Updated: Apr 24, 2021
I’m writing this blog from Runnaway Bay, St. Ann Jamaica. I’m not saying that to show off or anything. I only mention the location because being in Jamaica means a lot to me. You see, my parents are from Jamaica. Most of the friends I have in this life are either Jamaican or from neighbouring islands. I was born in Canada but once your parents are from Jamaica, you are Jamaican. It’s not negotiable.
I came on this trip to bring my mom back to where she was from. She hasn’t been here in 20 years. No, not the fancy resort down on the coast. I’m talking about a 3 hour trek up into Blue Mountain about 3,000 feet above sea level. Where th
e difference between life and death is a one lane road on the side of a mountain. My mom’s parents passed away when she was about 15 so I never met them. I had always heard about the black mango tree where they were buried. It was in the church yard beside the school she went to as a child. I decided to go find the tree.
I found the school. I found the church yard. I found the black mango tree. You really don’t know what to think when you get to that moment but you realize that you are part of something great. In that moment you see the sweat, tears, pain, risk, and trials of a people that sacrificed much so I could have a chance to type this note at some fancy resort. There are no words.
If my mom didn’t leave for England as a young person I would be right in these hills. It’s amazing. It makes you want to stand taller, work harder, study longer, get up earlier, stay up later, and complain less….much less.
There are no complaints here……..for I am a Jamaican. I’m ready to get back to work now.
I look forward to finally meeting my grandparents on that great day.