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About the author:
Her first novel SUNRISE FROM AN ICY HEART: A MEMOIR is about her journey to find the right man to love her and the joys and headaches of raising loving sons.
What inspired you to write your book?
As someone on dialysis for ten years I also wanted to offer hope to people living with a chronic condition and inspire them to live happily while managing the card they have been dealt with.
Here is a short sample from the book:
The glowing-hot sun rose from the sea and splashed its morning warmth, but a cold chill crept through my veins.
“We’ll be together soon, baby,” said Linus, his voice an undertone whisper. His kiss was long and deep, as he said goodbye.
We embraced for a lingering minute while I inhaled his Brut cologne, a scent forever remembered. As our embrace uncoiled, our puffy eyes clinched revealing our pain, faces cast downward with pressed lips. His hand squeezed mine, then he turned, crossed the scorching asphalt-laden tarmac, and ran up the stairs. He stood at the top, gave a final look, his eyes making images of the life he was leaving behind, then he disappeared into the airplane.
My chest felt heavy as if a boulder sat on it. In rapid succession, I breathed. My life was at a low ebb and gray as the metal wings that would fly him away from me. In a brittle tone. I whispered. “When? my love, when? while through blurred vision I watched my man take off like Christopher Columbus to conquer new land. I took in all of his leaving. His light blue shirt-jacket hung so magnificently off his square shoulders, long legs in navy blue pants and with each forward stride the pain on my chest intensified.
I plodded to the car. My new companions followed–hurt, headache, heartbreak. Each in turn slicing, snipping, shaving a little piece from my heart, until I thought it was demolished. For healing depended upon patience, resilience and endurance. I had none of those. I was null and void.
Hope his move to Canada to seek a better life does not backfire.
My Dad, Oliver Alexander, would not allow me to move to Canada with Linus Hyacinth.
“If the man loves you he will send for you after he gets settled,” he said. “Make no sense the two of you going up in a foreign country, and none of you know nothing about the place.”
I believe he loves me but they say out of sight out of mind, or absence makes the heart grow fonder. Lord, let it be the latter. I hope Dad was right.
Walking past a few workmen on the airport, someone whistled, the wind wavered in the almond trees nearby, as I hurried into the car. I sat gazing at the stretch of turquoise sea water, breathing in the breeze. The tranquility of the aqua embodied me and I remembered happier days with Linus, my Mandingo man. As minutes crawled into hours, I wondered how long I would have to wait for his dark skinned body to touch mine. Or how long before I rubbed my hand over his muscled curved rump, or looked at his handsome face, a square forehead, and penetrating eyes with a half smile that gave people the impression he was x-raying them.
Lord, don’t let any woman in Canada poison his mind and make him forget me.
As I thought about my emptiness, pleasing images of time spent together began to infiltrate my mind.
We met in 1968, the year when Linus’ sister married my uncle and through the ensuing introductions. Timothy, the virginity protector, had left the island to pursue his own dreams so there was no brotherly interference. At 18, I attended St. Joseph’s Convent Secondary School. Linus, at 20, was already out in the workforce doing his architectural drawings. Many days he would drive me to and from school. We were in full obedience of our hearts. Being with each other was enough. We needed no extra stimulant. Sometimes when he worked late, I went to his workplace, sat and chatted as he did his drafting. We met every day. We loved to dance, go to parties, picnics or just chill with friends and some rum punch. Being with him made life so golden and radiant. I was deliriously happy.
Dad, with his height, dark skin and eyebrows that patrolled his forehead like black battleships ready to meet any threat to his family frightened male suitors. To avoid encountering him, Linus went to a nearby bridge and whistled when he wanted to visit me. I got pumped up when I heard the signal to join him. Whenever Dad was not around Linus came to my house and we sat on the steps till the wee hours of the night. I always wore a skirt so he could get easy access to the pleasure spots with his long delightful fingers. I learned the joys of figure eights and calligraphic lettering in my body. One night, the expected whistle came when my siblings and I sat at the table watching Dad eat his dinner. Our usual way of waiting for the leftovers. The family custom was to consume a big breakfast, big lunch, and at nights something light such as tea and biscuits, or juice, and a sandwich. Dad always had three big meals a day.
As I stood up to leave, Dad said, “Claudette, sit your ass down.”
I tilted my head to the side and in a low voice, asked, “Whyyyyyy?”
“No decent girl would have a man whistle her across a bridge.”
“What are you talking about?”
“The whistle. Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about because if you had any decency you would make the young man come to the house. Futhermore, I don’t want you to be with this man unless he comes to the house, introduces himself, and state his intentions.”