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  • My first writing I must dedicate to my parents. Justin and Anna, without whom I could not be the woman and mother I am today. The joy and pain I brought to you, will be repeated for generations because this is the design of human nature I suppose.

    My parents had me ten years into their marriage, so I am the baby and the only girl with two older brothers. It was suggested to my mother that she should not even try to have children due to her Sickle Cell disease and her suggested life expectancy already as it was...was 47. Not only did she give birth but she lived a life so full of adventure and ambition, it pains me when some complain of a minor hindrance.

    My dad was the quiet strength behind her. He arose at 4:00 am every morning, worked all day in the south of the island and did not retire to bed until almost midnight; sometimes later. The elbow piping of the outside sink with the built in scrubbing board was broken, so he made a make-shift syphon with a piece of cut hose and a bucket, to ensure the content of the bucket flowed at a constant pace into the drain. Basic...but a genius of science. The washing machine was broken and so, he washed all our clothes by hand in that sink. He was very domestic because my mum was always ill. I was bathed in that sink, the shark was diced in that sink, the sink held ice and beer, that sink floated home-made boats. The outside sink plays a pivotal role in any Trinidadian's life.

    I felt I failed my parents when I fell pregnant at 16 but despite the fights and the moving out and moving back in, they always helped me with my children. My mother even said to me that after them, there is a comma...not a full stop and so I was always encouraged to continue pursuing education, work and my dreams without worry for the welfare of my children. My mother was the mouthy one. To date, I have never heard my father shout. I have never heard him swear. He never raised his hand. When I was sent to the UK at 17 years old, my dad would climb over the gate in order to plug in the phone into the line that was still live at the old house they had moved from. He used to call me from there. That's another story. Today is just to thank my parents.

    My mother passed away two and a half years ago. She was 69 and baffled the doctors because she defied the odds by exceeding her approximate life expectancy by 22 years. The success and pride she brought to our family and our island with her contribution to the Education system and Theatre industry will not be forgotten by me and I endeavour for our future generations to remember whence we came.

    My father still lives. He spoon fed my mother water until the end. She had requested to return home from the hospital because she wanted to be with him when she knew the end was near. He had the composure to wash her soiled, lifeless body until an old school friend of my mother (who happens to be a nurse) came by to visit unannounced but at the right time. She took over until the undertakers came.

    This is the man he is.

    I am not sure I am capable of such resilience.

    He is my lifeline and already he is 77 years old.

    They must be remembered.

    Thank you for listening.
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