My Personal Story

My Personal Story: So, the dogs are making a racket outside and I must concentrate to literally save our lives right now. I have a legacy to save. Please Lord let them calm down and help me tell my story without breaching boundaries where my story intertwines with the stories of my family, friends, and clients. How do you do that? I have only my permission to tell my story. Their story is theirs. I happen to think our story is precious and needs to be shared with the world. So perhaps, later I will tell you more but only as I am permitted.

I am here to save legacies. I am convinced this is my destiny, doing what God intended for me to do. I have seen evidence in my life that everything that has happened, the experiences I have, all come together for God’s plan for my life. Each job, from cleaning other people’s toilets to real estate, each volunteer activity, from picking up trash to caring for other humans has all contributed to my ability to bring people together. I think it’s just empathy. I have an overwhelmingly strong desire to help save legacies.

I was born in Jamaica. Many generations before us, were what most people would consider very rich. We came from Kings and Queens. You can look back in history and see that. The two generations before me though, were very poor. Our wealth was long lost, and as poverty became severe, our best resources, our humans went off to foreign countries to seek a better life for themselves and family; children and properties were often abandoned. Letters didn’t find their way home; telephones were not plentiful the way they are now. In fact, when I was a teenager, we had a payphone about three streets over from my house. That one, and the one at my mother’s workplace were the only two phones I knew of. As some of you know, telephone rates were high back then. It was not at all like now where you can call anywhere using WhatsApp and other such applications to make free long-distance calls.

When our people left home, sometimes they would do well enough to send for their children but sometimes they did not. Many children and property were what we called “left behind”. In my family alone, my Grandma (to me that was her name) carefully placed her children. I am sure she thought they would all be safe. My mom’s siblings were with their grandmother but mom being the baby, was left with a younger couple who had the energy for a thriving baby girl. Later, that couple separated, one going to England and the other following sometime after. Grandma’s baby girl was left with a lady who raised children who are left behind; It was kind of like a foster home but private. Not private in the sense that payments came from the family, but more private like, “hush-hush, don’t tell nobody”. Kids like my mom who had no one to send payments for her, had to earn their keep. Families become disconnected. Now we were one of the lucky families. We eventually came back together. Late but better than not at all. Now my grandmother didn’t go to the United States of America (U.S.A.) and take people’s job as some would say. She did the dirty jobs that no one wanted. She cared for the very sick and very elderly. She was a caretaker, cleaning what no one else would. She was grateful for the job. To different degrees many of her children followed in her footsteps. While she was alive, she worked hard and brought most of her children to the U.S.A. It must have been very hard for her to carry on even after she thought she had lost her baby girl for good. The disconnect happened when one “mamma” left a baby girl with another mamma. It wasn’t until mom was hardly grown up and pregnant with me that a stranger commented how much she looked like a friend who he later brought to meet her, and it turned out to be her brother, my uncle. After that we began to connect again. I learned that this happens in many places and is quite common in our Caribbean islands. An old lady who we will call Miss Jones raised mom in a one-room hut with outdoor toilet and separate hut for a kitchen. Let me just tell you, I have been there literally, because later I was left at Miss Jones. Do you understand how scary it is for a kid to go outside with the kerosene lamp to go to the toilet. Yep, I said toilet, not bathroom. Baths happened outside in a washtub in between the sheets and clothes on the clothesline. That is if you are lucky and it’s wash day. They are not letting you take the only light with you. So, what do you do? I know, pick me. You use the Chimmie (Don’t know if I am spelling that right but it looks like a giant teacup; it is used like a bedpan, but placed on the floor).

The point is although Jamaica is a rich country for many, Grandma came from very humble beginnings. She is my hero.

Grandma is gone now. If someone doesn’t step up to claim the land and do something with it, someday the government will take it for the taxes owed.

Before she died, she wanted to build a home in Jamaica. A place where she could finally get some rest and have her children and grandchildren who were now spread far and wide, come home to visit her. They all migrated in different directions. Mamma was able to buy the land but to anyone’s knowledge, she did not have a will and after she died nothing was done with the land. I was still a young girl raising my young family when she died. Mom told me about the land. She assumed one of the siblings that knew mamma better would know what to do. But they have all gone on now and mom is the only living child of Grandma, so she wants to save the legacy and have the land transferred to her and then to me to do something about it. God willing, I will let you know how saving that legacy goes.

Meanwhile, as my children have grown up, I had the opportunity to take a vacation or two. Each time we chose destination Barbados because my other half was born there, and we usually had to help take care of some family matter or another. No problem, for me, this was like being in my beautiful Jamaica. I love Barbados.

Each time we visited; we would take care of family property. It was hard leaving property in the care of others, having been in real estate for so many years and seeing what sometimes happens to property that is left behind. This contributed to my focus on saving legacies, and when a friend took me to show me the family property their people left behind it left quite an impression on me. What touched me is that I knew her family had gone through similar beginnings in migration and worked hard to own land and build this house I was looking at. I could hardly see the house for the weeds that was crawling over it. The landscape was taking back the land. As we scraped our way inside my mind went to all the things, we can do to save this place. That was exciting to me. Then I stepped inside and saw light. Light from the sky because a large portion of the roof had fallen in. We had to leave because it wasn’t safe. There was no sign that life use to live there. I am ready to go back with hard hat and a crew. I feel compelled to save these legacies. We think life is hard now. Imagine what our people went through. Will you join me in saving their legacies?

I am starting in Barbados to take care of a legacy here. There is much to do. Thank god, I don’t do it alone. I have a great team here in Barbados and I can’t forget my friends and especially from Petco in Los Banos, California who helped me get my four-legged friends to Barbados.

These are just some of the reasons I am inspired to save legacies. Who do you know that has a legacy going to waste? Tell them to call me. I am in Barbados and can help you here. I want to help. If you have a legacy in Barbados let me help you save it. I have connections all over the world so if you need help somewhere else, I can probably help you find someone to help you wherever it is. Email me at jeanette@jeanetteking.com

I will be sharing more stories here. No real names so if you see a name like yours here, I am not talking about you. Please stay tuned to my Blog for more on saving legacies.

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2 Comments

  1. נערות ליווי on May 18, 2022 at 2:11 am

    The next time I read a blog, Hopefully it doesnt fail me just as much as this one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read through, but I actually thought you would have something useful to say. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something that you could fix if you werent too busy searching for attention.



    • jeanette@jeanetteking.com on November 1, 2022 at 4:39 pm

      You said “bunch of moaning about something that you could fix if you werent too busy searching for
      atención”. Tell me, exactly where did you see moaning?