Family has always been central to my well-being. At an early age, growing up in what was then British Guiana, I realized instinctively that my family was vital to my survival. My parents’ constant bickering and violent verbal exchanges threatened the unity of our nuclear family of seven: two adults and five children. Connections with the two branches of my extended maternal and paternal families tempered the fears and insecurity that unsettled my young life.
During the turbulent years of our struggle for independence from Britain, my extended families shrunk with the migration of relatives to the Mother Country. Later, when Britain tightened immigration from Guyana and its former West Indian colonies, more aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends found new havens in Canada and the United States. Loss has left its scar on my life.Continue reading