I did not grow up in a home with spoken religion, religious practices or other sharing of spiritual beliefs. In fact, I spent the first four and a half years of my life in the care of my grandparents. I have been told that my grandmother took me to church every Sunday and that she was a prayerful woman. I also got glimpses of my parents' faith, but not until I was much older and had already developed a strong connection to a higher power that I call God.
It is very common in the Caribbean for grandparents to assume the full-time responsibility of raising young kids, while parents provide other basic essentials. I can now see and appreciate this wonderful gift. In most cases, a grandparent has had plenty of opportunities to simply get it right and they do an amazing job with exceptional patience, while allowing necessary freedom.
The main thing I have struggled with is the fact that my early bond was broken with my mom...something that would not be repaired until adulthood. But, I can assure you that my mom is genuinely a deeply loving and caring woman. My mom and dad gave my siblings and I all that they could. Much that no amount of money could ever buy. I have never referred to my dad as a stepdad although there's the matter of biology. He is the only father I have ever known. He did not step in for anyone. In truth, he did not always get it right, but he gave what he was capable of. For that, I am eternally grateful.
On my journey of self-discovery, a means of understanding myself in depth and restoring peace and harmony in my life, I have been reading my earliest journals. It seems that I was an excellent student with many academic achievements. And, I marvel had how often I stepped out of my comfort zone in spite of huge anxiety and many insecurities. This was due to an amazing faith that only a child can have.
So, here are some facts that may shock my classmates. How did I win that spelling bee on February 27, 1987...I prayed. And, what about the Ms. Freshman Pageant on April 22, 1988...I prayed to be the first runner up. Seriously. It seems that I wanted to do something I had never done before, but I was really shy. I didn't want "too much" attention. And, how did I manage to almost always get A's...a photographic memory, but that was God-given.
Allow love, hope and faith to be your blanket of peace.
Love to you,