Sunshine is never short in Jamaica; in fact it’s our only natural resource no one has ever tried to sell. Nonetheless, sunshine can be found virtually everywhere these days (no pun intended) through the fiery heartwarming posts of the blogging community. Many thanks to Alexis Chateau for this nomination. I really admire her writing and how entertainingly but unabashedly she shares her sometimes unpopular opinions. Her hiking posts also tickle my wanderlust fancy. Thus, you can imagine how thrilled I was to buck up (run into) my name while casually reading her response to the Sunshine blog award one morning.
The Big Question
Alexis’ multilayered question for the bloggers she highlighted gave me quite a bit of thought. It deserves some back story.
What is one thing you received as a child that you still have, today? Who gave it to you? Why do you still have it? Why does it mean so much to you?
I had quite an unsettled childhood although in retrospect, it’s probably more stable than many other Jamaican children that age– just unstable compared to the children with which my schooling socialized me. In my first 10 years of life I lived in 6 different places including cotching with relatives and a family friend for a few months at a time. This was all before my life got some stability and my beloved brother came along. Thus, when it was just my mom and I, we always had to travel light. What circumstance didn’t allow her to physically give me, I got in way of emotionally. I’ve always had lots of love to go around from her. Every birthday, Christmas and yes, even Child’s month in May meant I would get some sort of token be it a doll, teddy bear, new article of clothing, book or even chocolate and sweets. Scarcely any of those remain today save for perhaps a photograph of me wearing said item of clothing or maybe one and two stuffed animals and books which I’ve handed down to my brother years ago or donated to charity. However, there is actually still one token of her unconditional love from my childhood which I still have today. Every single one of them.
I just made a 10-minute dash to try locate them all to prove my point but alas I only found 11 of them. That means half are somewhere else in my possessions (or in my mom’s bottomless what-not cupboards) but I certainly still have them all. In their entirety. All 22. We are a sentimental bunch and while I haven’t completely returned the favour, card-giving is one of our family traditions. From before I could read I’ve received birthday cards. Inside them is always something ranging from a sentimental scribble to a lecture. My mom wrote in my 13th birthday card that she knew I’d make it through the rough teenage years unscathed because I’m an intelligent confident girl. There was also a lecture of what not to do during my teen years which thankfully I guess I’ve not done. 🤣 She’s also written a million times either how proud she is of the woman I’m becoming or have become.
Words like that are immortal. I’ll cherish those messages to my grave. For a woman who sometimes couldn’t give me much, she’s given me everything. With that, I hold each and every card dear to my heart even if I don’t take them out to reread as often as I should. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever told her how much I love this tradition. I’ll try to never forget a birthday card again just as how I know my mom will never forget to buy me a birthday card even if I’ve grown too old to get the ones with the number on the front.
I’ve been in love with paper even before I knew how to read and even before I knew myself. The way to my heart is through paper. The written word is truly immortal.
Spreading the Sunshine
Now it’s time to spread the sunshine among some of my favourite bloggers. Through a separate post or in the comments, give me your best shot at answering those same questions. What sort of treasures if any do you have remaining from your childhood and why? Also, name one thing from your childhood that you don’t have anymore but still wish you did.
Even if your blog name wasn’t mentioned, still feel free to participate. I look forward to seeing other answers to Alexis’ question.
‘Til next time, friends. 🥂