Camp Nanowrimo: Day 13

Miriam E. A.Thompson > Miriam’s Blog > Uncategorized > Camp Nanowrimo: Day 13

Total words written: 966 words

Via Tenor

Running total: 13,931 words

Via Tenor

Can I take a moment of your time to say a million thanks for walking alongside me so far?

You are amazing.

Let’s Talk About Culture Again

Here’s another piece that I want to explore today. It’s part of culture and heritage.

As a child, growing up in the Caribbean, there was this unspoken rule that you do not tell anyone you were ill. It was frustrating to say the least.

I recall being told when I was pregnant with my first precious that you need to keep quiet about it for about 6 months.

Why?

Backstory: when the British and French were busy trying to colonize my country, the ships from the African coast were importing my ancestors on Saint Lucian shores.

My ancestors were working on plantations and fattening the coffers of the British Empire. African customs, traditions, way of life, etc. forged a new way of life for African slaves who were thousands of miles away from their homeland.

Kweyol is a combination of African languages and French. Saint Lucians are more aligned to the French culture even though the British conquered the island. Our laws are an example of that French influence as well.

So, the practice of obeah or worshipping spirits and the supernatural was brought to the island by my ancestors. Rituals related to birth, death, milestones were also brought by my African ancestors.

That was the history lesson.

The older generation would not let you know the nature of their illness. They would rather keep that information to themselves. Also, they believe in traditional medicine.

About The Story

Rosalind’s Mum got a WhatsApp message to come home. She was needed home as soon as possible. Rosalind was kept in the dark as to the reason for the trip.

I’m at the point where Rosalind is asked to accompany the family to a trip to Castries (the capital of Saint Lucia). It turns out they are going to a doctor’s appointment for her grandmother. Her grandmother wants her in the room. This is awkward.

After the exam, she meets with the doctor in private. The x-rays show terminal breast cancer. Her grandmother has about six months if not sooner to live.

The news is jarring to say the least. Rosalind is a Pediatric Oncologist but finds herself drawn to providing care for a woman whom she has never known until now.

She also learns that her grandmother would not share the nature of her illness for fear of being vulnerable. It’s about self preservation. Protection.

Culture is powerful. Protect yourself. Do not show vulnerability.

Via Tenor

Remember the grandmother’s doctor? Yeah I made him flirt with her. Ask her out to dinner. Yeah I did that!

I’ll end it there.

More to follow,

Miriam

P.S. Easter plans?

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