Each night before I fall asleep I choose a meditation for the night. A typical meditation can focus on love and light, happiness and gratitude, health and compassion, the list goes on I'm sure you get the gist. Last night while falling asleep I decided on a meditation of love and connection, my first step was to invite the energies of my deceased Jamaican grand parents and spirit guides to make the next day one of love and connections. Perhaps I'm crazy and the gifts of today were mere coincidence, perhaps I'm not and that this was all intentional and deliberate. In September 2014 I had a psychic tell me that I must stop writing off the divine order in my life as coincidence and that I must recognize them as what they are and call them by name. So with that being said, last nights meditation and today's miracles set the stage for a very emotional day.
This morning I woke up at 7am and took an ice cold shower. My dad was already up. He's an early riser and the prospects of finding family today was beyond exciting. It was still early and we decided to grab a full breakfast at the nearby pelican restaurant.
For breakfast daddy had ackee and salt fish and I had an egg sandwich. Breakfast was delicious and so was the fast free wifi. I swear free wifi is like oxygen to a traveller like me. After breakfast we still had a half hour to kill, we strolled through the park, watched the ocean dance with the morning sunshine, and took pictures that would never capture its full beauty.
As we walked up the hotel walkway our driver was directly in front of us. Both arriving exactly at 9am as scheduled. Chris was ready to be helpful and knew Hopewell well. My father lived on two large farm, friendship and bamboo. His uncle Fred (mas Fred) owned bamboo farm alone. Friendship was the family farm shared by my grandmother (Ann) and her other siblings, Alexander, Sam, Edmund, Alice, Lou, and Isabel. All of them had the surname Jackson. No one knows anything about their parents just that this group of siblings were white or had such a small amount of african blood that it went unrecognized. This side of the family was also very prejudice against dark skin black Jamaicans, which caused my grandmother problems once she met, fell in love with and married a poor illiterate dark- skinned Jamaican man from Spanish Town, my grandfather Samuel Hines.
Our driver Chris immediately got on the phone to call Jackson's from Hopewell that he knew. Those friend responded right away informing his that he needed to speak with Ms Mattie who sold newspapers in front of the old gas station in hopewell. Before we knew it we found the lady who was also at least in her 70s or 80s like my dad. She remembered the Jackson family at this time of course all dead, but she also knew their children my father's first cousins. Cleveland and Derek. She informed us of both of their passing but also added that their children and grand children still lived in the area. "Drive straight up the road to friendship, dem stil dere". We drove up and up the twisting road up the rolling mountains. The higher we climbed the thicker and greener the bush got. It was stunningly beautiful. Chris asked people along the way for the jackson family. An older gentleman with a machete in hand recommended that we ask Doris Davis the dental nurse in the area, she knows everybody. He gave us directions to her house and she later gave us directions to be living Jackson's in the area. "Take the tird left then the next left affta dat". We asked one more man as we hit the first of the dirt roads and the next thing we knew we were knocking on the door of one of the Jacksons. No one was home.
As we walked away, the neighbors yelled down to us from their rooftop. They were that neighbors cousins and told us he would be home shortly. This is when the miracles started becoming apparent. "Gimme 5 minutes fi cum dung" she yelled down to us.
In exactly five she was with us, gorgeous high cheek bones and all. Now check this she, Susie is my father's uncle Alexander's great grand daughter. Alexander was father to Cleveland Sr (and Derek, my father's first cousins) All of whom are deceased Susie was Derek's grand- daughter and she also had a sister Diane. The neighbor was cousin Cleveland Jr's son Jerry. The jackson family in Jamaica remained close even though a group had previously left for the US (my father's branch of the tree) and another branch was in Canada. As we started talking the last man we asked directions from came around the corner with Jerry Jackson, Susie's cousin. He saw Jerry right after we asked for a Jackson as brought him to us. Susie and my dad began going down the family lineage verifying whom belong to whom, sometimes confusing each other then clarifying once again. Jerry added info in here and there, but Susie really knew the most. The Jackson's at one time owner 2400 acres of land in hopewell, the land was sold out little by little leaving approximately 240 aces which my father's cousin Doris eventually sold. Actually two of those plots were sold to Jerry and Susie. The same cousins who stood before us. As they threw out names it was revealed that most of the elders had already passed over, but one was left Cynthia. My dad's first cousin, Mas Sam's daughter. Susie knew exactly where to find Cynthia, at church with her sister Diane. She gave us Diane's phone number and told us to head to St John's Methodist church on Humber avenue in Montego Bay. Since it was Sunday they would be there at least another hour. By now it was only 10:30 am and we had already made contact.
Before leaving the area Chris recommended that we swing by my dad's old elementary school to take a few pictures. We did just that. Our new cousin Jerry and his friend also attended this school and called it the best school with proud smiles.
Within 15 minutes we descended down the mountains and swiftly made it to St John's Methodist Church.
Chris called Diane, told her that an elder family member was visiting from the US looking for his cousin Cynthia and we were given her contact info by Susie. Diane was outside with us within minutes. We all looked at each other and we all looked like each other. She asked up to please wait in the church waiting hall while she retrieved Cynthia from inside the church. After a few minutes Cynthia turned the corner with Diane, 83 years young and strong as ever, just like my father.
"Cynthia do you remember me, I'm your aunt Ann's son Everett."
"Hines, Everett Hines. Of course I remember"
Everything after that was a blur of hugs, family stories, who's who, and who died when. It was as if time hadnt past. These too sharp old timers made connections and it was overwhelming. Chris stepped away to blink back the tears. Diane and I were in shock, but cousin Cynthia was ready for us, as if she knew we would come someday and was patiently waiting for this moment.
As I took this picture of them together my phone displayed the time 11:11am. That's is the known number for spirits, this was no accident. I humbly thanked the ancestors for their help and this beautiful moment. We exchanged phone numbers and email addresses, both Diane and I promising to help the elders stay connected through technology and hopefully having them attend our family reunion in June in Atlanta. Although Cynthia doesn't have info on their grand parents she said she had records of the jackson siblings lineage, and wanted to share them upon our return.
Love, connections, 11:11 are never coincidences, the ancestors have spoken and I faithfully walk the path they have places before my feet. I am grateful for the miracles in my life.
Video of new family http://youtu.be/hoR4MvjcjX0