Crossing Hell’s Bridge – Reaching U.S. Heaven
Essie and her whole family were more than ecstatic when Gena, often referred to as Genie, came to Jamaica to take Myrtle with her to the United States. It was no ‘rocket surgery’ they all knew that would be the only way Myrtle would survive her risky lifestyle. Moreover, they knew that she would get the best health care and medications for her heart.
Myrtle was happy too. She had hoped that Dr. NcNelly, the man who had funded the Glenworth house, would take her and the rest of the family to the United States, but that hadn’t happened. That was part of her broken dreams. Eventually, she had totally given up on going to the US to live a better life.
However, Genie had never given up on Myrtle’s dream. That was the main driving force in the first place that motivated Genie to be a pioneer and make a way for her family to live in the United States.
Genie, being the oldest child, knew everything about her family’s highs and lows. She knew that her little sister was heartbroken and disappointed with life. Myrtle often mentioned that she felt as if her life was merely one big mistake. Genie knew that Myrtle felt like ending her life because nothing mattered anymore.
Genie herself was also hurting inside, just like Myrtle, so she told herself that she owed it to Myrtle to make the dream happen the first chance she got. That was when she got the bold idea to get a visa for the Bahamas and then leave from there on a cruise ship to the United States. Once she got to the United States, she would get herself together and then come back for Myrtle.
It worked out almost as planned. When Genie felt like she was about to be crippled with fear, as she attempted to stow away on the cruise ship from the Bahamas to the United States, she thought about her little sister and how Myrtle needed her. She knew she had to be strong for her. When Genie was being abused, teased, and threatened on the ship, she found her strength by thinking about how Myrtle needed her. That was all that mattered to her then. Genie made it successfully through a lot of struggles because she thought of saving Myrtle and delivering her to the US in a sound state of mind before it was too late. This thought was always foremost in Genie’s thoughts.
But Myrtle wasn’t the first family member Genie brought to the US. An opportunity came up for her to file for her little brother Leonard, who desperately wanted to be a doctor and who was a much easier candidate to work with at that particular time.
It was not Genie’s plan to get Leonard as the first emigrant in her family to the United States. Neither was Denise supposed to be the second emigrant. But when the opportunities presented themselves, Genie astutely and brilliantly capitalized on them. Genie’s only intention initially was to make it to the United States at any cost and get her sister Myrtle, whom she knew was suffering, there, too.
Therefore, when Genie went to Jamaica to get Myrtle, she was focused and fearless like a soldier on a special rescue mission. She was determined to rescue her little sister from emotional captivity. Genie had looked forward to this mission for years. She had spent many sleepless nights thinking about how she would deliver her sister from her despair in Jamaica.
By the time Genie got to Jamaica, she was as prepared as a lawyer going to court to defend an innocent man who was wrongly accused, or a special squad poised to embark upon a mission to rescue an innocent captive.
She gave Myrtle a passport book and told her that she wouldn’t have to worry about anything. All she had to do was listen to Genie keenly and do exactly what she said she should do. If she did that, then their mission to the United States through immigration at the airport would be successful. Genie also gave her a piece of paper with some vital facts that she would need to know within one week. These were facts about Myrtle’s new name and identity.
During the week that Genie was in Jamaica, she and Myrtle rehearsed their strategy repeatedly. Genie called Myrtle by her new name to see if she would respond promptly to it. Early on the morning of their flight, Genie took Myrtle to the dentist. He extracted one of Myrtle’s teeth with very little Novocain, and within a few hours, one side of Myrtle’s face was swollen.
She was in excruciating pain. Unfortunately, this was part of the plan, necessary to make their mission successful. Myrtle’s deep Jamaican accent could be a real liability, especially considering that she would be playing the role of a native-born American in front of the US immigration officer.
Once they got onto the plane, Myrtle’s face was so swollen, she was virtually unidentifiable. When they got to immigration, the well-mannered young white officer was very compassionate because he could almost feel the pain that Myrtle was going through. Therefore, he hurried to process their documents. Never in his wildest dreams could he have imagined that anyone would have gone to such great lengths in order to make it to the land of freedom and equal opportunity. But if he had realized the truth, he would at least have felt that Myrtle deserved a chance of freedom for wanting it so badly. He certainly would not have wanted to be a hindrance in such a driven person’s pathway.
They made it out of the airport. Myrtle was delivered by Genie to US soil, where the streets were paved with gold. Myrtle was very happy, but more than that, Genie was finally free, free to live her life because she knew she had successfully done what Dr. McNelly had failed to do.