In the space of 2 weeks, my family has lost 3 of the most beautiful people to touch our lives, and today I pay tribute to each one of them.
Tomorrow afternoon we lay to rest Gwen, the woman who welcomed my mother with open arms, when she first started teaching at St. Andrew Prep. She became one of my mother's dearest friends, and as she likes to call it....her second mother. I was lucky enough to have her tutor me, and I always looked forward to going to her home for classes, as she made learning so much fun. Gwen was one of the funniest people I ever came into contact with, always had that wonderful gift of making people laugh with her insane personality. I feel so blessed to have spent time with her, when we took her to Irish Town to see our home this year.... where at her age she was ready to chow down on two patties (my kinda lady). And to her dismay, I beat her at a game of scrabble, which would probably never have happened on a regular day. To Gwen, thank you for blessing my mother's life, and being one of her role models and also her second mom. It is so comforting to know that after my grandmother passed away suddenly in 2004, she still had another mother to be there for her....I'm grateful for that, and grateful to have known you!
On Friday March 25th, I came downstairs, when my mother told me the bad news that my father's personal assistant and her mother had been brutally killed that morning. I was at a loss of words, and confused as to why someone who had been so absolutely wonderful, could die this way. We all went to see her daughter that night, and someone said it perfectly.... Arlene's life was Kelly (her daughter) and Douglas (my father). I have seen my father climb his way from the bottom up at his job, and since I was 7 years old, Arlene has been right there beside him. I remember seeing her face when I was with Dad the night before Hurricane Gilbert as I helped them put tape on the glass at the office (that memory seems to have stuck with me). She was so happy to see me there helping out. She was that person behind the scenes, who made sure he got things done, and helped him to do them right. She was a part of our family, as we all respected her tremendously....always remembering her birthday and excited when she brought a little girl into the world, and she did a great job raising her. She was the calmest person, especially in those times of stress and it has been really heartbreaking to lose her. Arlene, you will always be remembered as a rock in my dad's life as well as ours. You held it down....and as Dad said, we had an angel amongst us from the first day you came into our lives, and now you will continue to be one from above.
Last night, I got a call from a friend who let me know that someone close to me had died in a car accident. I immediately couldn't breathe and felt like my heart had been ripped out my chest and crushed to pieces. I met Dave in 2003 through one of my best friends, and I was his New Years Eve date that year. I was a non-drinker in those days, very happy with my pepsi and lime, when Dave said to me, "You need to start living your life....have some champagne!" Dave and I became pretty close after that, with lots of talks till the wee hours of the morning. But due to wrong timing, our friendship became one where we'd only buck each other up at parties, or gatherings and have small chats. The day before Dave's birthday this year, we got in contact with each other, as one of our mutual friends from New York was in town. From that point on, we talked from time to time, he was our chaperone at the club one night, which after we all hung out in the Burger King parking lot like we were in high school. One night, Dave and I sat and drank Guinness (yes I was drinking that), and just reasoned about everything in our lives that had happened since 2004. I remember saying to him, everytime he comes into my life, I feel like a younger person. Dave was so much fun, so young at heart and he always lived in the moment. He never worried, nothing seemed to ever bother him, and he had this infectious laugh that could make the most miserable person smile. I still hear it as I lay here in tears. I've sat here all day asking why, and why now? My father sat me down and said that all I can do is be thankful for those moments that we shared together. And as much as I feel angry, sad, and in disbelief, I am extremely grateful we had that one evening where we were all out enjoying Vybz rum, and so so so blessed to have had that one night of talking, where I was reminded of the great person he was. That same evening, Dave said to me everytime he comes home, he goes to the country the weekend before heading back to Canada, because he likes the feeling of sand in his ears as he goes back to the cold. Davo....I hope as you watch over all us....there is sand in your ears, and the smell of the ocean on your skin. I love you always...and will miss you tremendously.
Some people come into our lives and quickly go.
Some people move our souls to dance.
They awaken us to new understanding,
with the passing whisper of their wisdom.
Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon.
They stay in our lives for awhile, leave footprints in our hearts,
and we are never, ever the same again.
Rest in peace Gwen, Arlene, Dorothy and Dave. All of your families are in my prayers and thoughts!