Tuesday, 31 July 2012


My mother had a BIG laugh... A BELLY laugh. Growing up, I both loved and feared my mother, because given that I was NEVER afraid to speak my mind, her fists and my mouth would connect in the most painful ways..OFTEN!!

I was a NUFF.. facety (feisty) child, given to back chatting others even those older than me, and a Christian, holy-roller-tongue-talking Jamaican woman will talk to her child until she becomes hoarse but will not hesitate to discipline her with some proper beatings when necessary.

Yep! I got plenty licks growing up, both from my brother Winston, who I mentioned in THIS blog post and my no no-nonsense mother; Miss Amy.

For a lady with arthritis in her wrists and knee cups and who was not very slim, she was very adept at running me down and tackling me to the ground and ensuring I had her FULL attention!

I remember one such murderation with acute and painful clarity. I think that may have been the last time she really beat me like that, because all of us have natural self-preservation instincts and I did want to live to grow up; so I learned to mind my mouth and mumble the most grievous things under my breath. Sigh...

My Brother Winston and my big sis, Precious. He is probably my Fav brother. He always act so PROTECTIVE of EVERYBODY. He is the brother who used to kill mi wid rhatid licks when mi used to give trouble growing up and he gave me the CRUCIAL two dollars that made me the woman I am today.
But more than the beatings, I remember my mother's laugh. She didn't laugh quite often; because what is there to really laugh about when you are single handedly raising 12 children on your own, with no fixed salary and nothing but your faith in God, your nightly prayers and the little money that the fathers of the nieces and nephews and grand children you were keeping until they could send for them in foreign managed to send you through the post office?

What is there to really laugh about when the man who fathered nine of the twelve children you bore came home stinking of rum every night and especially on the Friday of every fort night when he got paid, with empty pockets and the sorry looking pieces of meat from the butcher shop he helped out at? READ ABOUT EUSTACE, nicknamed BLOOD, Miss Amy's husband and MY father HERE

I remember that my mother only laughed when one of us children gave her a really good joke! And she laughed and laughed and laughed. And I remember that she would playfully berate us for making her laugh by stating, with apologetic mirth in her eyes "Unno no easy enno pickney!" LOL As if she had to apologize to her misery for having forgotten it for a while.

I remembered my mother's laugh a day ago when my daughter, Alana said to me, her eyes spilling over with mirth from one of my dead pan declarations; "Mommy! you know you are funny! Right!??" LOL I paused for a heart beat, then responded... Oh My God! You are right I am! I did tell you that I got that tendency to give jokes from my mother, right? and she said: YES! YOU DID!! And now you have taught me how to make people laugh, because I am always giving jokes too.. right?? I nodded my head in affirmation and turned back to my desk; I had been about to do something on the computer.

For many years after my mother's death, I lived in fear that the cancer that invaded her body and lay dormant, but active for 17 years before it reared fully awake and devoured her in less than one year would also kill me. I rationalised my crippling fear with the Freudian mind talk that daughters view their mothers as mirrors of themselves. And my daughter, even though she doesn't know it, or maybe she does, is helping me make peace with the memories of my mother.

This is the second instalment of the series of chapters in this my personal blog titled: THE LONG WAY HOME A gradual recollection of my most poignant life moments. I have shared recollections of my mother, at least two of my nine brothers and other significant people in my life. My mother, Miss Amy will be REMEMBERED in a SERIES of CHAPTERS titled: MY MOTHER, The Memories, The Moments. The series of chapters on my mother have been the most DIFFICULT to write so far.  It has taken me a year to write the first instalment about her. I did that on Mother's Day in May this year (2012) And it is a VERY painful journey that I continue to sift my way through as I write my way to MY PERSONAL HEALING.

