I Am Father

A few days ago, my daughter expressed an interest in learning about her British/West Indian heritage, so I was teaching her words and phrases like “Irie,” which means happy, and “big up yourself,” which is a little harder to translate, but it roughly means give yourself a pat on the back or a high five. The most important phrase I could teach her is “batty boy,” which is a gay man. I also told her to NEVER say that phrase in jest because it can get someone killed. In Jamaica, there are no laws that protect the gay and lesbian community from hate crimes. Referring to any Jamaican man as a batty boy is basically putting a target on his back, and inviting vigilantes to put a knife in the center of that bullseye. The batty boy accusation will spread like a California wildfire. It is not tolerated, period. Even if you know he is gay, don’t say it in public unless you have some kind of vendetta against him. For the record, a gay woman is just that. I also explained to her the difference between a rasta and a Rastafarian. A rasta is any man wearing dreadlocks, but a Rastafarian is a follower of Rastafari. Smoking a lot of ganja (marijuana) is a key aspect of being a Rastafarian, but not all rastas smoke ganja.

I am still very upset that her mother blocked her on social media and walked out of her life all because she moved to a different part of the state. She did it because she was having trouble with neighbours. I believe what really happened with her mother was that her dad passed on. I know she was very close to him. He has been in poor health for some time. I think the grief she is going through has darkened her heart. A big clue was when she told me she had lost her way now that I think about it. That would explain why both of us were cast out like yesterday’s garbage. For the record, I know people who have lost a parent. They live with the grief, but it did not turn their hearts toward darkness. I lost my grandmother in 2014, and I live with the pain every day. I am reminded of a situation from 2015 that still haunts me.

I was good friends with a lady from Canada. We talked all the time. We were joined at the hip. Then one day, her mother passed unexpectedly. She was very close to her. I knew she was upset, and I planted myself firmly in her corner. But the grief changed her into someone I didn’t know. She turned toward the dark side. We didn’t talk like we used to. Our once friendly and funny conversations descended into arguing, so I was forced into ending the friendship. She was an angry stranger to me. Believe it or not, I miss her to this day.

My daughter has has a job interview today at the local hospital. Starting pay is $17/hour, and she can make $25/hour after 90 days. I’ll get the official work either this afternoon or tomorrow. I’m so happy for her. It is not easy to walk a mile in her heels. She needs a break, and this could be her opportunity for a fresh start and leave the pain of her mother leaving behind. I wanted to visit her this year, but I don’t think that will happen. The window for a visit closes in August at the least. May is the best time to visit, just like last year. Well, this year, I wanted to visit a certain woman in Florida.

I wanted to shout out Roberta Blevins and her podcast called Life After MLM on Spotify that calls out all the multi level marketing companies on their fake promises of part time hours and full time pay like HerbaLife, LulaRoe, and It Works. Follow her on Instagram @therealrobertablevins.

Thanks for reading my post. Comments are always welcome. Have a blessed day.

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