Monday, April 22, 2024

Too much pain to bear


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THE PAIN OF losing her only child proved too much for Maureen Harris.
Even as she tried to celebrate son Xavier Harris’ life at a candlelight vigil on Sunday evening, Harris collapsed along the 15-minute walk from Monroe Road through Dash Valley, St George, and had to be carried the rest of the way home in the supportive arms of family members.
Around 50 friends, family members, neighbours, co-workers and well-wishers, most of whom were dressed in white, stood outside the Monroe Road home to pay their respects ahead of next week’s funeral.
Xavier, who was 21, lost his life a week ago, after his motorcycle hit a wall in St Patrick’s, Christ Church, police said.
Speaking on behalf of the family, propelled only by the “strength of Almighty God”, father Charles Harris lovingly hailed the former Rentokil employee as “the Bajan Mandela”.
“He was able to change lives,” he said to the gathering. “Xavier had a friend, and I told him today that I apologize, [but] I did not appreciate him because of his earlier doings. Xavier was able to change him from his bad habits . . . . I tell you this, not boasting, he is the Bajan Mandela . . . . I think Xavier used to go to sleep at night and think about how to change the world.”
Charles also relayed stories of how his late son would find the time to check up on elderly women and was even seen driving around a “paro”.
He added: “Our other son said he saw Xavier with what we could call a ‘paro’ in the car. He asked him, ‘What you doing with this paro?’ And Xavier told him that everybody in life is entitled to a chance.”
On the lighter side, those in attendance reminisced on Xavier’s entrepreneurial spirit.
“If you sit down a place too long, Xavier would sell you,” Charles said with a laugh, followed by murmurs of approval.
And while sad that his son had passed away, Charles said he “took comfort” in the 21 years he was able to spend with him.
“We never realized that Xavier loved us so much until today. We were talking to the counsellor and she said it was displayed in ways that we never even realized. The co-workers told me that as much as we thought that Xavier didn’t want to listen to us . . .  he would never do something that he thought would make us not happy . . . . We will continue to love Xavier.”


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