A Wedding & A Funeral

The month of April was one filled with much happiness, as my sister Lizzy took to the aisle and said “I do…” to the love of her life, John-Matthew Sinclair. It was a beautiful affair, never mind the drops of rain that began as soon as we stepped into the car to make our way to the church. This is what Lizzy had dreaded the most, which is why she arranged everything to take place indoors – both ceremony and reception. It was only the photographs to be taken at Devon House that were now a concern, though be it a minor one.

Red blooms filled the church, and the bevy of beauties that was her bridal party came in one by one (quite a bunch of ‘lookers’ if I do say so myself!). Then the doors closed and it was time for her to enter.

Now if you know my sister, it was her dream to have Beres Hammond sing “Hey little girl each time you passed my way I’m tempted to touch…”. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to book (or afford for that matter) Mr Hammond, so she did the next best thing… and as the doors of Stella Maris Roman Catholic Church opened, the talented steel-pan band (accompanied by the talented Dwight Richards) began the melody for said song, much to the surprise of guests who were not only blown away by the music, but by the vision that was my little sister, who entered the church amid “oohs” and “aahs”. Even Father Michael seemed to join John-Matthew in a moment of breathlessness, and was compelled to comment before the ceremony even began, that he had never seen Elizabeth look more beautiful.

I can’t take you through every moment of what took place at the ceremony, however I will say that there were a few tears by some, while others tried hard to hold them back.

And wouldn’t you know it, as soon as the ceremony ended, the rain stopped. It was truly a blessing.

Beautiful photos were taken by photographer Gary James in the grand ballroom of the Devon House Mansion, on the front steps, in the courtyard as well as in wine bar, Bin26. (When I get permission, I’ll put up a slideshow).

And, in all it was a truly wondrous occasion, and I’ve never seen two people in such bliss as this newly married couple. Everything was… perfect.

There was only one thing missing, and that was the presence of our cousin Shawna, who the week before, on Easter Sunday, passed away.

It’s been very difficult for me to talk about it… even more difficult to face the fact that she’s no longer with us. She was after all, like a sister to us, especially Lizzy who was closest to her (in age and in friendship) and shared much with her… in particular, raising her daughter Sierra.

It’s funny how my travel and personal plans were put on hold, because if all had gone as scheduled, I would not have been there for her funeral, for her send-off. I believe things really do happen for a reason, and I was happy that I was there… to support my family, and to come to terms with my own grief and loss.

There was much sadness following Lizzy’s wedding (the funeral service took place the following Saturday), but happiness as well, in that a part of Shawna still remains with us… in Sierra… who is such a beautiful little girl, who is so much wiser than her mere 6 years.

And we will all be sure to tell her stories about her mother, the great times we shared, and teach her the ways of being a lady, being generous and kind, honest and mannerly, just as her mother would have wanted and liked.

In closing, there’s not much left to say… except live in love, and God will do the rest.

Days 18, 19 & 20 – Family, Friends & Life

This is perhaps my final post in the 40 Days of Awesomeness… yes, I’m  only half-way through, however it all seems so shallow to me now, and recent events have shown me, that there is truly so much more to ‘Living & Loving Life’ than tooting my own horn, impressing upon people how great I think I am.

This post is really about things that make us ALL awesome…

FAMILY

I don’t know what I would do without my family. They have been there, supportive, encouraging… whether they agree with my choices or not, whether I’ve made good decisions or not, whether I’ve been successful or not. I give thanks every day for my parents, for my sisters, and for my aunts, uncles, cousins and extended family.

There is a little bit of each of them in me… and THAT is  what truly makes me awesome.

FRIENDS

My friends may as well be classified as my family… because they too have influenced who I am, and have been supportive of me in everything I’ve done – every smile, every laugh, every tear, every disappointment, every broken heart, every success… every experience. And to them, too, I am grateful. They are, as the saying goes, the family I choose.

LIFE

And lastly, I am awesome because I have life. Too easily we forget that this is our greatest gift… and too easily we take it for granted, only realising its importance, its awesomeness, its worth, when misfortune hits others.

This blog post is dedicated to my dear brother, Dave Marks. In the 12+ years I’ve known him, I’ve never seen him upset, angry or sad. He was in my opinion the epitome of happiness… of Living your Life. Always smiling, you could hear his laugh from a mile away… I can still hear it now.

Definitely a young, ambitious, good-natured, pure-hearted soul… gone too soon.

