Tuesday, April 16, 2024

MAVIS BECKLES: Life goes on as usual


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BOY, YOU SEE dem old people, duh ain’t wrong at all. Every single day ya does come face tuh face wid one o’ dem old sayings dat we used tuh pay li’l or no attention tuh or just laugh at but ya does have tuh say dat duh does be true, true, true. One o’ dem came right back tuh me only this very week: “In the midst of life, there’s death”.

Now, look at this: while ya could say dat the Crop Over celebrations went off wid-out the threat o’ violence dat a lot o’ people was talking ’bout and afraid of, death stepped right in suddenly and unexpectedly. One in the night and one in the day and snatch out out two people just so while both o’ dem was having a good time.

One, a young man who was partying wid he friends on board a boat pon a night cruise; duh say it was called Tipsea and he fell ovah board. Up tuh the time dat I’m writing this column, I ain’t know if duh find the body as yet. The other one is a popular female bandleader who was, in her own words, feeling “happy go lucky” in full costume on Kadooment Day and in just a few minutes after dat, collapse and eventually died. And you know what? Despite all the sadness and the shock, the revelry continued all the way tuh the final destinations of both parties.

Now doan get me wrong, please! It is very sad. I ain’t saying dat evahthing should have shut down. The truth is, I ain’t know how I would feel or react in either situation but all I could say is dat people continued tuh laugh and drink and dance all the way tuh the final destination . . . and life goes on.

Of course there was nothing anybody could do in either situation. In the case o’ the 21-year-old young fella, it was 9 o’clock at night. It was dark. It was out tuh sea and a good few miles from shore. I read what one o’ the friends say in the newspapers. He say dat the music stop and I think he say dat the ship stop fuh a li’l while too; then it continued on its journey home. I could only imagine how sad it was fuh his friends but there was nothing anybody could do.

On Kadooment Day I took a break from doing some household chores and sit down just in time tuh see Cassandra interviewing bandleader Renee Ratcliffe, whose band was just coming through the Stadium. She was her typical chirpy self and when Cassandra asked how she was feeling, her response was a breezy, “happy go lucky”. I doan even think dat the band had cleared the National Stadium good yet and next thing I was hearing was dat Renee was on her way tuh the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Clearly, it had tuh have affected the rest o’ the band members, some more than others, but nothing ain’t shut down and people ain’t went home. Like the people pon the Harbour Master – things went on as usual but I suppose wid some very heavy hearts.

It is like the time when duh used tuh hold the Party Monarch at East Coast Road when the bus carrying, I think, some of the staff from the Lucky Horseshoe, got in tuh difficulty, crashed intuh a wall, causing death and injury tuh a number o’ people on board….and things went on as usual.

It is really sad how life could be snatched from ya just so wid-out warning or any kind o’ preparation and ya doan know when it gine happen, how it gine happen or who it gine happen tuh. Nuhbody ain’t know the time nor the hour and nuhbody ain’t got nuh say in the matter either. When the Maker decide tuh tek back he breath, not a soul cahn say, “wait, tek it light” or “gi’i me a few more days.” We just have tuh accept it and move on.

Let me end this column by expressing my sympathy tuh the families of these two people, especially Audrey and Allan, the family of Renee who I know very well.

 • Mavis Beckles was born and raised in The Orleans. She has an opinion on everything.







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