10 For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. 13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
Most people in life can trace their family line as far back as four generations. Yet some of us don’t know our biological parents much more to know our grand-parents. Ever since I was a child I always heard my mom and her sisters talked about their parents as if it was some kind of mysterious fairy-tale. Though my mother and her three siblings are of the same mother and father, it is a mystery to me how two of them ended up with different last names. My mother and her younger brother last name is reflected as “Wright” on their birth certificate, and her two younger sisters “Reid.” It has been a long time joke of mine, to say that betwixt the four of them they can “read and write” well. The only explanation I was offered in plight of this situation is that after the death of their father in 1944, my grandmother was unable to support all her children, so she gave them away like “puss kitten.”
My mom Rose was the eldest, Lily was the second child, John was third child and Dorothy was the baby, just a few months old when my grandfather Emanuel died. With little information about their dad it was hard for anyone of them to really know which two had the correct last name. What makes it even more difficult is the fact that my grandfather was not a native of Jamaica. He was an American citizen, a soldier in the United States army. He came to Jamaica in the early 1900s.
Over the years I have tried to gather as much information about my grandfather as I could, but there has been little to work with. What has been very consistent in my research from my mom’s older siblings (my grandmother’s eldest children Daisy and Ivan; of previous marriage) and the little my mom and her sisters could recall, is that he was a white American, from New Jersey. He was also an evangelist and Bible teacher. They said after his death, his sister, mother and US soldiers came to ship his body to America for burial. His mother had promised that after the funeral she would return to take the three oldest children with her to America and help her to support the youngest. Upon her return, my grandmother, Essie refused to let them go.
Growing up my mom, would recall stories she remembered before her father’s death, of how he would take her everywhere he went to preach or teach. She would say “the people called him ‘teacher Wright.’” Now whether that was teacher “right or Wright” I don’t know. She recalls how on one of these trips her dad took sick and had to be admitted in the hospital and for two days her mother didn’t know where she was.
Life had been a struggle for her and her sisters growing up. They suffered many abuse at the hands of the people who their mother had entrusted them to. My mother and her sisters would recount numerous stories of how they had to work hard just to earn their nights dinner.
After a few years they were reunited with their mother. My grandmother, Essie was described as a God-fearing woman who loved to sing, pray and reading her Bible. She was a woman of quiet spirit. She loved everyone and didn’t let anything bother her. My grandmother remarried and gave birth to four more children; Clarise, Linton, Clinton (twins), and Jerdean.
As a young girl growing up my mom worked hard to help her mother after the death of her husband, Mr. Butler. Everyone said that my mother Rose resembled my grandmother and had her spirit. Years later when my grandmother got sick, it was my mother who cared for her until her passing in 1970. It would have been great to have known my grandparents but it was not so. Grandpa Emanuel died when my mom was only 12 years of age and Essie died before my mom had any children.
Even though I have never met any of my grandparents I am proud to say that they left a legacy and an inheritance that cannot be taken away; it is that of a Christian heritage. My mother never failed to tell us stories of her parents love for God. She herself was a God-fearing woman who loved to pray, read her Bible and sing hymns to the Lord. She was loving and kind. There was no one who could do anything for her to get angry enough to curse or yell at anyone. She always saw the best in everyone, even when she knew that person was sent by the devil himself. She had a way to make people laugh. No one could be around her and be sad or hungry. She always had a good laugh and food to cheer you up.
On October 21, 2011 my mom went home to be with the Lord. Today I can say it is because of their faith and love for God why I can share this story with you. If it wasn’t for the legacy that was passed on I would not have had the strength to endure losing her. It is because of my Godly heritage why I am able to draw closer to God for strength.
I can honestly say that if my mother had not tell me stories of my grandparents and their faith, and seen how she lived for God I would not be a Christian today. I was captivated by their stories. In spite of the enemies plan to destroy the family and stop the inheritance from passing on, God had bigger plans. He made sure that my mother and her sisters never stopped talking about the little they could remember about their parents. God knew that one day, my mother would have a little girl of her own, who would sit down to right this story so He had to make sure that the legacy was passed on.
Thank you Lord, for not allow the enemy to steal my inheritance. I strongly believe that God had sent my grandfather on a mission here in Jamaica and whatever mission it was he started over almost 60 years ago it my destiny to complete it. It is no coincident that my greatest passion is to teach and help others. God has a plan and though you might not know the history of fore parents or parents God has a hope and a future prepared for you. So whether you know your family history or not God will use you to create a legacy for your children to inherit if you complete trust in him.
Proverbs 3:5 – Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Natalee Henry- Minister, Motivational Speaker, Publisher, Author, Founder and C.E.O. of Season Destiny, a ministry designed to "empower you to make right decisions in life." Her goal is to “empower you to make the right decisions in life” through the teaching of the Word of God. Her mission is to Educate, Motivate, and Transform lives for the Kingdom of God.