Growing Up Like A Jamaican – The New Year

Growing Up Like A Jamaican - The New Year

These letters from my grandparents are precious because my grandparents didn’t have a phone and to this day when we go visit their home in Hodges Land we have to first buy a phone card in Black River and then borrow a cell phone to make a call. I remember during one visit my grandparents were sitting on the veranda talking to an aunt in Kingston.

My grandma was on the line running through her list of ailments: ‘me eye dem don’t see too good’, ‘me cyan’t hardly hear’, ‘de pain a teck me mon’ and my all time favorite ‘well you better see me while you can because me soon dead!’ My grandparents threatened to die at least once every half hour for about 30 years! If you’re Jamaican you know exactly what I mean.

When it was grandpa’s turn to talk he went into a passionate speech about how wicked man is and how wonderful God is. His praise/admonishment went something like this: “You see we sit here ina St. Elizabeth and you stay all de way ina Kingston and yet we ah talk” he rolled his eyes and kissed his teeth as he thought of the evil ways of man.

Then he continued by saying, “You nuh see how man fi look up to God?! You nuh see how man fi look up to God?! But man is wicked everlasting!” As the New Year gets underway I agree with grandpa we should look up to God. We should also look to the God within us and within those around us.

My grandparents didn’t have nor want for much so they didn’t take anything for granted not even something as simple as a phone call. This is not just a new and exciting time for America with the election of President Obama this is the dawning of a new era for mankind. Let this be the year you don’t take anything for granted especially the small things. Bless up! – Dahlia

Hodges Land
District Black River
P.O. St. Elizabeth
7th January 1992

Dear Dahlia,

How are you? Happy New Year how did it treat you? I thank you very much for the eye drops and it’s not too bad now. Miss Odette and the rest of the children are here and they are now going to Giddy Hall All-Age School. Grandfather and Byron say hello.

From Grandma.

Photo Source: 123rf

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Dahlia Welsh