Chapter Excerpts

Chapter 1 -Born on 3rd of November in Panama

 ON NOVEMBER 3RD, 1903 with the support of the U.S. government, Panama issued a declaration of independence from Colombia. In 1903, the Hay-Herrán Treaty was signed with Colombia, granting the United States use of the Isthmus of Panama in exchange for financial compensation. The U.S. Senate ratified the treaty under leadership of President Theodore Roosevelt who gave the approval to the rebellion by Panamanian nationalists, which began on November 3, 1903. This was the beginning of sovereignty for the now Republic of Panama. From this day forth the 3rd of November is celebrated by Panamanians as one of the biggest holidays in the country. The day begins with the sounding of the “Dianas” by the Panamanian Firemen Force. I can still remember hearing them as 

I grew up and it still gives me goosebumps to hear them play so loud and proudly on that morning year after year. Being born in Panama on the 3rd of November is like being born in the United States on the 4th of July. It is a celebration whether you want to have one or not. My Mother was born Jean Arial Alleyne on November 3rd, 1935 in Panama City, Panama to parents Castell Alleyne (GrandDaddy) and Mildred Alleyne (Abuela). Both parents were descendants of immigrants from the West Indies, who came to Panama for the building of the Canal. My GrandDaddy, worked for the Panama Canal Commission until he retired. My grandmother Mildred was a housewife. Overall, they did fairly well for themselves and provided for their children. My Mother was the third of six. She had a big brother, Tio Joe and four sisters, two of whom died. Ruth died from an illness and was born between Tio Joe and Mami and Abigail was stillborn between Mami and Tia Lois. My aunts Lois and Brenda were her younger siblings and she cared for them, like a mother. She was 10 years older than Lois and 13 years older than Brenda, also known as “Baby Doll”...

Chapter 4 - Her Faith

THE DICTIONARY DEFINES “faith” as strong belief in God or in the doctrines

 of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof. Mami had very strong faith. She lived as a devout Catholic for most of her life. Although, her first experiences with faith came from a different religion. Abuela was Baptist and Mami had a childhood friend named Gloria that took her to church and bible study and Mami read and learned the entire bible. Gloria was older than Mami and was a Seven Day Adventist. Gloria was a neighbor, her father was German. I recall that tidbit because Mami often mentioned it. Mami would always recall that experience with us and I found it amazing how she was so drawn to learn about God and Christ at such an early age. One thing I noticed about Mami a long time ago, was that she never knocked any other religions. Besides, the Jehovah Witness lady that came by the house once and she allowed her in and this lady began to knock her Catholic beliefs. Mami escorted her right back out and asked her not to come back. She was willing to hear about other faiths, but was not willing to have hers knocked down...

Chapter 7 - Sisterhood Beyond Bloodlines

A SISTERHOOD IS NOT necessarily formed by people who are blood related. A sisterhood is something that is forged, developed, nurtured and kept regardless of whom you were born from. My Mami understood this so perfectly, that she became my example of how I should form my friendships/sisterhood to sustain me through life changing events. Mami had two bloodline sisters. But, because of the 10 and 13 year gap in age, she was forced to establish a sisterhood with her friends prior to the arrival of her siblings. The following is a description of Mami’s sisterhood with women who have been a part of our lives and made such a difference in hers also...