Archive for November, 2009

One thing we have learned as the years go by is that as you begin to age and hit numbers where the five is in front (as in 50) you find that sitting back and enjoying the youth of your children and grandchildren is gold.

Our fourth grandchild and third grandson, Glenford Henry Williamson III (nickname is Trip as in the third Glen), was born on November 15, 2009. He was born November 15th at 7:03 pm weighing 7 lbs 10 oz and measuring 20 inches. He is an absolutely beautiful boy that we look forward to seeing growing up surrounded with love.

I could go on about his sweet face, his cute feet and the wonder of birth, but I am gonna just show you a few pictures of our latest joy. He’s a sweetie!!!


The brave may fall but never yield!

The brave may fall but never yield!

I googled my name tonight to see who else has my name, where is it listed on the web and what my son is up to.  Yup, I haven’t spoken to him since May, and the only way that Toni and I have been able to keep tabs on him is to check the internet.  Usually, if our son’s name comes up, it’s associated with something negative, such as a criminal activity or conviction.

Well, low and behold, I googled my name tonight and what did I find?  I found someone with the exact name other than my son.  I responded to Toni and said: “Guess what, someone else has my exact name?”  So, I clicked on the link, and it brought me to name listed on the website Fortis69ers.org.

I looked closely and said to Toni again, “yup, someone else has my exact name out there, besides my son.”  I looked closer, and then I noticed the colors of the web site.  It was purple and white.  So curiosity, got the best of me.  I clicked on the “Home” link.  I noticed the words “Fortis cadere cedere non potest  – The brave may fall but never yield!”  I cried instantly.

I cried because it was the first time in almost 38 years, since I left Jamaica November 18, 1971 with my mother and five other siblings, that I have had a connection back to my old school.  I cried because someone, a group of my old school mates remembered me and listed my name as being a member of the Fortis 69ers.  The web site talked about a group of boys who entered Kingston College, September 8, 1969.  This was the day that Jamaica went from pounds, shillings and pence to the metric system and dollars and cents.

I cried because I remembered my youth and how difficult it was to get into Kingston College, a private Anglican School.  I remembered how I studied and made my parents proud when I passed my Common Entrance Examination, applied and got accepted.

Memories that I have kept tucked away for almost four decades came flowing out of me; it’s like finding an old lost relative, or an old lost love.  As I write this, I am still emotional.  Purple and white meant and still means so much to me.

September 8, 1969 was the continuation of a journey that started the day I was born; it was to be the best; to always keep hope alive and one day to become a doctor.  Yup, I said doctor, meaning a medical practitioner.  It was drummed into me from the day I had sense.  My father was always telling me to “tek (as in take) education, be the best and to become a doctor.” KC (that’s what we called Kingston College) was supposed to be my ticket to higher learning.  It was suppose to be my “pre-med” road to the University of West Indies where I was to go on and become a medical doctor.

Jamaica was fun. We weren’t rich, but we were proud.  My dad made a living working in the construction industry.  He worked for several companies, but I remembered fondly him working at Caribbean Construction Company in Harbor View, close to the international airport. My mother was a home maker.  After all, she had six kids to take care of.  I guess by Jamaican standards, we were middle class, but I don’t know.  All I know is that we were happy, well fed, and attended church every Sunday.

Sundays used to be a challenge though, because I had several churches to go to.  Because I was a Sea Scout (later a Cadet … it’s like a pre military organization), I had to go to Kingston Parish Church in downtown Kingston.  It was a requirement for the scout to attend because that was our sponsoring church.  I also had to go to my step-grandmother’s church on my dad side of the family, Mount Zion, and then later I would go to my grandmother’s church on my mom’s side.   I had a lot of churches to attend, plus I went to a private Anglican School, so I literally had a church service every day of the week.

Kingston College means so much to me.  It was there that I accepted an unorthodox religion; it was there that I became a bald headed Rasta (I’ll talk more about this another time).  You see, going to an Anglican school the “youths” could not grow dreadlocks or accept anything other than Christianity. They would have “caned me” (it’s exactly what I mean, beat you with a bamboo cane… corporal punishment), so the youths kept it under rap.

The youths at KC were proud because we knew we were the future of Jamaica.  They instilled that into us from the moment we walked to the gate each day.  The teachers made us feel proud of who we were.

My upbringing in Jamaica has kept me strong, even through trials and tribulations here in the great north.   If it wasn’t for my background, I think that when times got rough, and lies abound, I would have cracked, if it wasn’t for my positive rearing.

I cried tonight, because I realized that my family and my schooling have kept me strong; I cried tonight because I realized where my programming and strength came from.  For example: when people are sometimes cruel and mean, I would say “good will overcome evil.”  Believe it or not, they thought that at Kingston College; they taught that to me in church; they taught that in the streets of Jamaica to the youths of the day, and my parents still says that to me today.

I love Minnesota.  If I hadn’t moved here, I wouldn’t have met the most wonderful person in the world.  I wouldn’t have met my wife, Antoinette.   Like any parents, we have our issues with our children; one is doing great, our daughter Nika, but our son is giving us hell.  The ironic thing about it, he’s got my name and so when you’re googling information about me, you’ll also find negative information about him.  But guess what, my son isn’t me.  As my dad said in his wisdom, “Son, a good man has a good child and a good man has a bad child.  That’s life!” I remember talking to Patti (Jerry) and sharing how my son has negatively affected me, she reminds me by saying “It’s not you!”

So tonight, finding another person with my name which turns out to be me from a time about four decades ago brought back a joy that was overwhelming.  It was great to be reminded of where I came from and why I am so proud.

But you know what? I’m happy!!! We’ve got countless friends just like you; we just don’t have any more time to worry about others. We are striving to focus on the positive (it’s kind of hard sometimes, especially with what I’ve been through).

It’s been drilled into me from my youth: “Fortis cadere cedere non potest  – The brave may fall but never yield!”