Ngala-Najla

I Celebrate Myself…


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Through the Eyes of My Grandmother

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My grandmother will be 85 this year. More and more I hear about someone passing from her generation and I think to myself the reality of my grandmother getting closer to passing. The greater, overarching reality is, however, that we’re all getting closer to passing…

I’m in Jamaica visiting my grandmother. In the middle of her telling stories that make you believe it happened yesterday, we’re also talking about wills and funeral preferences. My grandmother, the last of my grans, is telling me how she would like my mother and I to take care of her funeral arrangements. I stated to her the irony of life –death has no particular order.

I am here, in the house where part of my life I lived. Everything looks smaller than I remembered… Excepts the mountains that I can see from her house, they are seemingly larger and looming.

My grandmother lives off the land. She has someone who helps her with the farming. My grandmother is a strong woman and a strong soul. In our conversations I tell her of my progress, I show pictures of our family in New York, including my nephew (her great grand child) because I want her to see and hear about her legacy. My grandmother had, formally, a fifth grade education and I, her granddaughter, has a Masters. There was a lot of sacrifices that occurred on my behalf and just by being here and holding the space while my grandmother shares the triumphs and despair of her life healing is happening for generations before.