Growing up my grandmother was a relatively young one. She was in her early fifties by the time I was a young teenager. So as time passed my grandma began having some grey hairs show up, not a lot as memory serves. Even when she died a few months shy of her eighty sixth birthday her head was still black and white.
Displaying some womanly vanity, she would employ the then young eyes of my sister and I to pluck the grey hairs from her head. To reward us for a job well done, she would give us pocket change. With our earnings we would buy snacks including the fruit of the season.
The place where we grew up we were truly raised by a community, we really did not buy much, as just asking would get you the fruits for free anyway.
There were of course the oddball “frugal” ones who would rather their fruit fall to the ground, but those are tales for another day.
So my grandma would sit on the patio and we would stand around her chair plucking at her grey hairs. She would then count the hairs and pay us based on the quantity plucked. Well my sister and I quickly figured out that we could earn way more money if we snapped the longer hairs in two and so that’s what we did.
I was telling my daughter yesterday how naughty we had been in tricking our poor grandmother by snapping one long strand of hair and being paid for two.
I awoke to my phone’s blue flashing light in the dark of the early morning. My sister had sent a message. It contained no preamble and was straight to the point. The words seemed alive and had movement, and power. The power to send my emotions in a tailspin and permanently alter the course of my life. The power to forever change what I had hoped for.
W H A T happened! I read the message again. “Our father has passed away”!
I walked into the bathroom and stood there trying to digest the information.
My father is dead, I corrected myself, my sire is dead. I searched the vestiges of my mind trying to grasp the fleeting emotions taking flight. Regret, anger, disappointment, sadness, grief and even … love?
It seems that we are somehow genetically programmed to love the people that created and birthed us. As co-author of my dawn he is at least ‘owed’ love? No matter the why’s or the how’s of our life experiences at his hands, love is a top contender in the vying emotions of my grief.
I peered at my face in the early morning light and there I found vestiges of the man he once was. My face, my height, my hair, my mind, my personality and my strength of spirit were all genetically gifted to me from this man … now he was gone. All my life I had always been told I looked and behaved just like him. I recognize in some ways I am indeed a female version of him.
I stood staring in the mirror while my mind desperately sought glimpses/memories of him … and I saw him in myself. For the past two nights I could not sleep, I tossed and turned and this past night especially I had awakened sometime around 3 am.
Suddenly startled in wakefulness I am persuaded that it was around that time that he crossed over. I have always been sensitive like that, a little “knowing”.
I find that I am sad and have resigning myself to the fact that our chapter is now complete, there will be no words added, no epilogue left in this book. Our relationship has reached its natural conclusion.
Our story has been written.
There will be nothing more for us, our fractured relationship will never mend. I had hoped against hope that he would have a long life ahead and that there would be time… I am well aware that tomorrow is not promised, but I hoped he would mature and become a granddaddy where he never was a dad.
It will never be.
COVID continues to steal, kill and destroy!
Yesterday I had inquired of my sister as to his state of affairs, there was no real change, he remained in the ICU suffering from COVID-19 and having difficulty breathing. We decided we would pray for him and we did.
I confess I was ill prepared for the message of this morning … our dad has passed away.
I will not be travelling to Guyana for his funeral due to travel restrictions. I had pondered several times throughout my life what I would feel when he died and I always told myself that I did not care. Now I am in the reality of that situation and I do care!
I have prayed that he had the wherewithal to acknowledge his transgressions and have asked forgiveness and I know that our God is a merciful God. So in this I have hope, to one day to meet the daddy in heaven he never was able to be on the earth.
Things lost in relocation — A nostalgic look back!
I arrived in N.Y. from South America several decades ago. It was a February day, cold and snowing. Matter of fact my trip began in the Caribbean island of Antigua and I recall the coldness that permeated the aircraft as we entered the northern hemisphere. We touched down at JFK airport and my soul came home — I fell in love! This is where I was born to be!
It was a glorious February day and a boon to a person who had spent their young days always sweating profusely. I did not know what the ailment was called at that time (hyperhidrosis). I just knew I was always hot and sweating when others were dry and seemed perfectly comfortable.
I began visiting Texas since I had family her, but the heat was always a big problem for me. After my first visit I learned that if I were to survive here I had better visit during the winters. And for many years that’s just what I did.
Then in 2010 some life changes were happening and I decided to change my status from visitor to resident. So I trekked on over with bits of my life leaving the bulk of it, both literally and figuratively behind.
Our first day as Texas residents …
Gee and I began working at a large hospital with a super busy ER. I needed to get outside to take a break or just to breathe sometimes. The sun hitting the back of my neck as I walked to my car convinced me I could not live here.
The heat!!! Dear God the heat! I was convinced hell was housed in the south.
But I rallied on and some 10 years later here I remain. My recent trip to NY…my one- time stomping grounds did fill me with some nostalgia.
Things I feel I lost:
1. Shopping …nothing beats N.Y. fashion (and I was a fashionable girl).
2. The cold … I love the cold! It is currently summer here in New York but I recall how much I loved winters here, my favorite time of year. The magic and mystery of it all.
3. The FOOD — the best cuisines from every single culture is offered in its authentic self in N.Y. The competition is steep and your presentation and taste has to be on point to even make the cut as there are so many others to choose from.
4. The sounds — N.Y. is not a quiet city. It rumbles, shouts and rages in a continuous circle…the city never sleeps after all.
5. The people and the fashion — new Yorkers live a life on their own terms.
6. The air of excitement and the busy air of passers by. New Yorkers always seem so busy living life.
New Yorkers dance to the beat of their own drums, I envy that, a little. They conform to and for no one. Their fashion tastes are their own and they make no apologies for their choices. I was once one of those New Yorkers with my own sense of fashion complete with the colored hair.
I realize you lose things in relocation. Texas is now my home but I will always be a New York kinda girl!
This nostalgic trip down memory lane does not mean I am planning to relocate … I just mourn (more like just a little cry) for things I lost that I once had.