So 10 days after returning from Turks (See Fly Girl: Turks and Caicos) I had the pleasure of going to Montego Bay. Mek mi tell unu about my trip to MoBay! Now I had just visited Jamaica in 2015 for my great friend Lisa’s 40th. I thought that was the best trip to Jamaica I’d ever experience. I had gone twice before Lisa’s trip and was well versed in Ricks Cliff, Dunn’s River, all the Marley attractions and drank all the rum punch a girl can have. And the fact that I am Jamaican it’s like over kill already. Going to Jamaica at this point for me is like going to Miami or to the corner store. But this time I had to go to Jamaica for one thing I never saw when I was there prior. This guy!
Yes my grandfather whom I haven’t seen since he left the states 15 years ago, having relocated to London, was there vacationing with his sisters and nephews (my cousins whom I never met) and cousins that I know well and love dearly! So I got his information, booked a flight and my daughter and I set out to meet this wonderful man who I think is the best grandpa in the world, why!????
- he would take his false teeth out and chase us around the house.
- He let us sit on his lap for hours and play with his beard and he wouldn’t budge no matter how bad his leg hurt.
- He would drive us around during work hours in his limousine that he chauffeured his boss in.
- he use to make us waffles and ice cream for breakfast.
- He would throw the BOMB 4th of July cook outs for the entire family. It was the only time we all got together.
I mean I can go on and on but you get how cool this guy is. So when he moved away, I’ll never forget how sad I felt and how the family totally stopped coming together. All the cousins stopped really hanging out and next thing you know 15 years had gone by. Life had estranged us and asking for him for through my mom whenever she would visit him in London wasn’t enough for me any more.
For some reason, it began to weigh heavy on my heart and I felt like a part of me, a small part of me needed him in my adult life especially having lost my father who had also moved far away and then dying 2 years ago I just felt like damn, who do I have as a woman to talk to, to talk to me? To remind me that I am special, loved. Who is there to restore that family feeling? There was no one else I could think of but my beloved Grandpa. After all, when I was pregnant and single, he showed the most concern, way over seas, wishing there was something he could do and I said I’ll be just fine grandpa so I owed it to him to be dope all these years so I wouldn’t look like a liar.
He had no idea I was coming so I popped up on him at his hotel, some of the best time and money EVER spent. He got to meet his his great-grand, my daughter:
and to my delight my cousins from Brooklyn were there too! I haven’t seen them in TOO LONG! I’m ashamed living in NYC and not seeing them but those days are OVER!
It was like a magical reunion. I was so in awe of my family, ones I already knew and the ones I just met from the UK. It didn’t seem like I never met them, we just all clicked right away! Family knows family!
But for me I felt as if seeing grandpa re-energized my spirit and my soul. I literally fell in love within!
Watching him float in the water, 84 years young, 90% wheel chair bound, knee surgeries, 15 grands and 8 great grands, he was as I remembered, full of joy, laughter, jokes, fun and LIFE!!!!
It made me rethink my own life and why I’m sometimes unfulfilled and unhappy when I have everything to be happy about. Grandpa said, “daughter my life wasn’t perfect, I’m not perfect but I’m always happy because that’s what I choose to be. I was always good to people, no matter if they didn’t deserve it, so you si mi? Happy? alive? Healthy? It’s because I’m good.”
So as my vacation came to an end and we hugged as the shuttle bus for the airport approached and I bawled my eyes out because I was missing him before I even left, I held his words firmly in my hand and kept his energy tucked away safely in my heart. Whenever I think I got it bad or that life is getting me down, I think of the many stories he told me of perseverance when hard times tried to defeat him and I’ll remember his big handsome smiling face, his words and energy will remind me that,”life isn’t perfect, I’m not perfect but I’m always happy because that’s what I choose to be.”
One of the dopest parts of my trip was my grandfather rollin with all of us “youngin’s” to a bar to watch the Mayweather fight.
We were like his body guards. He’s in a wheel chair but can walk short distances with his cane. He left his wheelchair and said he’s hanging with us. He was trying to show me a good time but I didn’t care if we sat on the beach all day doing nothing, it was something being with him, exchanging stories and hearing him talk about life.
It was dope being hype on fight night with him sippin rum and talking shit during the fight….
On what will be my last trip to Jamaica for a while (Unless grandpa is there) I learned that the simple things in life are what matter the most. Truly just living, laughing, loving and being organic, going with the people that go with you. Being around those who you naturally navigate toward you and who you naturally navigate toward!
The wisdom I gained from that trip is priceless and can’t be put into words, only action. So I wish I could share more but you just had to be there.
But what I did take away from conversations with Grandpa was, don’t force relationships or friendships. Everything has their time and place and everything will come together for the greater good if it’s suppose to. Be good to yourself, be good to people, karma is a bitch as well, man o man we had a good laugh about that one.
So in the meantime, do what my grandpa says, be happy and be good so hopefully when you are 84 years young and can barely walk you will have people fighting over who gets to push grandpa in his wheel chair next.
I came home with some gems that I plan on implementing in my daily life. Don’t just go on vacation to post pictures. Learn something and bring something home other than gift shop souvenirs. Bring home something priceless each and every time.
If you have children and its financially feasible, do them a favor, take them away once a year if you can so they can see the world and not just wish they could.
Next Flight: Havana Cuba Baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!