My neighborhood

Oct 18, 2019

I was born in Barbados. A little island of what, 21 miles long, 40 miles wide, 166 square miles and 270,000 people. And it’s very, very much overloading. But, the point is my father died when I was only four and a half years old. I had one of the strictest mothers that God made. The don’t make them now, the don’t make them, there’s no way down there to bring up the people of those days. My mother raised 11 children. Before died away and left us. 11, 10 boys and one girl. Now you know the youngest got to respect, because if you don’t show by example, we will show you. So you’re in the middle you had to bear all the burdens, all the problems all the time. 

We were all churchgoing people. My Grandmother lived 107 years old. My Uncle he died 63 years short of a hundred years. My Mom died when she was 72 years. I, in my own imagination and my own feeling is that, she had all these children, everyone of my family, boys and girls died. I’m the only one alive. And God is keeping me so for a special reason. I go to church you know, we go to church and then I kind of back slide and then after I came here, I only want to came here on a vacation. But after I came here I was put to the church and I go in there, I become a member, become an elder or preach sometimes. I do a little thing sometimes, whatever they need me to do because when you become an elder you are not forced. It’s in your curricula way that you know, if they call on you to do anything you will do it. 

My Mother she used to suffer from hysterics. When she goes off, all of us in here cannot hold her. And she just goes off. I was the only one that wherever I go, they got to find me. So I will come and she will lie down there on her back on this very ground here and we get ready to jump on her. Well then she sees my face, she just calm down. Then when she calm down then we start singing one of the hymns, or one of the glorious hymns, sound or anything that she read. We will sit and I sing her ears.

I remember a time when we playing cricket, we going all the way to about two miles away.

And she’s kicking. And everybody looking around, “Where is Cheer?” That was my nickname, really George. And there, a guy come down with his bicycle, why I had no car and things like that to carry her up and down the road, you know? They put me on the bicycle bar, that guy who ride me up a hill. I don’t know how we get back to the hill, I don’t know.

I go in there and Mom was there and I sang with her, we talked and we sing and we down very, very, very low so she wasn’t really kicking out at anybody. When I said, “I think she okay now”. I went back to the cricket match and two seconds later they come back to get me again. Because I didn’t see her through the whole vision of it. You know because I just want to get back to cricket match I was the captain, I just want to get back her to represent.

You know, my story can go a long way. I might like to hear when, I think I heard it. You might have heard it? When we go to church my Mom, my Granny, my Auntie she help Mom. She used to write some nice poems, write odes and everything and used to recite them all over the place at all the churches. Nine years old I used to be out there singing and if anybody come down to the harvest, when they come to the harvest, they have to come to the old church and sing. They’ll come to church and recite. So I used to do that.

But I would like to relinquish this one one more time. Because it’s one that I love so much. My dear wrote, and she wrote many, many ones for me. And this is the one that stayed with me for a long time. Like 70…74 years old it was. Anyhow – it was a Christian thing. Most of these people might have heard it. Let me see, 

“We are a Christian organization. Say it from condemnation. Through old-fashioned salvation, we have made our consecration. And having the blessings of sanctification, we sing with inspiration without hesitation during the congregation. And having the blessing of realization, we with joy and acclimation, will join in the coronation of Christ our King. From Genesis to Revelations throughout eternity and his hand bless your ration.”

So, you know, that’s from my Auntie. She never ever stopped. She wrote me lots and lots of things and I was always involved because when I’m coming from school she would say, “Audrey, I got a new point.” We’d go in a little secret place and recite it.