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What I Learnt About Myself And My Family After Returning To Jamaica After 14 Years

She was smaller than I remembered and I’m sure I was much bigger than she recalled. It was 14 years since I last saw my Grandma. So much of her, I attribute to who I am - at least from what I could recall of her from my childhood. Our humour - both dry, the same nose and even the way we smile was uncanny. Jamaica was by far the jewel in my childhood. It was so precious to me that honestly, it might have been one of the reasons why it had taken me until I was 25 years old to return. Of course, flights aren’t cheap and life gets in the way, but a part of me was scared that I wasn’t going to be the same playful, clumsy child holding mangos in my church dress that my grandma recalled.

For years Jamaica had been plaguing my mind, but with my Grandma turning 80 last year - I knew it was time. So, I booked my tickets with my childhood best friend and set off on our Jamaican adventure. We started off at my Grandma's house up in the Mountains near Kingston, before heading to Negril on the west coast, and then Ocho Rios and Port Antonio. 

Seeing my Grandma after so long felt like a breath of fresh, clean air. We reached Jamaica a little jet-lagged and groggy, but when I saw her I ran into her arms. In some ways, it was like time hadn’t passed at all. We were both trying to be the best versions of ourselves. Me helping out in every way possible, visiting every family friend and asking my grandma a million questions I’d missed out on in the last decade. And Grandma was refusing to let me lift a finger and cooking all my favourite meals. I thought we might be a bit awkward in each other's company, but everything clicked in to place like time hadn't happened.