Never miss the water till the well run dry ( a little story about my grand father)
My grandfather was big, tall, brown skin in colour and good looking; he had a bandy leg his voice can be heard from a far distance, because hIsis loud pitch. Everybody knew him as the big mouth man; he was nice though although he had some funny tendencies. He use to buy his grandchildren almost anything we asked him for as long as we told him in advance. He was a man that never liked staying home after he retired he will go by Duke and Charlotte Street corner and sit on a bench and lime with his old friends. I asked him one time why he doesn’t like to stay home and he replied because furniture is for in the house.
My little sister and I liked passing to look for him after school just to get some pocket change to buy snacks or channa and Kumar on the opposite side of the road, sometimes he would send us to buy soda water, greens or water melon for him. He would hug and kiss us and ask us how school going? Then he’ll go into another tone admonishing us make sure and do well at school and we ought to strive hard to get a good government Job after school.
My school sneakers had burst and he said he will take me to buy one for me; this was a nightmare in the day, because he wanted to choose for me instead of me after a lengthy time of looking. He came towards me with a black steel tip boots the name of it was bulldozer. I was petrified at the look of that boot I never would wear one of those things I knew I would have been the laughing stock at school. Hmmm I could not persuade him he insisted that it would last long and that it is a very strong shoe, he asked the lady for two pairs one for me and my tom boy sister who mashed up shoes like crazy lol. I remember when leaving for school in the morning my mother will be the first one to start making fun of us with the boots, she’ll say look thee construction women coming LOL I felt like dying a thousand deaths in that boot.
Anyways whenever we went into a higher standard (grade) at school my grandfather would ensure that we got the necessary school books, lessons etc, to excel at our exams, which he paid for willingly. One thing I did not like with him though he always wanted us to come first, second or third and the day we did notdo so well he’ll be so mad at us he won’t talk to us etc. I usually came 4th in test sometimes 6th I think once I came 3rd and oh my goodness there was a time I really fell back and I came 14th and that man almost went crazy. He actually came in school and embarrassed me in front of all the teachers, principal and students I guess the neighborhood heard him that was so humiliating I felt like knocking him down but of course I couldn’t.
Anyhow time rolled around and I finished high school and I got six passes out of eight and he was over whelmed because I need to have five in order to get a government job. He wanted me to do nursing and definitely did not want to I am very scornful and hates anything to deal with soars, cuts , blood, vomit etc so Isaid no to that. Again he was very angry that I did not want to,but I am a very strong willed person although I was only seventeen I declared to him that under no circumstances I will be doing NURSING.
Eventually he calmed down and I started doing “business management” the year after I left school but I wanted to work to have my own money to help pay school fees and to buy my own books, so I took part time classes which finished 8pm and I lived in the west, it was kind of scary to travel that hour of the night all alone, so he decided that I will overnight by him whenever I had classes. I went one night and was very uncomfortable with the condition of his place everything seemed ancient and run down in that house, no way was I going back to spend another night. We went by him several times but somehow he use to entertain us by the burglar proof gate, LOL. So I told my granny to tell him that I don’t want to come back because I am not comfortable, hmmmm!!! That opened up the gates of hell wide my grandfather was displeased with me for not approving of his house, after that he did not have anything to do with me. I will pass right in front of him and call him out and he’ll never answer.
Twice I was with my mother and she witnessed that he do not answer me. I think he was just being ignorant and lacking understanding, eventually I gave up calling him because I wasn’t getting any reply so didn’t want to feel like a fool no more. That was in 2008 when he cut his speech all entirely in 2009 I picked up the phone and I called him, when he answered I said hello he replied very grumpy so I told him who I was and I was calling to apologize if I had offended him and he slammed the phone down in my ears. He had a great reputation for slamming phones in people’s ear so it wasn’t strange to me. That was my last resort, late 2009 he became very ill so my mother had to go to his house everyday to clean him up and drop food etc for him, because none of his other children cared to even go and say hello. I felt sorry for him he was a good man yet had his bad ways like all of us, I was hesitant in going to look for him least he chase me and hurt my feelings.
After much hesitation I went to see him along with one of my uncles and I carried a few fruits, he loved fruits, oh my! When I saw himhe had dwindled from how he was his flesh now sagging and he was in pampers. He was normal I guess sickness humbles the heart a lot the reason I went with my uncle is, my uncle is a preacher and I carried him to pray for him and for him to accept Jesus as his Lord and Saviour, which he did and he started to cry and say he wants to come to our church, due to the distance from the church and his current health conditions it was difficult to do so. My uncle and I visited awhile after the first one, but I still use to call him now and then. In 2010 his conditioned worsen and it was taking a toll on my mother who started to become very frustrated and irritable, as soon as she clean him he would pull off the pampers and mess down himself or throw down his tea etc , fling his food all on the walls etc.
What really happened was my grand dad use to complain of seeing things and that spirits were troubling him so he use to pelt anything insight at them, he could sleep at nights seemed they tormented him. It’s only after he died my mother discovered that he use to read bad books etc some years before he die and light black candles etc. So apparently he was paying for dealing in ugly.
My mother called me and said that she was so sick and tired of his behaviour she will not be going back, two days passed and she did not go to see him, when she finally did she met him face down in the bathroom he had fell down and struck his head. She called an ambulance which came quickly because he lived a little way from the hospital. They ran all sorts of test on him said he damage his brain with the fall etc, my uncle and I visited him again at the hospital where he seem unconscious but yet aware of his surroundings a bit. We prayed again and got him to speak a little then we left a few days after that I saw a miss call on my cell while at work and when I called back ,my sister said my grandfather had died. Although I knew it was coming I did not prepare for it so soon. I ran into to the computer room and locked myself in and wept bitterly.
My co-worker realized I was not at my desk and came knocking at the door I opened it and she asked me what happened when I told her she tried comforting me. I didn’t know what to call my mother and say really because she took it hard and was in a mess. That evening when I got home I cried until my throat was soar and my eyes were red and my neck ached. I did not sleep what made me cry was that I wished for the last two years of hislife he was mad at me and we hadn’t have a good relationship. All of a sudden the guilt came on me as though I should have done better although I tried reaching out to him but he resisted me. I never had a clue that I would have cried so much for him after he was mean to me but I guess the saying is true you never miss the water till the well runs dry.
It took me days before I could have gotten back normal, sleepless nights and thoughts swirled around my head I was wondering if he made it to heaven or not. I knew he accepted Jesus etc but there was this doubt because he was once in a lodge. Then my uncle assured me that he has gone on to be with the Lord. You know I speak from experience it is not good that anyone should die and you have offence or they have with you. It still grieves me that we wasn’t on good terms in the end, its two and a half year since his passing and I do miss him especially when I pass where he use to lime.
He left all that he owned to my mother and her four children all I could say at least he didn’t entirely banished me. He left my name on his house along with my three sisters and my name on another piece of land I am the only one with my name on two pieces. I guess I made him proud when I passed my exams, but I offended him by not wanting to go back to his house to stay. May God rest his precious soul in peace.
Written by: Joanna Chandler january 2013