), to carve out a living in New York City; until she found better opportunities for herself. Deep down in her heart, Maggie really loved fashion and quietly wanted to be a fashion model, until her dreams were crushed; due to her not meeting the industry standards as she was too short. Maggie always prayed about things, and never forgot her teachings from her Sunday School Bible Studies; that her mom always made sure she attended in Trinidad. Being grounded in her faith and knowing her Heavenly Father like she does, she knew that he would never give her things or circumstances that she couldn’t handle. This assured Maggie that better times were on the way, she just had to be patient and never lose faith. In time, Maggie would send for her two children (Kemt & Rona), so they could come and live with her as a normal family again. She loved relaxing with her children and watching them grow up.
 
Maggie worked in a few well-known cosmetic companies like Shiseido and Estes Lauder before she became a Director for Mary Kay. She has always been in the top 10% of any job she was assigned to. Being a licensed Cosmetologist & Make-Up Artist, Maggie decided to create her own line of skincare products (Maggie Yorke Cosmetics), but on a much smaller scale.
Deep down, Maggie never forgot about her dear friend fighting cancer, which always pulled at her heartstrings and conscious along with the plight of the homeless people she would see throughout her life. Lady Maggie Yorke felt she had to pay back society and contribute somehow, so she cooks and makes about 300+ plates of quality Caribbean dishes a year. She feeds the homeless and donates clothing to those in need (quietly). Maggie slowly became the hidden humanitarian in her Brooklyn, New York community.
Maggie relaxes by competing in the highly competitive Professional Ballroom Dancing Association across the United States of America and the Caribbean island of Trinidad & Tobago. She truly enjoys it and has won various ribbons along the way. Maggie is all about education and encouraged both of her children to go to college after high school. She is so proud that both of her children completed their 4-year college degrees. She regrets not finishing up her formal education, only going to college for 2 years, which is still a great accomplishment for a person who didn’t know how to really read until she was a young adult. Nevertheless, Maggie is a person who survived it all with the help of God’s grace & mercy, and with each experience/life lesson during her journey; she realized they all eventually served her well. These experiences helped reveal certain strengths, that she did not know she had; and she did things that other individuals didn’t think she could do.
Good Things Happen To Good People,” and Maggie is a living testimony to that inspirational quote.
We at Gigare Lifestyle Magazine wish you the very best, during the rest of your life’s journey because we know you’re not done impacting your community and society as a whole.
                       Dr. Tony Branch
                   GLM Freelance Writer
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