The novel HURACAN, By Diana McCaulay, I have to say was honestly one of the best books I have read to date. Once I got started I could not put it down and when I had to (for work or sleep) I could not wait to start again! It’s a bit different from what I usually read and was the first book I read from a local (Jamaican) Author. Shameful I know, esp. since I’m trying to be one myself! Definitely need to read more from my Jamaican authors.
For me, Huracan was an absolutely BRILLIANT READ and I certainly did not want it to end, parts of me even wants a sequel! It opened my eyes to bits and pieces of our history (even though parts were fictional) and made me reflect on my own family history but most importantly on me, on how I behave and think. I’m proud to say that this is on the good side.
Yes you read that title right…. The Kingston & St. Andrew Municipal Council (K.S.A.C or K.S.A.M.C) in Jamaica has “ordered” (commanded) the citizens to “cease” (stop) feeding the homeless persons on the streets.
See the Public Notice below:
Ok so first, a Disclaimer: This is the most political response I have given when it comes to my blogs but please note that I am not against the K.S.A.M.C for doing this nor am I with any “BAN” against feeding the homeless.
Yesterday (March 27 2019) one of the most AMAZING THINGS happened to me! It was so unexpected, amazing and emotionally overwhelming all at once. My dad said “Hi!” to me yesterday in a huge and the most obvious way! It moved me to tears! (Of course)
So here is what happened, but first a back story: Sadly my aunt’s mom passed away suddenly on Wednesday morning from a sudden heart attack. It is a huge loss for her as they were very close. On top of that, it happened right in the middle of them moving house which had them already very overwhelmed to say the least.
That evening, my mom and I went over to see her and while we were there my aunt asked me to return some curtain rods that she had purchased but unfortunately did not fit the windows she had. I had no problem doing so and agreed to handle it for her.
So yesterday, even with car troubles, I made my way over across town (to barbican side for my Jamaican readers) to return the rods and get a refund. Also, I had previously spoken to my husband about doing a supermarket run. I would need cash to get fruits from road side vendors instead of in the supermarkets and we agreed that I would do that and he would handle the rest of the shopping list after work the next day. Great, no problem! To be honest I was actually glad for this because I did not feel like wearing a proper bra so I could go into a supermarket! Gosh man, sports bras are sooo comfy but they give that “Uni-Boob” look hahahaha
Anyhow, so off I went to return said rods and on the way back I spotted a road side vendor and decided to stop there. Now for my Jamaica readers, this was the triangle shaped bus stop on barbican road just before Liguanea avenue. The one that is also a flower spot and a drive by gallery on other days.
Now, I need you all to note that I NEVER stop there, this was a first. He was the first vendor I saw and I decided to stop and look. I pulled up and chatted with the vendor asking him what and what he had as I was looking for particular fruits. While talking to him through the window, as I normally do, I spotted some gorgeous Oh-ta-he-ti Apples! I told him I wanted some but then randomly decided to get out of the car and choose them for myself. (See link here to learn what oh-ta-he-ti apples are for those who do not know. There are not in any way similar to american apples but they are delicious!!!)
Another thing here to note guys, is that I NEVER usually get out the car when buying produce from the roadside! (It’s a safety thing) But this time I decided to do so.
So I get out and I start to go through and pick my fruits and man they were gorgeous. While I’m looking at the fruits and putting them into my bag, something makes me look down to a box the vendor had on the ground. What I saw had me shooketh! I froze.
In this box there were, what looked like, other fruits/veggies that he had, I assumed, ripening, (It’s a thing here in Jamaica that to ripen fruits we wrap them in newspaper…. weird… yes I know, I don’t understand it either lol.) So anyways, I look down at this box with fruits wrapped in newspapers and I see my Dads face smiling back at me. It was his death announcement that was staring back at me and it was turned around too….facing me! My Dads huge mischievous and bright smile starring back at me! I could not believe it.
Why is this so crazy? Well first of all, Dad passed away on November 8th 2018. Yesterdays date was March 27 2019, almost 5 months apart!!! Second, of all the newspapers inna di whola Jamaica, plus with the long stretch of time in between THIS WAS NO SILLY COINCIDENCE! I need you all to realize that all the events prior to this lead me to this exact moment. This was my dad speaking to me. DIRECTLY. No ifs, ands or buts about it! Now sure in previous posts I mentioned seeing numbers etc. and I do really fancy numerology and believe in signs and some of you may think that I’m reading too much into things etc. but guys, come on, THIS proves I’m not crazy!
Needless to say after seeing my dads face I was so caught off guard that I had actually gone silent and tears started to form in my eyes. I said aloud: “That’s my dad.. right there, this picture. It’s him!” I explained to the vendor that he had passed, coming up on, 5 months ago. I told him this is him speaking to me! I was so unbelievably moved.
