When I lived with my children’s father, there was a time when he began to make money and with that brought the women, so I became the one that did not matter. Never mind that he went to prison and I, not knowing anything about prison or prisoners began taking the over night bus while pregnant to Clinton maximum facility, where they held this scum bag until he could be placed into a minimum facility. There I was in the visiting room, filled with murderers,rapists, thieves, pedophiles, drug dealers, still a teenager taking pictures with him in his prisoners uniform which was full khaki suit and black combat boots. I Should have seen the Bongo man in him then and skip, but love was blind, at least I thought it was love, actually no I didn’t. Because while I was with him I always wondered in my child’s mind how come my heart did not skip a beat when I heard his name, like it did when I was twelve years old, and saw Delroy Jenkins coming home from school. How come I was shy when Delroy waved hi to me and for a second could not hear anything. This did not happen with this man.
Perhaps I had just accepted my fate and stuck by him because I was pregnant for him and even though he was locked up he still made sure I was provided for. His horrible mother took me to a thrift store and bought me a living room set with the ten thousand dollars he had left to furnish our apartment. My mother had already bought me a bed, as Jamaicans mothers often do to give their children a start. The black and white T.V (this was in the age of colored TV enuh, but de mumma neva like mi, and gave me a television she had parked in her garage) only showed when there was an antenna in it. He came out on a work release program and with my help got off probation early. So here he was lavishing in money, wearing the latest designs, which was a far cry from the days of Clinton maximum prison in upstate N.y.
One of my sisters lived with us at one time, the oldest one, who despised me, she had always hated me because of my light complexion, which was so sad, because I was and still am just as black as her despite my outward appearance, we are of the same race regardless of skin color. She was dark skin and in my opinion very pretty back then. Her looks has changed drastically I guess because of her ways, and the consistent bleaching. Her inner attitude is now showing in her face and sagging body, so much that she resembles Cruella Deville. I loved her and as a child I was sad when people praised me instead of her saying, “yuh brown an pretty eeh”. At nights she would pinch me and cuss me, telling me that my parents had found me abandoned in a basket. In Jamaican society there is much focus on color, being very dark means you are no good, or you are ugly, so much that there is a Jamaican saying that goes “Anything too black nuh good”. Such a pity.
Back to my sister, (who eventually moved on her own time), the baby father was not happy that she lived there, worse she never contributed to the household not even a bottle of water, and had put her belongings out many times while she had gone to work, while I had to struggle to put them back in before she found out. He complained that this was one of the reasons why he did not give me his money because I allowed my family to take advantage of me…..Lies!!!….he was just wicked, and his signed off on all his cruelty to me…… Enough of this lamenting!!!, let me get to the point. During the time when the baby father was in his shining glory with all his women and money, I was neglected and there were times when I was denied some basic needs.
One Saturday in particular, he had not come home the night before, (there were many nights like this). I woke up without any provisions in the house, no groceries at all, at least for an adult to eat or cook. The children had their canned foods and apple juice but I had nothing. I called my mother and asked to borrow money to cook , she said she had none. I called my sisters boyfriend who was my good friend and told him my plight but he sadly told me how broke he was and apologised. I called the baby father but no response. By mid afternoon, hungry and frustrated I placed both children into their stroller and decided to go for a walk to clear my head.
As I got to the end of the street a green Acura Legend turned the corner and the driver blew his horn as if he was greeting me, I waved back not knowing who it was and he stopped and reversed. He came out of the car, still standing by the door and I recognized him as being my sisters ex boyfriend. He asked the usual about everybody’s health and well being and I told him fine and as he was about to go back into his car I said “gimme something nuh”….(side bar) this is something I would have never done, I had too much pride and everybody knew that my childrens father had money, so for me to be asking for anything was ludicrous, and shameful. To my astonishment he took a hundred dollars out a coil and gave it to me. I said the customary thanks and silently sent up a million thanks that to God and prayed tons of blessings for him. He unkowingly had just given food to the hungry, which was me. I went to the supermarket and bought food to cook and juice to drink, then I called my mother who had told me earlier that she too was broke and told her to send someone for thirty dollars and my sisters boyfriend cmae for twenty. The baby father came home later on in the day with a friend, he went into the kicthen and shared food for himself and his friend not caring where it came from……..Life!!!
Whenever you believe all is lost God always sends someone, an angel in physical form. Just keep a clean heart and a good mind towards all and everything, and PRAY! I lived to see the day after we had broken up and he hit rock bottom while I had steadily risen and had even gotten a new business, him coming to me begging money for food, and to pay his bills, and I gave it to him, my soft heart could not say no. The horrible mother use to call and tell me thanks for assisting him. One morning I was on my way to open my business, I took a taxi, the driver, an old Jamaican man and I began to talk and I told him about the childrens father, the treatment I had gotten when I was with him and how it was me helping him now and we were not together, the taxi man in his wisdom said to me “why are you interfering with Gods judgement on you childrens father? do not give him a red cent more!!. you cried out to God and he heard you and now he is feeling what you went through, STOP!!”. It was the last time I strecthed my hands to him, because I knew the cab driver delivered to me a message that I needed to hear.
It is wisdom to prevent someone from whom one cannot accept repayment to have access to one’s valuable possessions…..Yoruba Proverb