My mind has been traveling to the past, to a time four years ago when I was living in Sweden. My memories of Sweden, particularly during Christmas, feel so poignant perhaps because it’s so far away from Jamaica and I’m not certain if I’ll ever get to return. But at least I have pictures to help me preserve my memories of an extraordinary time. God Jul till er alla!
I’m back from vacation abroad. It was a joyous time with a few surprises in the mix like my sister giving birth 3 weeks early, just in time for me to meet my latest niecy, Zahra. I saw the snow, wet as rain, kiss Brooklyn streets, watched city boys perform kicking dance moves in the tight spaces of subways. I gorged on yogurt, dried craisins and mixed nuts, snacks I think should be far more affordable in Jamaica and ate a bit of fast food in my attempt to put on a few pounds :).
This month has been exhausting and yet I am grateful for the things I have accomplished. I finished my book — the third draft — after years of trying and failing and dreaming and praying and setting goals and forgetting goals and trying again. Throughout the process I’ve learnt what it means to really stick to a hard task even when it feels like only a miracle could see me through. Most of all, I’ve learnt how to be patient.
Mesothelioma is no Ebola but knowing this makes the disease no less scary for those it affects. A few weeks ago, I didn’t even know what it was until I was contacted by Cameron Von St. James, the husband of a Mesothelioma survivor. He requested I help spread awareness about the disease by simply writing a blog post. I am no expert, I admit. I’ve never had experience with this disease. But their story of survival, of hope and faith touched me somehow. And if sharing with you a few things I’ve learnt while doing my research could help – even just a little bit – how could I refuse Cameron’s request?
Sometimes I stare at the black page, not knowing what to say but the words always come. Sometimes they creep timidly across the screen and I can hardly bear the taste of their sound in my mouth. So most times I write freely — silencing the inner critic inside me — until the blank page is filled with words.
9:15 am (Fri)
When I was a child one of my favorite experiences with my family was when we would go to the country. Dad would fill the car tank with gas and we’d drive to Freetown, Manchester. I loved my Grandpa the most — he’d take us on a donkey ride through the community and introduce us to grandaunts, granduncles and distant cousins who’d always be eager to wrap us in a bear hug and kiss our cheeks. I loved those times despite the motion sickness syndrome that would result in my sisters and I throwing up several times on the way to country. Times like those cemented in my mind why families were most important.
It’s a new month and I’m excited. Though September signifies yet again how quickly the year scurries by, it also offers opportunity for me to start afresh. I’ve decided that I need to do something I haven’t done in a long time — I’m going back to school! But before you get too excited, let me clarify. I’m not talking about formal education through a university or college . I’m taking about creating that structure in my life that facilitates lifelong learning.