The Twin – part #1 – Granny B’s funeral in Jamaica

The ultrasound confirmed my fears, twin, and two boys; at age 36 this was considered a ‘high risk’ pregnancy, however, I managed to go through the entire pregnancy without a hitch. I worked up to the day before I gave birth to two healthy, cute boys weighing in at 5lb.8oz, and 6lb.2oz. They were the pride and joy of my husband and me, until he left us when they were 15 months old, which leaves me to take care of them physically by myself. 

It all started when they were 3 years old and I went to Jamaica to my grandmother’s funeral and took the boys with me. 

Everyone was in a slumber mood as Pastor McKenzie was delivering the ceremony for Aunt B or Granny B as she was affectionately called. I was crying, because it was granny B who grew us up while our mother was travelling to and from the Bahamas. My head was down and my eyes closed from being swollen, so I did not see that the twin boys had gotten up from where they were seated. 

They were dressed in their matching little suits, being twin and ‘foreign pickney’, were admired by everyone, and to be honest they were looking very cute, and very innocent. I don’t know to this day what got into them, but was jerked to reality when I heard the entire church gasping and screaming, everyone was jumping over benches running towards the pew. 

I immediately started to look for my boys to protect them from the pandemonium that had broken out in the church. I was horrified when I realized the two boys were in action, the center of the attraction, pushing my grandmother’s casket towards the door to push her outside. They were running down the aisles laughing and pushing the casket which was on wheels, just like they did with the shopping carts each time we visited the supermarket. 

 Someone later remarked; ‘the two of dem got up like clockwork and move towards de casket, mi tink dem was goin to look pon Aunt B fe de last time’, another one said, ‘knowing Aunt B, maybe she possessed the boys and asked them to take her out of the church because she did not want to go down in the ground’. One remarked that the Pastor was preaching too long and the boys were bored and hungry and wanted to go the house to get food, so Aunt B told them how to get the Pastor’s attention. ‘Maybe she was in a hurry to get to heaven to drink milk and honey, and walk the streets of gold, ‘yuh neva knoa’ 

People were stumbling over each other to get to them without trampling them or getting my granny B thrown from the casket. I looked on helplessly until one of my brothers; Devon ran in front of the casket and stopped it just in time before it hit the door. 

Just imagine the site that would be, with Granny B sprawled out on the ground. I know she would give me one of the usual fine beatings for going to America and bring back …….  (one of my brothers was upset when he learned I was pregnant after migrating to America, so he remarked that everyone goes to America to make better and I went to get pickney). So just stop and think for a moment what would happen if this had become reality that Saturday evening in Turners’s District. She (granny B) use to beat us for every little thing and when she could’nt catch us she use to cry and shout to the passing planes to bring back our mother because her grandchildren them going to kill her. 

The pastor was so stunned she did not remember where she had reached in her message. Some people was laughing, some was in shock, others asking whose two ‘bad pickney ‘ dem dey. 

Then the news spread like wild fire that Yvonne two bad pickney dem from foreign almost throw Granny B. from the casket. For the entire duration of the funeral service to the family plot all eyes was on these boys. My mother remarked; ‘keep yuh chrilren dem away from mi mother mek she bury in peace, cuz everybody go a foreign to mek life you go bring back bad boys’. ‘Dem a real trouble makers’ 

I strongly believed that ‘real trouble makers’ stuck with them because that stigma followed them to this day. 

Every time I visited my District, there is always someone to remind me of that evening when Granny B almost never made it home because of ‘The Twin’.

About the Author
Yvonne Herivaux (formerly known as Turner, Turner-Parke) goes above and beyond for friends and family, works and plays hard, all with a contagious sense of humor.  Ms. Herivaux originally from Clarendon, Jamaica W.I. worked in Kingston before migrating to the U.S. In 1992 where she  found a home in Brooklyn New York and loved it.  Mother to five children, two of which are a set of twin boys, Ms. Herivaux knows about the challenges of striking balance with family life and career.  Currently employed as an administrative Staff secretary at the CTSC (Clinical and Translational Science Center) to handle a multitude of tasks for the busy research center at Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University.  Ms. Heravuiex’s latest venture is pouring out her life story. She states that, “maybe my story will help someone else.”

About the author

Yvonne M.Herivaux