Ena Leotta Tempro nee Watts was born on August 22, 1933 to Archibald Jasper Lashley and Henrietta Watts (both deceased). She was the second of four siblings – Seymour watts (deceased), Ailsa Holder, Dorothy Potts (both of the U.S.A.) and Inez Watts.
As mom told me, when she was born her foot was buckled backwards and the doctor cut it off. According to mom, this was due to the fact that her mom used to sit down with her foot buckled underneath her when she was pregnant with her.
When she started to learn to walk, her dad taught her to walk with one crutch. When their mom left home, Ena was taken out of school (a Ms. Smith, at St. Matthias school) to take care of her dad and siblings.
Mom shared many a story of her childhood days. For example, she and Seymour climbed trees, and one time they climbed on top of a hearse, but whilst Seymour was able to jump off at the bottom of Dalkeith, mom couldn’t and the people watching the funeral procession had to shout at the driver of the hearse that there was a little one foot girl on top of the hearse who couldn’t get off. Needless to say they both held lashes from ‘Pa’ their dad when they got back home.
She went to work at Steinbucks where she pressed clothes to assist her dad with the household expenses. When she had Margaret at age 19, her duties also increased, because she also had her last sister who was a baby at the time to also raise, that is, until their mother ‘Ma’ came back for her when their dad was at work.
Mom used to attend the Mt. Ararat UHC in Dayrells road in her early years, but after she had her daughter Margaret, she visited and joined the Chelsea road church of god, where she remained until she died, even though she was institutionalized on Sept. 07, 2016.
My mom always told me how the first Sunday that she visited the Church Of God, my dad, the late Mr. Chesterfield Tempro was song leading.
Although both she and dad used to say that there were a group of young people and young ladies that were friends with them, it seems that mom was the one who made the catch. Dad too already had a son, Jeffrey Husbands. On January 25, 1958 mom and dad married, when Margaret was 5 years and Jeffrey was 3 or 4 yrs.
Dad was working driving trucks at the time and mom said that she had asked her dad to get a job at the Mobil Oil refinery for her husband, but when he didn’t, mom took matters into her own hands and went and spoke with the manager herself and dad was working there for over 35 years before retiring.
Mom became a full time housewife after dad told her it would be too hard to continue working outside of the home and still be getting up at 4am to send him off to work for 7am. My mom happily complied and started learning and improving her sewing skills. Mom lost 6 children to the marriage before she had me.
Hypertension and Miscarriage
She was always a hypertension subject and miscarried at various stages – 3, 4, 6 & 8 months, for varying reasons – falling off dad’s bicycle when he was barring her to a crusade in bank hall a night, carrying out the sheep that my dad said he was raising, or hanging up curtains at Christmas, hearing a ‘pop’, but feeling no pain carried on as usual and went into labour during the night, only to discover that she had ‘popped’ the umbilical cord.
Mom always told me that the doctor wanted to tie off her tubes there and then because he said another one would kill her, but my dad won’t sign consent forms. Therefore, when she was 3 months pregnant with me, the late nurse Coward saw to it that my mother was admitted to the hospital where she remained until they took me by C-section on the 15th of December 1972.
Then my dad sanctioned to have her tubes tied. Coincidentally, her daughter Margaret was also pregnant during mom’s last pregnancy and gave birth to her son Reneto Daniel on the 19th of august 1972. Mom helped raise her first grandson and everywhere she went we were there with her. During our primary years when we were in the infants department, mom walked us to and from school every day.
I had to beg her to allow us to walk to school by ourselves when we were 8 years old. Not knowing that the morning she finally gave into my wishes she was following us behind, and saw when we were going down the baker shop’s hill and the cheese sandwiches fell out of the lunch tin because we were going for the sweeties she had put inside – Ren said he wanted one, and I did too, so without stopping I thought I could just open up the tin and get the sweeties.
I was picking up the sandwiches and dusting them off when I heard a loud “drop those” and looked back to see my mom barreling towards me as quickly as she could go walking with one crutch. She gave the sandwiches to the birds and walked us back to the rum shop to buy us a cheese sandwich each.
Needless to say she had to give us money for a cheese sandwich every day afterwards.
As a child, I saw my mother feeding ‘sam couch and the duppy (for lack of a better word),’ there was no one that she turned away from her door who wanted food or water. Even the women who came to weed the grass on the roads from MTW, my mom fed and gave water to. She also assisted with the raising of her siblings’ children.
Clear the Course
One time when Todd and Terry came for lunch, mom packed both of their plates high with food informing them that they were both young strapping men; mom also had a high plate; she had already served dad his food. Terry and Todd couldn’t finish their plates and mom told them she couldn’t afford to waste food and to pass their plates. She then proceeded to eat everything left on their plates. From then she earned the nickname ‘clear the course.’
Mom always told you that she went to school at Brambly in august. However, no one could trick her when it came to money, in cutting and contriving. Mom could save a cent out of a $1. Dad would always put his contribution there and mom spent it as she saw fit. She also joined a meeting turn and even started her own. Mom always taught me that you can hide from man but you can’t hide from God.
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Mom was very active in church, holding every post except church treasurer and pastoral duties. As children, we couldn’t ever say that we did not want to go to church, we had to be in church.
I remembered trying once as a child to get away from going to church one night because I had a lot of homework to complete, and mom informed me that I wasn’t staying at home by myself, that I could bring along the homework and do it in church. Furthermore, when I wanted to go to sleep, the church benches were right there.
Mom was strict, but fair and loving in her dealing with us. I couldn’t go at any home where boys were. If boys lived at the home, I had to stay by the door and deliver the message.
Mom also helped raise her other grandchildren as well. There was nothing she would not do for her grandchildren, and by extension, her entire family.
After dad’s death on Thursday, June 14, 2012, 6 years ago, mom went into full fledge dementia of the Alzheimer’s type. She was diagnosed on Tuesday, august 13, 2013. I need not go into all of the details of what it means and meant taking care of a person with dementia.
After suffering a heart attack in June 2016, and learning that her heart muscles were weak and she would even need more round the clock care, more than what could be provided at home, she was transferred to the St. Michael district hospital in Beckles Road, St. Michael on the 7th of September 2016.
I want to take this opportunity to publically thank all of the nurses and doctors, maids and orderlies, and Mrs. Downes, the social worker, who took excellent care of mummy whilst she was there. She had a short stint again in QEH on Sunday march 11, 2018 until Wednesday march 14, 2018, and was never quite herself again. Mom decided that she wanted to be with her lord and saviour, and husband and didn’t want to even see her 85th birthday.
I must also thank sis. Jessica Baptiste and her entire family who came to my assistance many a time whilst mom was still at home in getting her to church and making sure she had something to eat during the day, whilst Ren was away from home.
I want to also thank Rev. Vasco Perry and the entire church membership, especially Joy Ministries, who took care of mom whenever she came to church and visited, administering communion, and gifts when she was in the district hospital, as well as, those of you who ensured that mom returned home whilst still at home from church afterwards. I also want to thank Ren and those other family members who assisted with mom.
I must also make special mention of my husband, Mr. Ryan Jordan, who stuck with me through thick and thin, and carried mom to all of her doctors’ appointments when she was still at home, when I was unable to do so because of work commitments. To my daughters, Abigail and Deborah for all that you did to help mom, she thanks you and so do I.
I have the assurance that my mom has gone home to be with her lord and saviour. May she continue to rest in peace and rise in glory.
Read and prepared by her daughter Mrs. Joyann A. Jordan (daughter)
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