“I lived here 40 years ago… my daughter was born here – we are celebrating her 40th birthday!”
– my Dad. To everyone we came across.
1975 – Beverly and Larry were living the dream in a beautiful beach front house named “Prospect Bay” on the west coast of Barbados. Daily, Beverly would don a bikini to sun her pregnant belly as she walked the shore collecting shells to make frames and jewelry boxes for friends in London or the States. Larry owned a para-sailing business and rode a Norton motorcycle, both items being firsts for this little island. Nightly they watched for the green-flash of the sunset as the Jolly Rodger Pirate Ship or a cruise ship sailed by in the distance.
April 14th – I was born at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown. My mom recalls the birds that flew into the delivery room through the slotted windows as she labored – alone – since men were banned from being bedside for births still. They held her in the hospital for a week, making her drink Mauby and not letting the baby stay in the room with her. There were no baby lo jacks in the hospitals those days, but considering I was the only Caucasian baby in the nursery, there wasn’t much fear of me being given to the wrong parents.
And that’s the short version of how it all happened – how I happened to be born on a small Caribbean Island best known for Mount Gay Rum, George Washington’s slaves and Rihanna.
And that’s why my whole family was there for 10 days this month… back to the scene of the crime. Back to my roots.
40 years later.
It was the trip of a lifetime. 10 days in a perfect little beach house in Barbados. My whole family, mom and dad, brother and sister in law, and my kids under one roof. We explored together. Ate delicious fresh sea food and veggies from the local markets, snorkeled with sea turtles and drank water straight out of freshly cut open coconuts. And for my big day.. my passage into a new decade… my send off “over the hill”, I wanted to go on the famed Jolly Rodger pirate ship for the day.
Where, within the first hour, I broke my toe while helping Zoe in the bathroom.
Thank god for the all you can drink rum punch.
With a little self-medication from the famed Mount Gay, I hobbled my way into my forties by walking the plank, snorkeling and flying off the boat on the rope swing into the warm Caribbean sea below. I shared the experience with 3 other woman that day – one turning 30 and one turning 50… All of us soaking up the warm sun as we danced the day away to the sounds of local SOCA music blaring from the speakers.
And that is my story of 40. How Barbados gave me two amazing birthdays (so far). And how I broke my toe on a pirate ship.