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Dream, a reality for Bramble

Dream, a reality for Bramble

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Almost two and a half years ago, Grantley “Brams” Bramble spoke of his dream of getting out of prison in time to witness his last child graduate from secondary school.{{more}}

On June 20, 2013, that dream became a reality.

“Today is a really great day. This was one of my dreams, to see my son graduate. I am really glad that I got the opportunity to see this day. This is a blessed time,” a proud Bramble told SEARCHLIGHT shortly after his son, Grantley Bramble Jr, better known as “J.R.”, graduated from the Bishop’s College Kingstown at a ceremony held at the Church of the Ascension, Sion Hill.

On August 29, 2010, while still an inmate at Her Majesty’s Prisons, serving a 20-year sentence for rape, Bramble addressed a peace march and rally at Redemption Sharpes.

“I still have faith and hope that I will come out in time so I could see that piece of my dream… I still have faith that I will see my son graduate.”

When Bramble was sentenced to prison in 1997, his son was only 10 months old.

The former teacher told the gathering that it was disheartening to know that his children have moved from “single digits into teenagers” without him being there to see their progression.

“I have one son left in school and graduation coming soon and I can’t be there…sometimes I does lay down on me back and stare at the ceiling and when I can’t tek it no more, I does take a shirt and put it over me face and I go bawl so the other jail men can’t see me,” Bramble said at the rally.

Bramble had said then that it broke his heart when he was able to reconnect with Junior at a funeral he was allowed to attend.

“He say ‘Daddy, yuh think is easy fo mommy alone bring we up?’ When he tell me so, it tear out my heart,” Bramble said.

However, after spending almost 15 years behind bars, the 54-year-old Chateaubelair resident was freed from prison on April 5, 2012 by the local Prerogative of Mercy Committee.

Bramble was released, along with Cordelia Stephens and Anthony Robinson.

Now free for more than a year, Bramble told SEARCHLIGHT that he has not stopped teaching.

He said he helped his son with CXC Math and Biology.

“I am just glad to be back to be a part of his education, I have been coaching him a lot. He said he did well in the exams, so I just have to trust his word,” Bramble said jokingly.

He added that during the past months, he has also been assisting students with their preparations for examinations, having even signed up some of them from Chateaubelair and Troumaca to write the examinations.

“The teaching thing never left me. I’m just waiting on their results now,” Bramble said.

Standing close by and smiling as his father spoke to SEARCHLIGHT, J.R. could hardly contain his joy at the fact that his father was there to celebrate his milestone achievement with him.

“I feel really good today. I am just so excited that both of my parents are here today and not one,” J.R. said.

J.R. said when his father expressed his wish in 2010, he was “still hopeful” that he would be released in time to see him graduate.

“Who wouldn’t want to be there to see their child graduate? If I talk about it now, it will just bring tears to my eyes. It’s just a good thing to have him here with me today, ” J.R. said in a low-pitched voice.

He also thanked his aunt, other family members and friends for always being there for him.

Bramble’s wife of 22 years, Clytie Bramble, also expressed her joy at having her husband back in her life.

“Our daughter graduated two years ago and I am just happy that he is home to get to see JR graduate… God has answered my prayers in having Grantley home today. We are just looking forward to great things from God. We know he will continue to bless us,” she said.