Bernice’s Response to Bernie’s Letter
It is with mixed emotions that I am responding to your letter, before I address the issue with Mama, I need to confess something to you.
Thank you for opening the door so that I can for the first time, be totally open and honest with you.
When we were young, you were my idol, my hero, I worshiped you but at the same time I hated you.
You were too perfect and knew so much about everything, I loved listening to you but most of what you said was what we say in Jamaica “weh im a sey deh, oba fi mi hed” I was too shy or too embarrassed to ask you to explain at my level of understanding.
Like when you were Chairman of The Jamaica Liberation Front and you gave that lecture on Dialectical Materialism and existentialism, you quoted so flawlessly from Nietzsche, Kierkegaard and Franz Fanon, I stood there and drank up every word you spoke, half of which I did not understand and when so many people cheered you, I felt so inept and inadequate, the stupid little sister who would always be lurking under the shadow of her brilliant big brother.
Looking back now, your brilliance gave me an inferiority complex which I could not overcome, all I wanted to do was to show you that you were not better than me, I wanted to compete with you so badly it almost drove me crazy.
That was when you lost your loving little sister and I almost lost the best big brother a little sister could ever want.
Yes Bernard I tried to turn Mama against you, I wanted to hurt you because I was so insanely jealous of you.
Can you remember when you started dating Pauline Thomas, I hated you even more because I felt that she was taking my big brother away from me.
Even from way back then I was planning to go to England, my father going to jail was the motivation I needed to leave Jamaica and get away from you.
The first 30 pounds you sent me, I refused to use it for over three months and was always thinking of sending it back to you.
In your letter you asked me “what happened to my loving little sister” Bernie right now she so desperately wants to be your loving little sister again and I want my big brother back.
Now about the letter you wrote to Mama, Randy Marsh sent me a copy, I must be honest with you, that letter was way over Mama’s head, you criticized her inability to spell, that was very hurtful to her.
You need to understand that she is operating within the confines of her limitations.
We don’t need to re-open the painful wounds about why Mama never got an education like we did.
As your reinstated loving little sister, let me now try to be as erudite as my big brother, I admonish you to be more tolerant of our mother’s limitations and refrain from criticizing her English, be thankful that she can write to her son in whatever way she can.
That admonition has now been upgraded to an order from
Your “loving little sister”
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