Even though we all will die one day, I am happy however to remain among the living as I still have a young family. My desire is for my family to be financially independent and to see all of my children become adults with their own family and therefore I am grateful to God for allowing me to be alive this day.
Today, I am 50 years old and I am grateful. Too many people did not have this opportunity to reach this milestone. Today I reflect on the past fifty years of my life and will share with you parts of my life, the good, the bad and ugly. The sharing is not for any pity but to give God glory and thanks from where I came to where I am now.
0 – 10 years old
I don’t remember anything prior to age 5 but I do remember starting the South Caicos Primary School in September 1975 and my first teacher was Mrs. Iris Stubbs. I remembered her beating us because we did not draw the patterns properly. I also remember coming third in the Spelling Bee around age 9 or 10. At that time, they expected a girl to win and so they already had the gift prepared and I got ponytails. At age 10 in September 1980, I also entered the Pierson High School. Three of us in our class were 10 years old when we took the exam but you had to be 11. Somehow they allowed us and we passed. I found out last year through a Facebook note that Mr. George Fulford pushed and ensured that we were given the opportunity to take the exam.
During this era, so many people came to our yard to play softball, marbles and ride bikes. We even used our foul coop to have a band group. Our neighbours were like our biological family. I would never forget Mrs. Annie Brooks, the house we spent a lot of our time in to watch television as we didn’t have TV nor electricity at this time. Every time, I go to Ms Annie Brooks’ house, she would give us something to eat. If the truth be told, sometimes I only went there to get something to eat.
I also spent a lot of time with my grandmother Antoinette Smith. I used to go to her house daily even when she and my mom had their differences I used to still sneak and go see her.
Despite all of the fun above, this period was also an ugly period for me as I was teased a lot. I was tired of people calling me black, ugly and everything else in the book. I remembered one of my teachers saying I will never learn. I also remember in Grade 3 a new student came to our class and the teacher told her to sit next to me but she didn’t want to. I thought it was because I looked ugly As a result, it was the beginning of my suffering from inferiority complex, a condition that lasted for years. I didn’t like being black. I thought if I put my face in bleached water, I would turn light skinned as I used to hear people talking about bleaching. Oh how gullible I was!
11 – 20 years
I met some wonderful teachers at High School including Ms Elizabeth Goff, my Spanish teacher who I still keep in contact with to date. At age 15, I graduated from High School and returned to High School for another year as it was customary to do back then as scholarships were unheard of. At age 16, I applied to Barclays Bank and was offered a job as a teller. However, the same time in 1986, a scholarship was offered to students to attend Wilmington College. I had no idea I would have gone to college. I remember a few people telling me if I am going to work to the fisheries plant where my mom worked for a living. Fortunately, I was blessed and was the first recipient of a scholarship to Wilmington College in Ohio. Thank you to the late Peter and Constance Drake for this opportunity. During this time, I met the first American Family, Bruce and Fayane Saunders, a family I will always admire and who has shown me love despite our difference in skin colour and background.
It was during this time, I began to feel good about myself. It was also the first time I ever had a birthday party. Thank you Mr. & Mrs. Saunders for my first birthday party. During this time, I met so many wonderful friends at Wilmington College. I also met another great family, Luther and Susan Natter. They are so adorable and funny. They called me their son and even let me people know that. I believed I met this family over a Christmas break in 1987. International students had an option to live with families in different states over the Christmas program. I chose Pennsylvania knowing that there was a trip to Washington DC. Really and truly it was a set up by God to meet the Natters who have been an inspiration in my life like the Saunders.
I graduated from Wilmington College in May 1989 at age 19 with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Business Management and then went to Miami University and graduated in December 1990 at age 20 with an MBA in Finance. During my time at Miami University, I got to spend summer studying in UK and Russia, a wonderful experience.
During this time I also discovered new study habits. In Turks and Caicos I used to memorize a lot but it didnt work for me in the USA. I had to apply what I learned. Because of my study habits in TCI, I failed my first economics test, however, it was a wake up call and paid off for me in the end.
21 – 30
I returned to TCI in 1991 and lived with Mrs. Gloria Cox for many months until I secured an apartment. She is a wonderful woman of God. I started my first job at Coopers & Lybrand now called Price Water House. I remember walking downtown to work with my briefcase and suits just to show off. The only thing I had in my brief case was coconut tarts and my certificates. I acquired the American accent and love the compliments. However, during this time, I reverted to suffering from low self-esteem. Oh I remember wishing I was back in Ohio. In 1992, I took the CPA exam and successfully passed all four parts.
During this time, I was blessed to visit Singapore and Malaysia for two weeks which really and truly are two of my favourite places. Ironically most of my friends in College were from Malaysia. In fact the main reason I went on this trip was to attend the wedding of a close friend.
