Posted by: Xhyra Graf | 3 November 2013


Adinkra Symbol for Hardiness, Toughness and Perseverance.

WAWA ABA: Adinkra Symbol for Hardiness, Toughness and Perseverance.

It’s that time of year where the feeling of loss is most strong but here, now, in this place where my life began, I am reconciled.

Grandpa Walters – from whom I have the first awareness of unconditional love and being adored. He was also my first loss;
Fatherdear – who with the softly spoken observations of a man who spoke little gave me, unequalled, the proudest moments of my life and is the foundation of my self-worth;
Motherdear – a prayer warrior from whom I learned strength, compassion for others and the true meaning of being a Christian;
Grandma Walters – who was shining example of keeping the faith no matter what circumstances may be brought into your life and whose calm, straightforward advice helped me in times of trouble.

I respect and appreciate the contributions you have all made to the person I am.

Because of you when times were hard, I worked my way through it; when people sought to make me stumble, I held my head high and stayed the course; when I did fall, I got back up; when I became lost on dark or obscure paths, the genetic heritage and cultural environment that formed the foundations of my being saw me through to a well-lit concourse.

Yes, I’m going to say it.

Still I rise!

Though I still miss you all in the flesh – the spirit of you, your lessons and that which I call a legacy of ‘cultural wherewithal’ live within my heart always guiding me.

Here, now, in this place, on this island of Jamaica where my life began, where all of my grandparents, my great grandparents, my ancestors back four or more generations began, lived their lives and made their mark – I am resolute, finding purpose anew.

You passed on to me… WAWA ABA!


Daddy Pat: I miss you most around my birthday. Of all the things you said to me, I still find cause to mutter this under my breath every once in a while like a mantra – “If someone doesn’t like you it’s not a problem with you, it’s a problem with them.” I am still your little girl and I love you.

Mummy: I love you. You continue to be my proof of the existence of God.


  1. […] who do not have actual facts to back up a confidence in their abilities? People who do not have the legacy of cultural wherewithal that I have?” – I have had enough. I must remove myself from the culture that made me […]

  2. […] of Many, One People” – Being at least 5th generation Jamaican, within my genetics there was something of everything. I had always assumed that I was (we were) […]


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