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Caribbean Story Part 4: The Easter Kite

Caribbean Story shares memories of a Caribbean writer, including bits on parenting and other lifestyle aspects influenced by the culture.

Caribbean Story features the nurture and influence of Miranda Davis' grand-mothers. In Part 3, Miranda is born and her father Manny shows up, expresses his love, departs and suffers a serious accident. In this episode gossip spreads, kites fly and the pastor visits.

The Gossip

Caribbean folks are known for their juicy sweet storytelling flavored with their dramatic superfluous expressions. Gossips don’t just talk; they run their mouths. Some parents don’t tell the children to “Go bathe;” they tell them “Go wash your skin.” And when Daisy Morton heard about the accident, she said, "De devil trying to take back Manny birth paper."

She did not usually open her corner store on Sundays, but this Easter Sunday she still had kites for sale, she said, and she wanted them gone before Easter Monday.

Photo by Armineaghayan

Photo by Armineaghayan

“Plus,” she confided in one customer, “people can’t just stand up in the road like fowls that don’t have roost; they need a place to bundle up when something serious happen." So throughout the afternoon, customers came in threes and fours and she told slightly different variations of Manny’s accident.

“Sourpus Lulu is responsible for this set o’ trouble. She wouldn’t talk to Manny for the whole time she had the big belly. When he see the midwife walking full speed down the road to Seaside Village, he knew it was time for the baby to come. A galloping horse couldn’t catch him pedaling his bike to get there. When he pushed his head into the bedroom, Lulu screamed for him to get out. The only reason we didn’t hear her was that the choir was singing. Poor Manny! His head started to spin like a top, and it never stopped spinning. That’s why he couldn’t control his bike. That’s why he hit the truck and fell backward. Whatever happen to Manny, blame Lulu."

The Truth

The truth is that just before Manny collided with the truck, he was happier than he had been in months. He was so ecstatic after seeing the baby that he had waved twice to individuals he knew and shouted to them that he had a baby girl. On the third wave, he looked back for a moment too long and ran into a truck coming round a bend in the road. The impact threw him up in the air and he landed flat on his back with multiple fractures. He was unconscious when he reached the hospital, and he still was when his mother Mattie and his sisters left him to go home for the night.

Lulu had very little time to exhale from four hours of labour, before the news of Manny’s accident terrified her. Unwelcome thoughts raced through her mind. “Had his surprise visit been a token (omen)? Why did he show up just as soon as the baby was born, and made the speech that she would never forget? The one thing she was certain of was that he loved their daughter; and that fact filled her with pride.

Photo by Wendell Weithers

Photo by Wendell Weithers

Lulu’s sister, Josie and her brother Henry had long deserted the goats, and were in the open field watching other boys and girls fly their kites. They knew that their mother did not want them to come home before the baby was born; but when they heard of Manny’s accident, they felt compelled to go. They were surprised to see that the beautiful little angel was already there, but they put their compliments on hold to process Manny’s fate. Josie cried enough for her and Lulu.

Their mother Janie sat on the steps in silent torment. She was counting on Manny’s financial help, even though his mother told her not to worry. After the way he cuddled that baby and expressed his love, she believed that something good had come out of the unwanted pregnancy. Even though he and Lulu might never become a couple, her family’s connection with his family was to their advantage. She was beginning to love him. She dismissed the possibility of him not being around. Suddenly, somebody’s kite on a busted string landed at her feet.

“Who sent you?” she asked the kite, while admiring it's pattern. “What did you come to say?” She held it up to the wind and let it go.

The Prayer

Praying Hands Wallpapers

Praying Hands Wallpapers

The Prayer

After an eventful Easter Sunday, Granny Janie had much to pray about. Before getting into bed, she prayed aloud.

“Dear Lord in Heaven, thank You for the resurrection, for showing me that dead things can live again. So, I believe that my bad family situation can get better.

"Thank you for the new addition to this family. Bless the baby girl with gifts that none of us ever had, and make her grow into somebody good. Please take care of her father, Manny, and bring him back to his daughter and to us.

"Lord, please remember Josie, and give her the sense to keep her head on, and make me proud. Remember Henry and make him grow into a decent man. Even, bless Lulu and give her strength to work for herself and her child.

"And Lord, please be like a husband and provide for me. Provide for the Spooners so that we all could have enough to share with one another. Bless us all, in Jesus’ name. Amen."

Easter Monday

Janie smiled as she saw her pastor coming down the footpath toward her door. His presence proved to the neighbors that she was a church member in good and regular standing. It encouraged her son and younger daughter to behave like church folk. It discouraged Lulu from thinking that she had to remain unforgiven.

The real reason for his presence, though, was to let her know that her family was not alone in the midst of tragedy. Manny had not recovered. He passed during the night.

