Culture

Growing Up Like A Jamaican – Missing My Grandma

Written by Dahlia Welsh

Markdown:My maternal grandmother Lucy Olivier Bailey Samuels – we Jamaicans can come up with some fantastic names, eh? – would have turned 101 this month and coincidentally this is the 10th anniversary of her passing. It’s hard to get to know the heart and soul of someone when they live far away especially when your only means of communication is letter writing. Below is an excerpt from my book, “How To Raise Your Child Like A Jamaican (Life lessons my parents taught me)” as you can see it is dedicated to my grandmother and it pays the greatest homage to a person’s legacy that you can because it answered the question of “How will you be remembered?” According this total stranger that I met at Black River Hospital Ms. Ella was everything a grandmother should be and more. ODE TO MS. ELLA BAILEYI was in Jamaica a couple of years ago, and we were at the hospital for my grandfather’s yearly physical – my grandmother had already passed away. While waiting, I struck up a conversation with an older gentleman, Mr. Parks. As we continued to chat, I told him that I was Ms. Ella’s granddaughter. A smile spread across his face because he knew my grandmother from the years she used to work at the hospital. As it turns out, my grandmother cared for Mr. Parks during his frequent visits. Mr. Parks told me that sometimes at night; the only thing that would help him sleep was a glass of warm water. According to him, no matter what my grandmother was doing, she always brought him water. He went on to say how wonderful and caring she was. With that said, I can’t begin to explain how honored I felt to hear a total stranger speak so highly of my grandmother. He made her out to be an angel, which she was and even in death she continues to make me proud to call myself Ms. Ella’s granddaughter. It is important that children know that they don’t live in a vacuum and that the good or bad that they do, has an effect on them and can affect those around them. They should act with respect for themselves, in all situations. If we think about the impression we will leave behind, we can walk through the world consciously. How will your child be remembered? If they always put their best foot forward, then you won’t have to worry.

About the author

Dahlia Welsh