Walking Through The Pain

Walking through the pain

Walking Through the Pain is based on a true story of a baby given up for adoption, when only two weeks old, to a middle class family in Barbados by parents who believe it has the chance of a better life. His mother has the traumatic experience of seeing four babies before him die within six months of birth and is afraid that a similar thing could happen again. His adopted father, whom he grows to love very much, dies when he is eight and, with his adopted mother’s living standard crashing from middle class to just above poverty, he is eventually taken back to the village of his birth by his biological parents. His hurtful experiences continue when his life at school is peppered with a number of hurtful, brutal and sorrowful situations which dog him even into early adult life. But, in spite of this, he has the determination and stamina to jump through hoops and over hurdles in his path and achieve his goal by reaching the top of his chosen career and entering the world of academia. This story is true. I know, because I was that baby.

Walking through the Pain is a very good example of persistence, commitment, focus, drive and confidence and is meant to be an inspiration to others following in the writer’s footsteps.

Walking Through The Pain

Excerpts from the novel Walking Through The Pain

High up on a ridge in St Andrew, Barbados, stands a small village. From here the land dips gently east, west and north to form the valleys of two streams making their way to the Atlantic on the east. To the south, it rises sharply into densely wooded slopes to form Turners Hall Woods, a fifty acre patch of tropical forest, the remnants of what was here when the island was first settled in 1627. It is here that I was born, the twelfth of thirteen children four of whom survived their first year.

…………Next door to us was a two-door shop, the largest and one of two in the village. Irene and Sidney Atkins the proprietors had grown very fond of my parents. They had no children of their own but had seen the distress my parents were experiencing at the loss of so many children before they were even one year, nine to be precise. It was mid-afternoon that day when my mother walked into the shop to buy something for her evening cooking. It was hot, very hot and the shop was quiet for it was siesta time and my dad and Sidney were sitting on a bench by the window having a quiet chat about nothing in particular except perhaps the price peasant farmers were likely to get for a ton of sugar-cane that year. It was the kind of heat that seemed intent on reducing everything to jelly when my mother, now very heavy, managed with some difficulty, to raise herself up three steps into the shop.

…………My adopted dad, who was a very good swimmer, would put me on his back and ask me to put my hands around his neck. “Now you hold on tight,” he would say, for there I would be perched on his back as he swam along the shore. Beneath us I could see through the clear water, shoals of small fish – grey, blue, silver and multi-coloured – darting here and there in an under-water display of colour that glistened under the rays of a mid-morning tropical sun.

………..As we sat in the bus to Bridgetown, she held me close to her. Nothing much was said, but small as I was, I could see things had not gone the way she expected. Entering the hospital gates, I was immediately hit by the strong smell of disinfectant. An all-enveloping fear descended on me. My mum held my hand tightly as we turned to enter the ward. She stood by his bedside, her cheeks growing larger and larger with rising tears that eventually overflowed. I stood quietly at the foot of the bed watching my dad toss his head from side to side but knowing neither of us. I knew he didn’t because he never responded when mum called him. There was no way mum could have prepared me for this. As we made our way back through the gates on our way to the bus-stop, I turned to my mum, her eyes now red with tears: “Mum, what’s wrong with dad? He’s not talking to us. Is he coming back home mum?”