I collected my fruits, paid the vendor and got into my car. I drove away crying all the way home. My dad reached out to me today….Directly. A message sent from him in heaven for me…. saying that he’s “always around.”
Think about this for a minute guys, if my aunt had not bought those rods, if we did not go and see her, if they had fit the windows, if she had not asked me to return them, if we didn’t need fruits and if I didn’t have the cash, and if the fruit vendor was not there, NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED!!
It’s just crazy when you think back and connect the dots of events that lead you to a particular event like this did. Everything in life happens for a reason. Those reasons only become clear after the fact.
Now sure I’m not actively religious, though as of late I have become more spiritual, but even for the atheists out there… how can anyone NOT believe in a GOD, a supreme being, a universe that speaks to you, etc???! Just how? I firmly believe that there is a God, sure from my religious upbringing, but also now more than ever I believe that the spirit world exists and that they communicate with us!
But the story doesn’t end here. I reached home and after my bawl fest I managed to eat lunch. When I was finished eating, I casually picked up my phone to go on Facebook and saw I had a new notification. Nothing shocking…. or so I thought. It was a notification that someone had commented on a post of theirs that apparently I too had commented on. Now, it peaked my curiosity because this was a notification from someone who I am not friends with but it’s something Facebook does when you have mutual friends. I clicked on the post to see that it was something she had shared on a mutual friends wall that I too had commented on so hence the notification.
Here is where the communication continues guys. It was a post dedicated to those who had lost loved ones. This post was made back in 2015!!! What was the post? Take a look for yourself from the picture below and let the 1st 4 lines sit with you a moment….
The first 4 lines!!! Oh my goodness, obviously I started bawling once more! My dad was telling me that he reached out to me ON PURPOSE! I was at a loss for words and I just started crying all over again for the next 45 mins. Like Kim Kardashian UGLY crying!
I am beyond grateful to have had this experience. It was a rough one but also amazing as well. Everyday I think of and miss my dad. Why, just the other day I started crying randomly because I had a video of our new Echo dot set up to turn on and off the lights just by asking Alexa to do so. After watching the video I immediately thought: “My dad would love to see this! He would think it’s really cool” And then came the tears as I remembered I could not show it to him. As I cried I could picture seeing his reaction to the video and hearing his voice: “Rah!”
So yea, that’s it for now. I had to share this amazing experience with you guys. I’m sure you are all pretty stunned by all of this, have gotten chills even. This sort of thing, even though it was rough emotionally for me, was absolutely amazing. Sure it rips your heart out when we lose a loved one, but it’s moments like these that makes living on without them a little less painful.
Well it’s been 2 months now, since Dads been gone. There isn’t a day I don’t think about him and the fact that he is gone still hits me. I know it will for a while. When I remember that he is gone I’m immediately taken back to the day and time of his last breaths. The sound of the liquid in his lungs as his body struggles to breathe properly still plays in surround sound in my head. I can see everything as it was. I don’t quite remember what I was wearing but I have a feeling when I put it on next it might hit me. The mind is funny like that.
I have his chain that he used to wear. The one with a small pulley on it. It was always the only chain that he wore. He had 2 in his lifetime as the original one was lost at sea, funny how that happens.
The first chain, I’m assuming, was one with a propellor on it (see pic below). I don’t remember this chain at all but he has it on in the photo of him and my God Father, Uncle Mally. It’s funny, I remember years ago when I first saw this picture of Dad I knew that this would be how I will remember him. In it, he has grabbed his best friend tightly around the neck and has the hugest of laughs. That was a big part of my Dad, his huge laugh, that he always did whenever he found something absolutely hilarious. I can hear it now… I’m sure those of you who knew him can hear it now too. I hear it every time I see a photo of him laughing.
Recently an aunt of mine shared a video with me via What’s App. It was the song: “Beautiful Day ” by Jermaine Edwards. A local artist. Son of a pastor.
She shared this video with me one morning randomly after my fathers recent passing. I listened to the song for the 1st time and had to stop it immediately after hearing the 2nd line: “Many people died and never saw this day.” I immediately thought about my dad and started crying.
Eventually though, I listened to the song in full, letting the tears come if they did, and slowly but surely I fell in love with the song. This song is so up-lifting. It always brings a smile to my face and a beat to my feet. I have now made it a part of my morning routine where I play it loud on my balcony as I look out and take in the view… And everyday is truly “A Beautiful Day.”
Something that makes me feel so good I knew I had to share with you all. So here, I’m sharing the direct youtube link to the video with you so that you can listen to it and hopefully love it as much I as I do. (I’m unable to upload the actual video here in the post)
My favorite part is: “Thank you for sunshine, Thank you for rain. Thank you for Joy, Thank you for pain…..” Everything that happens to us, GOOD & BAD help to shape us and I’m grateful for it all.