“He was a good man, Janie, and we thank God that he left an offspring to carry on his virtues. I must speak to Lulu," he insisted. " In the few minutes that Manny regained consciousness, he left a message for her.”

Janie looked down to let her tears fall. There at her feet was the kite–the same kite.

© 2018 Dora Weithers

Comments

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on July 27, 2020:

Thanks, Cynthia. I am so encouraged by your interest in these stories. Caribbean life back then was really something!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on July 27, 2020:

Jack, thanks for your feedback on my stories. Life in the Caribbean is surely different than it is in the US. You may feel like visiting for real.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on July 27, 2020:

Virginia, thanks a bunch for reading and commenting. Yes, girl. these are precious memories. So sorry it took me this long to find your comment.

Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on July 26, 2020:

Dear Dora,

It is often difficult to write about struggles that echo throughout one's life, but you have built in a believable faith, hope and love connection in this story that gives the reader hope for good outcomes for this little baby. I look forward to reading more.

Jack Shorebird from Central Florida, US on April 30, 2020:

Tragedy and life. These tales make me feel like I've visited a new place. An important place.

Virginia Sutton on April 17, 2019:

Hi Dora, just read some of your stories to Daisy. This bring back a lot of memories growing up.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 24, 2018:

Linda, sorry to disappoint you with Manny's passing. There is purpose to everything; you'll see.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on April 22, 2018:

Manny's death is so sad. The characters in your story are very interesting, Dora.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 08, 2018:

Thanks Devika. It means a lot to me to have you connect with my Caribbeans story.

DDE on April 06, 2018:

Greatly written and shared from your heart.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 01, 2018:

Manatita, thanks for following my CaribTales. Your input is always important and helpful. Happy Easter to you, too.

manatita44 from london on April 01, 2018:

Sad and poignant yet beautiful end. Tragedy strikes when we least expect it, that is one of the reasons the saints say that all we ever have is the Eternal Now. An appropriate day to read this piece, but it looks like you've been busy. How I love kite-flying. I liked hearing them sing. Happy Easter!!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 11, 2018:

Thanks, Glen. And here am I thinking that flying kites at Easter was done everywhere. Interesting!

Glen Rix from UK on March 09, 2018:

Your story is so colourful, Dora, and paints vivid images. I had never heard before of kite flying at Easter. When I was a child we played whip and top. I love your pictures and the baby is very cute.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 09, 2018:

Thanks, Sam. I'm sure that the Daisy you know is not the same one in this story, but I hear you. There are several.

Sam on March 09, 2018:

Daisy Morton is still alive. I know her. Sorry, sorry about Manny.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on February 27, 2018:

Hi Bill. What's going to happen? Manny will be buried, I'm sure. What else? We'll see. Thanks for following.

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on February 27, 2018:

Hi, Dora. I'm running way behind this week on my reads, but I knew I'd get eventually. Poor Manny. Now, what's going to happen? Guess I'll have to wait for the next installment. Love this, Dora!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on February 25, 2018:

Thanks Flourish. Now the grandparents will have to do more than their share of nurturing.

FlourishAnyway from USA on February 24, 2018:

How sad that the baby would never know her father. So lovingly written.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on February 23, 2018:

Eric, thanks for your loving, supportive expressions. These folks would love you too!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on February 23, 2018:

Thanks, Peg, for your encouragement. It means much to me.

Peg Cole from Northeast of Dallas, Texas on February 22, 2018:

I loved the prayer and was moved by your expert telling of the tale. Looking forward to more.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on February 22, 2018:

I have a new kite to fly with my boy -- today, thanks to you. And I am very grateful which I will tell our Lord -- thank you. I think I could walk right in the middle of these folks and be as happy as a pig with slop.

Manny is not dead he just changed form.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on February 21, 2018:

Kari, I also felt so sad when I reported Manny's death; but it is essential to the story that he makes his exit and allow room for the grandmothers' nurture in his absence.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on February 21, 2018:

Thanks, Bill. Hope you will not hesitate to call me out on transgressions as well.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on February 21, 2018:

Thanks, Mary. Your passion inspires me. Oh, for more readers like you. My sincere appreciation!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on February 21, 2018:

Thanks, Frank. I appreciate your comment. It helps me understand how readers react to the story. Also it makes me wonder if the people who lived this story accepted a certain level of sadness as a way of life.

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on February 21, 2018:

Oh, I cried when I heard about Manny. I'm looking forward to the message next week.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 21, 2018:

The images are excellent, Dora, and you have me hooked and waiting for the next chapter.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on February 21, 2018:

Oh, another suspense. I wonder what the message was. I love the local colour of your series.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on February 21, 2018:

Every time I read your shorts I grapple with the word sadness... It wrestles me down.. nonetheless you do have a prolific writing style...

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