Read the mission of this blog here

Thanks to all those of my friends who are taking the journey with me. Twenty-three (23) of them have registered in the middle right hand side of this blog. You can too! Just click the FOLLOW this BLOG button and get on the train with ME back to CATADUPA or STONEHENGE and then walk with me as I jump from polleen to polleen, as my legs were too short back then to make the BIG stride needed to span the gap between them. Then down through the short cut, at Mango Walk and past Miss Christie & Mass Gerald's house, Pass Aunt Dor and Miss Tin Tin house. Hear as I yell good evening to Miss Mama who live on one of the TWO patches of red dirts in Belfont, as I weave my way past Miss Pet and Mass Minocal's house then down Fletcher's Hill, past Miss Nen Nen dem house and bawl out fi Peggy (My best friend & cousin in Belfont  growing up) Pass Mass Maxi's shop where Gracie and her pickney AND grand pickney dem now live, pass the open spot where Miss Hilda (Fyaaw Fyaaw Hilda) used to live and where my mother found her dead beside her house in some bushes one day) READ THAT BLOG POST HERE. And then bend the corner before I reach my house.

The House in Belfont where I grew up. ALL PHOTOS in THIS blog POST TAKEN BY MY NIECE: SHINIQUA, Thanks Shin! :) <3

I am going home, one blog post at a time.. BELFONT farrr is a shame!! When you are walking a long journey, company helps! :)




  1. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!FINALLY.I know the pain it is to write about your Mom, but as you share with us may it lessen the pain....ANOTHER AWESOME READ JOLZ. Had to read before I even put up my status for today, couldn't even get a chance fi put on mi crepe, mi just run barefoot go a Belfont. Love you girl!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Thanks Sharon, Thanks for your UNWAVERING support and encouragement. And thanks especially for taking the time to not just comment beneath the post on Facebook, but directly under the blog post itself here as well. That is significant because long after the posts on FB are buried THE COMMENTS on the blog itself will remain. MUCH LOVE Mama Shar. MUCH, MUCH LOVE.

  3. Wow.....it was like a blessing the way we met on FB. The thought of knowing that for the 4mths I spent living in Belfont or spending Holidays with my Grandmother I might have sat in a classroom with maybe you or a family member. Maybe went to the River staring at each other Lol. Thoughts of all this still races across my mind. My Father knows the Downers, my Bigs sister know your brother, my cuzzos know you. (we like family Andrea).....mommas run things & I so enjoyed reading this Blog on/about your momma.You are in my eyes a blessed, Educated, talented & down to eart Individual & am sure a part of that is all, thanks to your momma! Smooches...

  4. Thanks for documenting and sharing experiences with your mother, as painful as it may be. She must have been a helluva woman to take care of so many children by herself. I look forward to reading more of your writings.

  5. Thanks Jules.. It is indeed a blessing that our paths have crossed so directly this time. LET JAH be praised. God orders the universe and he allows things to happen as they SHOULD. Give thanks Jules. Like you, I could not wait to escape Belfont, but as often happens; it's when you leave somewhere you thought you couldn't stand (cause it boring and deady, deady, with the ONLY consistent sounds being the sounds of thunder, the hiss of the ever present river and the chugging of the trains winding through the hills on it's way to Mobay or Kgn) LOL that you always yearn to go back. At least, that's how it's been for me! :)

    Also, for me, my memories have been too painful for me to want to voluntarily go back to do simple things like sit by my Mother's grave. But I know one day soon I will be emotionally strong enough to make the journey. It helps that I here, as I write, I am mentally retracing my steps in my mind. ONE LOVE ALWAYS.

  6. Thank you Robyn, I can't recall ever seeing you comment on my posts before. Welcome! Good company and the right conversations always make journeys seem shorter and more effortless.

    I Look forward to sharing more of my memories of growing up in Belfont as the memories arrive and announce themselves. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. Much appreciated.

  7. You an" yuh sista resemble eeeh!!! Thanks for persisting with documenting your journey. Looking forward to hearing more about Mom. Memories of family are always bittersweet... Let the love & healing flow!

  8. Thanks Nicole, will do as healing is necessary for growth. Thanks for ALWAYS taking the time to read my blog and commenting. Dem say "Encouragement' sweeten labour, and EVERY word of appreciation and encouragement from all who read and comments Encourages me Thanx again Nix. <3

  9. Thanks Nicole, will do as healing is necessary for growth. Thanks for ALWAYS taking the time to read my blog and commenting. Dem say "Encouragement' sweeten labour, and EVERY word of appreciation and encouragement from all who read and comments Encourages me Thanx again Nix. <3