Wed | May 24, 2017

‘My best Mother’s Day gift’ - Grandson returns to Jamaica to surprise grandma after 19 years

Published:Sunday | May 10, 2015 | 5:00 AM
After spending 19 years abroad, Gary Cranston (right) surprises his grandmother, 90-year-old Catherine Cranston for Mother's Day at the family home in St. Elizabeth.

Nineteen years after leaving Jamaica to live in the United States, and not being able to return because of financial and other reasons, Gary Cranston was able to surprise his grandmother in St Elizabeth in time for today's celebration of Mother's Day.

With a little help from telecoms company Digicel, the Jamaica-born electrician was excited to board a flight to Jamaica to make the journey to his hometown, where his grandmother was the only mom he knew.

However, Cranston's surprise was no ordinary one. Minutes before his arrival at the home, Digicel delivered an emotional video-recorded Mother's Day message from Gary to his grandmother, Catherine Cranston.

As soon as she was finished watching the video, the 90-year-old retired teacher was rendered speechless when Gary walked through her bedroom door in person.

"This is the best Mother's Day gift I've ever gotten, and I've gotten lots of gifts over the years," shared Catherine.

"Gary ... my Gary!" was Cranston's hearty declaration upon laying eyes on her grandson. "You look the same, even after all this time," added Cranston, with her smile stretched from ear to ear.

"I haven't seen my grandmother in so many years, so I'm very happy to be here, to be able to hug her and see her smile," shared a delighted Gary. "My grandmother is the one who raised me, and she is the one who gave me the opportunity to go overseas and have a chance at a better life for me and my family. I can't repay her for that."

Reminiscing, Gary recounted the first time he left Jamaica, accompanied by his grandmother.

"The first time I go on a plane, she put a piece of gum in my mouth and say 'chew on that'. She was always looking out for me, and she made me the father I am today," said Gary.

"She always treated everyone equal, never playing favourite, and instilled those kinds of principles in us. Those are the kinds of things I want my kids to grow up with."

Senior sponsorship and development manager at Digicel, Kamal Powell, noted, "Family is very important to us at Digicel, and that's what our customers are to us. So we are very happy to have been able to play a small part in making this extraordinary mother happy for this Mother's Day, by helping to make this long-overdue reunion possible."