When I look back at my life, I see a life that was impacted before it was created. The impact of my life started in the moments my paternal grandfather lost his.
I have vivid hear-Se recollection of my grandfather’s last moments. My Dad was ten months when this tragedy occurred, so he didn’t visibly see this either. Yet, according to the story he conveyed, this tragic moment along with severe harshness he endured, molded him. He shared this story to give his family understanding, an explanation for his erratic behaviors.
The effects of a life cut short has trickle down outcome that goes well beyond the hours it occurs in.
The happenings of a tragic day created a burdened path for generations to come.
My dad’s life played out like a nightmare which started after his father’s murder. The result of his father’s death seems to have doomed his future. I bear witnessed to the fractured man he was. I saw his fits of rage and anger, and I have heard of the community work that he had done to benefit others. He became a person who was admired by some but feared and loved by me.
My grandparents lived in the serene village of Sittee River in Stann Creek district, Belize. They had fruit trees and they grew other vegetables they sold and consumed.
One day a villager came by to say an Englishman who lived in the same village had shot and killed my grandfather’s best friend and another villager. Enraged, my grandfather picked up his shot gun and started to walk in the direction of the shooter’s place.
My poor frantic grandmother stood in her doorway yelling and pleading with him.
“Come back ya, you wa get yo self killed,” but my grandfather with determined defiance ignored my grandmother’s cries and continued towards his death.
News in those small villages in Belize traveled fast. I am not exactly sure how word of mouth got out as quickly as it did when there weren’t any telephones but gossip got around faster than any speeding bullet.
In the same swift manner by which my grandfather heard of his best friend demise, as soon as he started to walk towards this killer’s home, the man was informed that my grandfather was headed his way with a shot gun.
My grandfather’s killer was waiting for him and as soon as he came in visual range, he shot and killed him. There was no debate, no conversation, no consideration that he had a young family.
Sittee River village is a small community and people knew each other. If that Englishman wasn’t a friend of my grandfather, he knew him. There people are aware of who is who and of their situation.
I don’t know the specifics as far as the presence of law enforcement in that area. However, I know that in Belize there were police stations in one community that served to maintain order to a number of villages. For all that occurred on the day that my grandfather was killed, I assume law enforcement was miles away and not in the immediate area.
Belize the Country of my birth was then British Honduras. The country was governed by England and a Governor, who was appointed by the Queen of England, governed our Country. The Judges in Belize were also appointed and very likely were citizens of England.
At the murder trial, it was revealed that my grandfather’s shot gun was empty. The other two men who lost their lives that day, it was said they had stolen from the man on trial. The presiding judge in the case ruled that the murderer would be deported back to jolly old England with no other consequence. Such was the justice of that day!
I believed that my grandfather did the planting and selling of what my grandparents produced because my grandmother had to leave my dad with her grandmother to get employment as a result of his father’s death.
My dad claims his grandmother was good to him, that he lived with her until he was ten years old. At that age, his mother moved him to a relative who owned a farm, and who was in close proximity to the regional primary school. For the convenience of him attending school, she left him with her relative.
It’s my father’s claims that his grandmother was home schooling him but his mother felt he needed a traditional education.
While living with his relatives, he had to get up while it was still dark to do farm work before going to school. It’s his claims that there were times when he suffered intense abuse. He recalls that at night the place was extremely dark. There were no electricity in rural Belize. He said, that there were instances when he had to hide under the house to avoid being beaten. He’d miss supper. He said he was intensely scared of the dark, yet he’d chose to hide under the farm house after sun down. He’d tremble with fear, and coupled with hunger, he’d stay under that house. He said, that was one of the many hardships that he endured to avoid being mistreated.
His experiences as a child caused him into fall into a cycle of being a harsh person, he became as much of a nightmare as the nightmare he experienced. He relived his trauma and inflicted them on his wife and kids.
The abuse he suffered, trauma inflicted on him extend down and bruised his generational sons.
I don’t even know if the court records of my grandfather’s murderer still exists, or if there was some way to revisit it to reverse this miscarriage of justice. Not that it would change or erase the out it caused but to bring a measure of peace to those affected by this. By one man murderous ways, my father had a tragic life and then his children and his wife.