Ever had a family get together where everyone reminisces about the "good ol' days" and share recounts of great times? My family does that all of the time.(In addition to playing UNO and Pictionary) Since we are a large group ( My grandmother had 16 children-8 boys and 8 girls) there are numerous stories. Some are very colorful, very joyful and there are a few sad ones too. While the stories are important, the strength lies in the bonds that are formed from storytelling and with the story teller.
Stories endure the test of time just by being told. A year ago, my cousin Hayden, was the victim of a senseless shooting. He had a story to tell and he told it. He remains in our hearts and we give him life by sharing his story amongst ourselves and with others.
The video below shows a family gathering in Antigua in 2008. My uncle Leary and Hayden told the story from a first person point of view. Although their speech is in a heavy Trinidadian dialect, one can see the joy and loved that is shared amongst our family as a whole-hence the power of the story and the story teller.
Here is a gist of what happened.
My uncle (Leary) and cousin (Hayden-bald headed guy) were given the responsibility of caring for my grandfather's prized hunting dogs. He instructed them to tend to the animals while he was away. The two men accepted their assignments, but decided to play, wrestle and have an all out good time for 3 days straight without even an inkling thought of checking on the dogs.
When my grandfather returned, he asked them for an account of how they had tended to the dogs. Knowing that they were in trouble and had never checked on the dogs, they concocted a story of how they bathed the dogs,fed them, kept them in the shade, and did an all around good job in caring for the pets. Both boys agreed that that was their story and that they were sticking to it. The funny part- the kicker of the whole story was that unbeknownst to the boys, my grandfather took the hunting dogs with him for the past three days!
Luckily, the intervention of one our family friends had allowed both boys a chance to live to tell that story and not experience the swift decisive discipline of a West Indian Parent.
Hayden, we love you and you will forever be in our hearts. Will tell this story to everyone because it gives us life. It gives you life.