I guess there will always be an excuse to why my blog is not updated as often as I would like….This time I have a valid reason. My Grandma was very sick and was admitted to the hospital… she died on February 19th….. I was left with many responsibilities…including writing the Eulogy….
My Grandmother, Winnifred Amanda Alexander was born in a small District in Briton in St. Elizabeth, On February 18th, 1924, or was it March 3rd? She celebrated 2 birthdays for a while but later decided to celebrate her day of birth on February 18th. She was born to Ferdinad Alexander (Bredda Tun) and Ida Lewis. Bredda Tun was a World War 1 veteran and upon returning home he was awarded a piece of land in Trelawny, he and his Family then moved to Trelawny, it was there she found her life long partner Allan Lionel Clarke, they got married on February 19th, together they had 5 children Cherry, Forbie, Blossom, John and Junior.
Allan and Winnifred moved to Carpenters Road in Kingston, while at Carpenters Road, After her last child Uncle Junior started school, she learnt the trade of hairdressing and practiced in Half- way – tree for many years, she later moved her hairdressing business to her home in Washington Gardens after Grandfather’s passing in 1990.
My Grandma as I knew her was a very kind, caring and nurturing individual and usually very soft spoken…Don’t be fooled however as she was very stern disciplinarian, some of my earliest memories of her was at age 3, is being slapped with red hair dressing comb for trying to climb out of the crib…I was subsequently slapped several times after that…
She was very particular about her appearance, her hair was always combed neatly and her clothes were always very stylish, and some of which I remember she sewed herself, my role was to “String machine needle” and accompany her to purchase fabric for her dresses Her meticulousness was very evident even in her last days, while at the hospital when a nurse offered to cane row hair, she responded by telling the nurse that she’s unsure if that style would suit her as not accustomed to combing her hair in that style.
Grandma wasn’t only stylish she was also a great cook and loved to bake, even if I wasn’t told that one of my Uncles or my Aunt were coming to visit, as soon as I hit the gate I could tell by the smell…in the oven was bread pudding, potato pudding or cornmeal pudding…My favourite was the bread budding….and yes I’m the culprit for eating off the bread pudding she baked for Uncle Forbie on last visit in January…
At Christmas time, she made some on the nicest Christmas pudding, I remember fighting of the batter bowl with my cousin Wayne…if the batter tasted so good…can you imagine the cake. Christmas dinner was always her chance to showcase her recipes…she deserved the title of BOSS for the roast beef and my favourite potato Salada….hmmm I can just taste know….Mummy that baton has been passed to you….I hope this Christmas you will live you up to her standards…
In her quiet time she read her bible, mediated and prayed, her favourite show was the Young and Restless, she sat every week day evening and watched it with Mother….if my Mother were running late she would call to ensure that she would make it in time for their usually routine. She was happy to give up her Sunday responsibility of cooking dinner…and passed it on to Mom
She went by many names, Mama, Grandma, Miss Winnie, Auntie Winnie, Mrs. Clarke and more recently GG, which was Zaine’s for her…yes she was Great- Grandmother…and one strong enough to enjoy play dates and eating ice cream. Though she went by many names…she was also the giver of names as well…Aunt Blos who’s right name is Hyacinth….was affectionately called Queenie, my Mother was nicknamed Cherry, Uncle Ken was nicknamed Forbie, Uncle John was Johnny Cool, the cool reflecting his calm demeanor and Uncle Junior, who was named after his Father of the same name.
My Grandma lived a full and fruitful life, and passed a few hours after celebrating her 87TH birthday, on February 19th, though I know she’s in a better place…I will miss her dearly, the lemonade she makes, puddings, the sent of ackee and saltfish and fried dumplings waking me up on a weekend morning, helping her to get dressed to go to church. I will have to trust in Zainey’s words, He says that you’re gone to Jesus and Jesus is a good man, and his ok with that.
She is survived by her 4 Children, 11 Grandchildren and 4 Great – Grandchildren….friends and family….though she’s no longer here in the physical…she is alive and well in our hearts.