Don’t forget where you belong
I have been experiencing trouble writing this column, trying to pay a proper tribute to the two people that I owe the most to in this world, before I fly off into the great unknown. These two are, of course, my mum and dad, both two exemplary individuals in their on right. I do not know where I will be in the future, nor do I know how long I will be wherever I am. But I will always keep these memories in mind, and I hope to come back some day.
Mum: I will miss Saturday morning potatoes in a yellow-painted kitchen. I chop the po- tatoes to the rhythm of the swing music that blares through
my phone speaker. You pour oil into the pan and start up the bacon in another. We laugh as I become a foreign creature, white speckles on my arm from the juices of the earth- grown vegetable. We dance around and sing until the food is ready, and then feast on what we have cooked.
Dad: I will miss Saturday afternoon trips to Jamaica time when everyone is hungry but no one wants to cook. Hoisting myself into the passenger seat of a black Chevrolet Ava- lanche to be met with Christian songs or Reggae music. We walk in to the restaurant, and you always give the owner a fist bump. The Jamaican accent that you did not retain after moving to the states at 14 comes out, and so does the Patois. I pretend that I have a clue what is going on, but we pretty much always leave with what we came for.
Mum: I will miss ranting about the United States educa- tion system over cups of tea and bowls of stove-popped pop- corn. I will miss your “another one bites the dust” text each time someone else leaves President Trump’s administration, whether by choice or by force. For some reason I care about this political mess and want to have a hand in fixing it. I know that you will continue to be the other half of my brain and support behind whatever I do.
Dad: I will miss summer evening trips to Pinecroft or Gibby’s. Homemade, freshly scooped ice cream in our bowls as we sit at picnic tables or on the trunk of your truck. I will miss being able to talk about working in the office or inter- actions with students. I will miss being able to tell you every one of my campus concerns, even if I refuse to let you say anything about them. One day I will learn to say something on my own.
Mum: I will miss Turner Classic Movies and the stars that made film acting looks easy. I will miss being able to pull up The Philadelphia Story with the push of a button. Our intel- lectual conversations about Sabrina should be recorded in a book someday. I will miss Perry Mason, Detective Columbo and Adrian Monk who taught me to be curious and ask questions. I will miss getting excited over Katherine Hep- burn, Cary Grant and Sidney Poitier and listening to the Jazz Matinee on WICN. I hope you still save those movies for me.
Dad: I will miss rolling dumplings in the kitchen while you stir the ackee and saltfish. I will miss being confused at the sound of you rapping “Self-Destruction” downstairs in the living room, and stories about how you used to tape songs off the radio. Hearing you giving the boys haircuts downstairs or working on building a tea box for me in your workshop are sounds that I will miss drifting towards my ears.
My parents taught me most of the things I know and gave me the knowledge that has gotten me this far. My work ethic comes from the two of them, as does my desire to be compassionate and thoughtful. They raised me in faith. hope and love, and it is more than fair to say that I would not be the person I am without them. Thank you so much mum and dad, and no matter where I go, I will always think of
you as home.
Song: “Ready to Fly” by FFH