Thursday was the 1 month mark (day wise) of my Father’s passing. Saturday will be the date mark as he passed on Nov 8, 2018. I can’t believe how 1 month has come around so quickly. Time is something we usually take for granted until a significant event happens that makes us become aware of each passing second, minute, hour, day, week, month and year.
Every morning since my father left us, my first thought in my head as I wake up is: “My dads gone…” Everyday I go through a range of emotions but I’m happy to say that fairly soon after he passed I reached the “Happy” stage of grief. Strange I know…. I was/ still am a bit concerned about it, but at the same time I accept it and go through it because it feels good to be happy. Maybe I’ll have another breakdown in future and that’s ok too. I’ve learned to accept whatever emotion comes and to not hide them. If I am happy I will BE happy in the moment, for as long as it lasts. If sadness comes, I’ll ride out the wave of tears. I’m not embarrassed to cry in public. Real emotions are rarely ever seen and that’s a shame. Sure I avoid my triggers if I can but if I can’t so be it.
When people tell me that I’m so strong having gone this all this ordeal, (you’ll learn just how much in a paragraph further down) I respond by saying: “I don’t know how.” because honestly I didn’t know. A friend of mine said: “It’s cuz you HAD to be,” and I realized she is right. I had to be strong for my family. For my mom and my Step mom. When I wondered to myself as to how comes I am being strong through it all I realized that it feels as if my dads love for life, happy, jovial and always smiling spirit infiltrated mine. And that is such a wonderful thing to feel!!! You see, I struggle with depression and have for many, many years. As far back as childhood. But it’s funny how sometimes things happen unexpectedly and without explanation like me feeling at peace after my fathers passing. Sure there are days where I feel distraught and tears just pour out until I’m hiccuping like a 5yr old (lol) but over all I can safely say I have not had a seriously depressive thought since my dad passed. I literally look forward to EVERY NEW DAY! When I see signs of him around I smile. I look at pictures and I smile. Sometimes I tear up and that’s ok, but I smile through it all.
A recent pop up cafe has hit the restaurant scene in Kingston, Jamaica. Tucked away between the Tile City and Kohler show rooms at 114 Constant Spring Road, (on the right at the intersection of Grants Pen Constant Spring Road) this cafe has lots to offer! For such a cozy spot one would think that it would be cramped but it’s actually an excellent use of space. There is even an mezzanine loft area above with single couches where you can work quietly in your own little corner away from the bustle of downstairs.
For decor, the cafe has a lovely mix of modern and rustic chic with a mix of taupe, brown, grey, black and white colour scheme. Quite an excellent combination to be honest, one I would not have thought of and it works well together.
They opened their doors officially on December 14 2017 and have made quite a splash ever since. Owners Lisa & Kirk Chin have quite the experience under their belt with other restaurants: Fromage Brasserie at MarketPlace, Fromage Bistro at 8 Hillcrest Ave. and the Oak Wine Bar (also on Hillcrest Ave.) They really know what they are doing and are doing it well!
One of the little things I first noticed about CAFE DOLCE is their symbol of the Pineapple. In talking with Lisa, I questioned what the significance of this was as I was intrigued. She explained that the pineapple symbolises “Hospitality and Welcoming.” I was quite impressed at this meaning as she reminded me that it is also on the Jamaica Coat of Arms representing the indigenous fruit. Further to this Lisa informed me that the cafe logo has the co-ordinates of Kingston (the north & west numbers on either side of the pineapple) This could not be a more perfect symbol for a Jamaican Cafe! I love when there are hidden meanings behind the little things that mean so much. Kudos to you Lisa, this is brilliant. A subtle way of always welcoming the Jamaican people.
Hajarie (The Teapot JA) is a fairly recent bistro that has popped up in the Phoenix Ave Complex. Though not entirely new, the amazing little spot was formally known as simply: “The Teapot” and was located in Sovereign Shopping Centre. (The Movie theatre Entrance)
I remember my first few stops at their previous location. I had randomly walked in one day drawn by the display for teas (I’m a serious tea lover- having a cuppa as I write this.) and met both Owner: Jacqui Mighty and Cute Barista: Anna Hines. I quickly fell in love with the place and with them. Everything was so charming. Jacqui and Anna are such amazing people that I clicked with them immediately. I soon found myself going there to get my regular “FIX” as I became addicted to their AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS Chai Tea Latté. Soon we became fast friends and I was kept somewhat in the loop of soon to come expansion. I couldn’t wait!
When I found out that Jacqui had finally expanded, I was simply over the moon for her! I could not wait to visit the new place, and when I finally did… I was not disappointed AT ALL. I was very impressed and sooo happy for Jacqui’s new adventure. The place was absolutely perfect!