I grew up with my twin sister and my other siblings, there's quite a few of us and we all grew up very close knit. In my immediate household there was my twin sis Radel, two older brothers, my mother and my baby brother.
Although we grew up in a single parent home with my mother, my sister and I saw our father very often. Every day he picked us up and dropped us off from school. On weekends he would take us out to the movies and to do other fun activities with us. We felt his love and support and he played a pivotal role in our up bringing, as a father should. In parallel to this my mother was the backbone of our home, she worked very hard as a single parent providing for her children. She cooked endlessly so we were rarely without a hot meal and freshly baked bread. It was so nice to come home to baked bread and home made soup.....mmmm....we loved it!
None of those 'gifts' or blessings however shielded my sister and I from sexual abuse, neglect in some areas and poverty in others. Radel, my twin, shared every experience with me. She was there through academic and emotional struggles while seeking hope for a bright future. We talked and prayed about everything together; there wasn’t anything that either of us experienced that we couldn’t share with each other or God.
At the age of 12 we found Christ and life would never be the same. Although life was far from perfect, having Christ gave us the strength and hope we both needed to believe that we could create the life we always wanted and dreamed of.
As we approached our latter years of high school we had to make important decisions on what our next moves would be. Radel, an avid and brilliant writer at the time decided to pursue journalism. I was always interested in the Arts and therefore wanted to go to film school. I was also good at accounting so when we graduated at the age of 17 and realized that we had no money to go abroad for college, I got a job at a retail store working in their accounting department. Radel became employed at a computer tech company for a short while whilst studying part time at then, The College of the Bahamas (C.O.B). Life would evolve and grow us up very quickly.
Some years later we decided to move out on our own and shared a small efficiency; it was so adorable, quaint and comfortable. We continued to work, dream and live for God becoming heavily involved in the church where we served as leaders and was given the opportunity to express ourselves through the arts.
Radel discovered her passion for creative writing which lead her to pursue screenwriting and I was pulled towards film production. In 2003, we both took a huge leap of faith, 'walked off' of our jobs and gave up our apartment to pursue film studies. Radel went to London and I went to Canada. We had a few scholarships, it was nothing to brag about but we were still grateful. There was also not enough savings to carry any of us through the program. Our parents and family members were not in the position to financially support us the way we may have wanted or needed but moral support was definitely there.....if only that support could’ve translated into money....but we still pressed on.
The time difference between Canada and London was about 5 hours so we weren’t able to speak as often as we would have liked. We would get so excited when we finally caught each other online at the same time on MSN Messenger. There was no WhatsApp or Facebook then, only MySpace for us old folks (lol)! Whenever we caught each other online we would talk...and talk....and talk until she would finally say "Ok Ranel I have to go to bed now" or I would say ‘"ok I’m about to enter a class". Life was different then...it's so amazing how people affect your life and you don’t realize the impact they have on you until it’s no longer there. We totally had each other all the way, since the day we entered this world together.
At about 4 months into the program we were both pressed for funds and returned home degree less and broke only to start all over again. I recall years before that experience, I always said "I don’t want anything to be handed down to me, I want to work for what I get in life’. This is still my mantra and I have to say that hard work, God's grace and His blessings have gotten me to where I am today.
We both eventually entered relationships with the men we would marry, found secure jobs and started dreaming again. Nothing would come easy though...there would be setbacks, set ups, fall downs, mistakes, promotions, relationships, jobs, and other things that would come to shape the women we would become.
By now you’ve noticed that I’ve included my sis all the way through, that's because it’s nearly impossible for me to disclose my past without reflecting on her. Today I’m blessed with a beautiful life, a husband that loves me, children who light up my world, friends and family that support my journey with each single step I take and I love them dearly. Through everything God has never left my side. He has coached me, strengthened me and walked me through every difficult situation, every heartbreak and every change. I know He’ll be there every step of the way in my future as well.
Today I'm more purposeful; I've done more, and I’m still learning and evolving daily. I'm proud of my accomplishments....but I wish that Radel was here to share and celebrate this side of the story with me.
I will share more about that part of my journey very soon but I’m thankful that I’m a lot stronger today than I was yesterday. I'm living life vibrantly and loving daily through God's grace and mercy. I'm reminded daily of this quote by Winston Churchill “Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts."
About The Author
A Toastmaster, private banker, entrepreneur, writer, director, producer, consultant & event planner. These are some of the roles that I have filled but what defines me at my core is my faith in an unwavering God who has seen me through so many plights, my dedication as a wife to my wonderful husband and one of my most fulfilling roles, a mother of two beautiful humorous children that I can’t imagine life without.
I am passionate about inspiration, restoration and as one of my companies is named ‘Redemption’.
I believe there is beauty in everyone even if sometimes it’s covered with the mud of our past or the sins of our present. There is hope, there is liberty and there is rebirth.
I am so excited and grateful for the opportunity to unveil my journey to you as a guest writer through Footprints.
Journey with me!