Be Brave, The Andrew & Vera Story
By: *Karlton A. Armistad
[Dedicated to my brave Mother Vera, who lost battle with Cancer,
July 2010. Gone too soon & missed every single day]
She was My World, my whole entire world , so when I lost her, when I had to accept I can’t fight death ,I was inconsolable. ‘You have to be brave now’ she told me 'You are the One I know will hold the family together . Be brave and support your brothers & sisters’, but I was ready . I thought for a moment that we had more time, but we didn’t..
We would cook together when I was growing up, her motto was not Because you is a man, *dat don’t mean you *caan’t learn to look after yourself before you find a good woman.. As I tasted the rich coconut milk & added the *Gungo peas, I would hear her shout without a doubt ‘measure your rice before you put it in’. So many of our family’s recipes were handed down to Me, and every time I make them or bake them, our unforgettable precious memories flow through me.
I could wash and iron my own clothes by age 7, and she worked two jobs and never complained so each of Us would have something . The flavours of her '*rum-punch' linger on my lips and I can’t bring myself to making some dishes, as my heart won’t digest them.
Separated for a year, and afraid to tell her that all things she had warned me of, regarding people’s lying lips and so-called love had damage me, challenged, threatened to destroy Me. Hearing her voice for the 1st time after this I vowed never to distance myself as we cried and a piece of Me Died when she said ‘Never force me to live without knowing you are safe again’..
Vanilla fragrance lightens anyone’s entry into my home, I ensure its always warm and if you pop in for a visit, just like it would at my Mom’s
Coffee and a slice of home-baked cake make lips loose and conversation potent with life’s many changes and challenges. But once shared the load become lighter and the days brighter because Vera taught me how to care….. & as I raise my beautiful daughter, I try and impart all the great advice I was given for my life’s new start.
Her last words to me were ‘ I have done my best, now what comes next is for you to do’ . She went so fast and before I could see her, hold her…she was gone and this pain was born, I hope she knows wherever she is...I love her.
[NB: There is no part of Me, that will ever get over loosing Vera, and I keep our Memories close to Me every day as a comfort to carry on and raise my daughter as best I can with love, support and openness, so she knows her Dad loves and believes in her always, like her Grandma did for me]
*There are words in the piece above written in Jamaican creole, please enquire about any of these and I will be happy to walk through the meaning and why in writing the piece, they had to be used. Thank you.
About the Creator
Carlton A. Armistad is the pseudonym for Andrew R. Little. I prefer writing under this as it allows me to look at any body of work I complete separate to my personal day-to-existence, and safeguards my relationships and family.