We just finished brunch and decided to call the tram to take us to the private beach on this private island because the rain has stopped. Because I am a shower fanatic, I decided I was going to shower before only to shower again when I returned only to shower again before bed.
So my daughter called housekeeping for room service. We had dishes in the sink and pots on the stove that needed attention and because I live in the shower, we need clean towels.
A black woman came to the door. Old enough to be my mother.
My heart sank.
I feel so badly in this moment. I do not even want her to provide the service we paid for.
She is my mother.
An elder in my community. A mother of some church. She should not be cleaning the toilet I am using and washing my dishes.
I am to serve her. She is in part why I am here. Why my daughter can tram all over this island.
She is why my son can sit on a beach that my father could not visit at my son’s age and play this damn ukulele.
I am heart broken but this is her job.
This place has a no tipping the housekeeping staff but I can tip the door man.
All the cash I have in my purse, I place in the center of her hand and say “THANK YOU”.
The gratitude and pain in her eyes is messing with me.
I strike up some casual conversation. Trying to make her feel better. This woman cannot afford to stay here. She can’t afford to eat here and my ten year old daughter is sucking on a popsicle here.
God, I am on vacation. I am not trying to feel this now. I wrote down her name and will remember her in all the ways I know how.
Thank you Ms. Viney for your hard work. Your sacrifices. Your prayers and your faith.
I stand on your shoulders and I ride on the wings of your prayers and I have faith because you have faith.
What is before me and Hannah is a cake walk compared to what you have endured.
I will never know that pain in your eyes and because of you, I do not have to.
You got me all messed up Ms. Viney. I will spend some time on the ocean floor thinking about you and connecting with all the African women whose souls are there.
D.L.P. All About Auspicious Living