The big day finally came. All de preparations, de buying, decorating, trees, de painting up of de house, de new hire purchase furnitures, de ham, pork, jug-jug, and, of course, de big unseemly and undignified struggles fuh cake at Pricemart, now an annual occurrence, as in de spirit of goodwill to all men, we push and shove we way, almost knocking over de workers in a spirited attempt to capture the essence of Christmas as someone from pun top a shelf shout out: “Let dem eat cake!”
And cake it was dat dem eat!
It does thrill my heart to see so many christened with the joy of Christmas in a celebration of the annual Get Cake Fuh Christmas Festival!
Thankfully, the art of baking remains strong in my household; so sadly I miss the annual cake binge in Lodge Hill. It truly saddens my heart to miss it.
What I did not miss was a mass event last Saturday night when it seemed thousands had gathered to be fed and watered freely. I could not contain myself as I watched a lady who emerged from de buffet table looking like Mike Tyson after a prize fight, de trophy in hand, plate carefully filled. It looked like a volcano about to erupt. And in de lady’s mouth was a six-inch piece of meat, half in and three inches out.
I watched in amazement as she snared in de meat, like an alligator chomping pun its prey. I instantly lost my appetite! Christmas –– it does bring out de good and de not so good.
Wid de Rotary Club of Bubbadus, I went to some children’s homes delivering gifts to de children and once again could not help but be impressed by de work done by de staff in nurturing dese little children, all neatly dressed and all so mannerly and loving. Dese children deserve permanent homes. We should open we hearts and homes to adoption.
All they need is care and love. Well done to the house aunties! Wunnah does mek a simple Vendor proud.
I does think ’bout my own mother, 96 not out, and de sacrifices she mek fuh she large clan of children; how she stretch a dollar bill and mek sure dat every last one of we eight had food to eat, clothes to wear and got a li’l education in we head.
Mum teach we from early to know and to love God, and dat strong Catholic upbringing always stand we in good stead. One of de things dat used to amaze me was dat whenever mum was coming to Bubbadus, she would load down de BeeWee plane wid bout eight suitcases. We would always need two cars to go to the airport, and not a bag weighed under 80 pounds.
She made friends wid every passenger agent at Kennedy Airport, and so mum always got VIP treatment! De funny thing was dat whenever yuh open de eight bags, mum had packages fuh dis person and de next, always remembering somebody who needed a little help. Less than five per cent of de luggage was mum’s!
My mother been living in New York since de mid-1960s and yet not a single Sunday at St Patrick’s Cathedral can I exit at de end of de service widout somebody asking: “Market, how is Muriel? How is your mother?”
Last week was no different. A couple behind me celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, and when I turned to share de sign of peace, de wife ask: “How is mum? Tell her that Thelma’s daughter asked for her.”
It says a lot about a human being that 50 years after you left a country only to return pun short visits, people does still remember you fondly and ask fuh you, and dat is why I am proud to be your firstborn and your son.
You are and have always been an amazing person; you have travelled a tough road in life; you never knew your Irish father; you had to struggle through life, yet God in his wisdom has blessed you for 96 years.
Oh, that I could follow your example and emulate your sterling contribution to life.
I Market Vendor gone fuh now. You have a blessed and a wonderful day, yuh hear?