Me fadda dead (Part I)

Me fadda dead dis harftanoon. Or maybe dis mornin’, ah doan really know. Me sista she call me nah on me cell, say im was sick dis mornin an im tek a taxi to Kingston public ospital but ‘is eyes dem roll back all white in the taxi an im cyaan talk no more. De doctor dem aks im where it ‘urt an im point to ‘is ‘eart. And den im dead before dey can do anytin’.

Ah! Ah! Ah! When ah got de call ah couldn’t believe it. Ah staggered true de ‘ouse, me arms outstretch, graspin for sometin’ to grab onto, ah couldn’t see anytin’, ah was sobbin’ sooo ‘ard. Oh! Oh! Oh! me daughter she taught ah was laughin’. Ah got to de bartroom and sat on de toilet weepin’ wit’ me cellphone still to me ear.

Ah was goin’ to see im dis weekend … an now im go so quick an ah cyaan never see im again!

Wit’ me sista we went to the ospital. Dem say cos me daddy die so quick dem doan know how he die so they haffi cut im before we can tek the body.

Nah dem goan cut im Tuesday.

An de funeral parlour dem want 80,000 dollah fe de burial. Dem tief dem! Me get 6,000 a week, me husban a likkle more. I doan know what we goan do …

Me own church woan church me daddy cos im not a member dere. Ah’m a member fe ten years at leas’ an dem woan church mi own fadda! An dem call demselve christian! Me neighbour she give me de number of a pastor who will church im, but me ‘fraid to call and aks ‘ow much im want fe de churchin.

Me haffi go fe see the cutting. Me aks me sistah go wit’ me but she too scare fe go.

Read Mi fadda dead (Part II)

10 thoughts on “Me fadda dead (Part I)”

  1. Actually, after reading it for a bit, I guessed that it wasn’t YOUR father… Life is rough, I guess. :(

    I hope the lady who is really going through this does gets through this hard time and that she will somehow be able to bury her father.

    Perhaps you should suggest the option of cremation. Thats the option my family took when my father died in 2003. No need to fatten the pockets of the mortuary owner, plenty other people will see to that.

    She probably needs her money more for her living relatives, her husband and herself anyway.

  2. That’s a wonderful rendition, Ria. Reading it through out aloud I can’t help but imitate the accent and lower my voice by several tones the way I feel compelled to do when I read Benjamin Zephaniah or Linton Kwesi Johnson lyrics. And strangely, the story is even more moving read that way.

  3. you have a good ear for patois. you could write for the star which seems to be the only paper that publishes patois. anyways it is interesting to read your journal, i spent two years in kingston as a Peace Corps Volunteer. My wife worked in Grants Pen which was featured in your youtube video of your commute home.

  4. Is Ja Patois your native tongue? It is so accurate.
    This churching business is a serious thing here.
    Cremation? Forget about it, this seems to be something only people who can afford an expensive funeral will do. The poorer you are, the more money you want to spend on a showy ‘send off’> Any one see the last Sunday Gleaner with the house and car mausoleums?

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