THE FLIGHT HOME
My father died on Friday.
At around 7pm on the 15th of April, Alford Josephus Jackson, Boysie to his friends, of whom there were many, exhaled his last breath on this earth.
Fortunately, he didn’t die alone unlike his mother, who had died as she stitched the buttons on the shirt he would wear on his journey to England.
Instead, dad would die with my sisters and nieces sat by his bedside in Dudley in the home he loved. In the home his dearest wife Amy, mom, had died too, almost four years before.
Sadly, my journey home to be with him, before he left us, would alas be fruitless. The news of his passing reaching me as I boarded my plane at Montreal. All that I can say is that this was my longest ever journey home.
I awoke though, that next morning, over the Atlantic approaching the coast of Ireland, and as I watched the blueness grow into an orange, and gold sunrise on the horizon, I thought of him, and cried for him.
His younger years saw him endure a hard rural life in Ginger Ridge in Jamaica with his grandmother. Dropping out of school at a very early age to look after his younger brother.
My dad was a wonderful kind and funny man who travelled across the sea to England to find a life for himself and who would find a future in his wife and family to come.
Dad was a man who liked to laugh and talk in funny voices, make fried dumplings, and work in his garden. He loved nothing more than to watch cricket and to give his family the life he had always wanted for himself. He was a man who would give anyone his last penny if they needed it and as we parted, each time, he would always say, “keep cool!’
I and my family loved him with all our hearts and will miss him so very dearly.
Godspeed dad and keep cool, until we meet again 'inna di morrows' to come.