At age 25, I had my first beer. I didn’t like it but I drank it to fit in with the crowd at Gilley’s Cafe. However, I only drank a few sips of the beer, and threw most of it away in the garbage bin without anyone knowing.
On April 14,1996, I accepted the Lord as my personal Saviour at Community Fellowship Center Assembly of God and has been a member since then. Oh what a wonderful feeling that was. I never miss a Sunday Morning, Sunday Night or Wednesday night for service. I was yearning to know more about the Lord. On April 21, 1996 I began to speak in tongues.
In 1996 I also met Joanna who was the secretary at KPMG ( a firm I joined in 1993). We got married on December 28th and lived in Canada until mid 1998. I remember going to the immigration officer in Canada after leaving Miami where we got married, the Immigration Officer asked me so who is taking care of your accommodation etc while in Canada. I quickly responded ‘the sperm”. I meant to say the Firm but I told the officer the sperm. I don’t know where that came from me but I supposed it was because it was my wedding day.
Ag age 28, our first child Drexanna Gabrielle was born. This was one of the most exciting times for us welcoming our first child. I remember getting up every 4 hours to feed Drexanna because we were told to make sure the baby eats every four hours. This is the same year, my father died at age 76.
During this time, we got our first home and at the same time I was diagnosed with a kidney infection. Of course I didn’t think it was that serious as each year I did a check-up, the kidneys were operating at a good level. I didn’t think to get a second opinion.
During this time, our second child Jowell Christian was born in 2002. Then in 2009 at 39 our third child Drexwell Joshua was born. During this period, I became the first local CEO of Cable & Wireless. It was during this time, the telecommunications market was liberalized and we were faced with competition. My mom died when I was 40. She was 82. My mom lived with us for a number of years. They were challenging but I am grateful I was able to help my mom.
In 2001, we started our first business, J & D Office Supplies. The first year was rough but God opened a door for us to expand our business and to that we are thankful.
We also built apartments in Blue Mountain and Juba Sound. I am grateful to God for this source of income.
After my mom’s death, I overheard some tales whether it was intended for me to hear or not, whether they are true or not, I don’t know. However, I began to think little of myself again. Thank God for Joanna for encouraging me to rise up and to accept the fact that I cannot change anything about the past. Finally, after five years of depression, at age 45, I recognized it does not matter what people say about you. You do not need any validation. I finally learned to be at peace and accept the things I cannot change.
During this time, we had the surprise of our life, Joanna found out she was pregnant with twins, Jostin Daniel and Josiah Deangelo.
It was also during this time, I took my daughter and our oldest son to the UK. My daughter is still there but my son is in the USA.
During this period I started my accounting firm HLB as well as our property management company, See More Villas & Properties. I really wanted to get in the Hospitality Industry because one of my goals is to own hotels and villas throughout the TCI and Caribbean. However, no one wanted to hire me.
This period our family lost our oldest sister Carol Agnes Mackey. While Carol used to be sick a lot, we did not expect to get the news that she die.
In late 2016, the doctor informed me that my kidney was only operating at 19% and within weeks, they told me the kidney was operating at 4% and I had to go on dialysis. This was perhaps the worst moment in my life. All sorts of negative thoughts ran across my mind. Thoughts of dying. I was embarrassed and ashamed because of the negative connotations associated with kidney failure. Thank God I am over those feelings now. It has now been three years and I am believing God for a miracle that I will be healed soon.
It was during this time, I discovered my hidden passion for writing. While many may think I have a political agenda or promoting one party over the other or trying to become popular, it is the furthest thing from the truth. My agenda is to influence, inspire and encourage others with a message of the truth. I want to take this agenda internationally as too many people are discouraged, depressed and living in hopelessness. I want to help fill the gap by inspiring and making a change in the lives of others. This can be done through my writing whether through my website, speaking engagements, books and my YouTube channel. In fact, I have already received correspondence from individuals in the USA and Philippines who are inspired by my writings. To God be the Glory. Two days ago on Jan 22, 2020, I completed writing the entire manuscript for my book. The next thing of course is to get the book published.
Despite the bad and the ugly, I am grateful for the experiences I have encountered as it made me who I am today. Not all of my experiences were bad and ugly. I had some very good experience during this 50 years on earth.
I intend to experience more good things for the rest of my life on earth even if I encounter any negative situations, I will look for the opportunities from it.
It took me 48 years to know my purpose on earth. One thing I know is that we all have a purpose on earth, no matter how you came into this world. No one is a mistake and no one is better than you.
Be grateful for your life on earth. Celebrate it daily by honouring and giving God thanks for the time he has allowed you to be on earth. Never compare yourself to anyone. Be yourself. Be good to yourself.
Thank you God for 50 years on earth and many more to come.