I pray for his parents, his family, his friends… who I know are all distraught by his passing. A special shout-out to my other brothers – Gav, Jabari, Boomsie, Dougie, Heath – be strong and remember the good times… for it is in those memories that his spirit remains with us…

Kicking 2010 in the Ass!

I first heard that expression from Nyree, and I LUVS IT!!! LOL!! Goodbye 2010 & helloooooo 2011!

It’s been a busy time for me since work had me covering social events during the holiday season, and on top of that I was sick. I hate being sick… It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, trust me… I POP DUNG FI DAYS!!!

2010 was definitely a year for learning, as well as a transitional period in my life – the rocky road I had to take… the kinks that needed working out… to pave the way for a better New Year, if you will.

Last year I broke up with Crackers, reconciled, then broke up again – well, that was a waste of my time… though it did give me hope that there really are great guys out there – the tall, dark, handsome & ambitious type – AND he left the door open for Cowboy, who reappeared in my life when I least expected it, and perhaps when I needed it the most…

Last year I started a new job… THAT was ruff!!! But now, I’m getting into the groove of things, and all is going well 🙂

I’ve shed some friends, and made new ones… moved back home so I can have more time with my family… strengthened relationships with my mother and sisters… and for the first time in my adult life, I feel like I have some sort of clarity as to the direction I should be headed – professionally, personally and spiritually.

Yes, I said spiritually. I’m not the most religious person, but I feel that going to church should definitely be on my ‘to do’ list for 2011. I’ve discovered that there’s a certain sense of peace that I get when I go to mass, and listen to the hymns…

Resolutions? Yeah, I’ve got a few… quit  smoking once and for all, ensure my doctors see me when they’re supposed to, start running/working out again, make my life ‘early to bed, early to rise’, stop overworking myself, make time for my family and my friends who are family. They all really boil down to one – to take better care of myself… physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally.

I also plan to revisit my artistic side… through photography, drawing and painting – thank you Gary and Kim, for that much needed push in the direction you knew I wanted to go… but for some reason held back, or felt I didn’t have time to venture into.

I love new beginnings, and so happy that I have company!

Here’s to a wonderful New Year… let’s make it great!!

*CHEERS*

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

photo: Dwayne Watkins

Season’s Greetings to you all!!! And a wonderfully merry Christmas!

God is good. I’ve been blessed with wonderful friends, a family full of personality, and good health – what more could I ask for?

Last night we had our annual Christmas dinner at my mum’s house, with family and friends who are family… I wish that I could invite you all to experience it! We do a potluck dinner… about 30 of us gather on Christmas Eve to eat, exchange gifts and be merry.Ma belly still full!

There was SOOOOOOOO much food, laughter, story sharing… we’re actually a pretty wild bunch!

I’m usually a Scrooge at this time of year… not quite sure why. But, it’s like I’ve had a revelation and I feel for once this season of ‘giving’ has shown me all the things in my life that I am thankful for….

I’m thankful for my parents, who though separated for the past 20 years, still ‘live good’ and can enjoy each other’s company and do nice things for each other. And, they’ve never denied me anything I’ve needed for the past 30 years.

I’m thankful for my sisters. We knock heads often, vex wid each other, malice each other, chat each other, but we always make up… ALWAYS! And no matter what, I know they have my back, and I have theirs. THEY are my biggest supporters.

I’m thankful that I was able to leave work early to make it to dinner with my family on Christmas Eve. Every year I swear that I don’t want to go… that everything seems so hypocritical… but I really enjoy being around them all – we’re all so loud and obnoxious… BUT we’re interesting, and can hold an audience 😀 LOL!

I’m thankful for my friends, who always seem to know what it is that I need before I do… thank you Kim & JD, and Kat for the gifts… They are REALLY what I wanted!

I’m thankful for life… life in general, and MY life. There have been a few moments of weakness, where I’ve felt sorry for myself, and questioned my purpose. But thanks to those who I’ve mentioned above, I know why I’m here. Thank you for reminding me every day (though you may not know it). Again I’ll say, God is good!

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!!!

Nuff Love! 🙂

PS – SO glad dinner was last night…now I can go eat at all y’alls dinners today!!!! Wooohooooo!!!

30 Day Blogging Challenge – Day 4

This blogging challenge thing is STRESSFUL!!! LOL!

Well, today is the fourth day… never mind that it’s only a lil’ after midnight here in JA… But… Since I’m up, I may as well do my ‘challenge’ for Day 4 – a picture of my family.

There are a bunch of people missing… but these are the ones I’m definitely closest to…

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