Thursday, April 25, 2024

Still trying to put pieces together


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by Davandra Babb

TWhile at the supermarket doing her Christmas shopping with her son Raheim, a panicked neighbour came to inform her that her house at Bibby’s Gap, Halls Road, St Michael was on fire.

Lovell said her world stopped and her mind went straight to her three daughters, Rashida, Nyomi and Niara, whom she had left at home.

“One of the guys who wash cars by the supermarket who lived in my gap came to me and said people were looking for me because the back of my house was burning. I automatically asked him where my kids were. That’s all I was thinking about.

“That was a moment I could never forget because all I was thinking about was my children and if they were safe. When I jumped into the vehicle I just went into full mother hen mode,” Lovell recalled.

She made a mad rush for home, all the while praying that her kids, ages 18, five and two were okay.

“Although you’re not supposed to use the phone and drive I picked up the phone and called my eldest daughter three or four times and when I didn’t hear her I was panicking. The hardest thing was to know they were home and the house was burning. If they were with me as they usually are I wouldn’t have worried as much,” she added.

Finally, she reached home and realised that her children were safe.

The house she had been renting since April 2013 was gone.

‘Thank you, God’

“All I was saying was, ‘God, I thank you for protecting my kids’. That was my main concern. They had to jump through the window to save themselves. The house is replaceable, but they aren’t. Everything in the house was lost. All we had was the clothes on our backs and my daughter was in a towel. After I realised my kids were safe my thoughts then went to where to 2013 wasn’t an option since it was full. Thankfully, her aunt provided her family with a place at Vauxhall, Christ Church, where she still is today.

Lovell, 44, said the last two months have been the hardest time in her life, but she is trying to remain strong and devise a plan to rebuild.

“I’m trying to make myself comfortable. I’m in one room with my three daughters, something I’m not familiar with. As a woman you want to be at yourself so I’m pushing to get things done for myself.

“I have a piece of land in Kingsland, Christ Church, so my next step is getting the plan drawn up, and starting the building process. So, hopefully before Christmas this year I’m back in a house. I’m still on the journey to rebuilding but I’m doing much better now,” she said.

Lovell noted that many promises were made to her on the day of the fire, but not many have materialised so she is trying to help herself.

“People would promise stuff but I’m still here waiting. I’m doing what I can now to try and help myself. I believe people promise you and say they will help but you have to help yourself because I could be waiting forever,” she added.

She is thankful to all who assisted her.

“I got donations from the kid’s schools, individuals who would have given me funds to assist. I give thanks to everyone who really contributed. At present I can’t remember all but I’m thankful to everyone who helped in whatever way they could,” Lovell added.

She also expressed her heartfelt gratitude to her colleagues who ensured that her children still had gifts to open.

“My Christmas last year was hard, but thanks to my colleagues from Barbados Public Workers [Cooperative Credit Union Limited] my kids had gifts to open on Christmas Day. I would always be fussy about getting them gifts and how much I bought and so on. They made sure they provided a large bag of toys for them to open because all their toys were burnt up in the fire,” Lovell added.

Firefighters at the scene of the tragedy at Susan Lovell’s rented home. (FP)

Susan Lovell recalling the day her home was destroyed by fire.

(Picture by Christoff Griffith.)

we were going to sleep,” she said. Lovell said returning to where she was prior

wo months ago today Susan Lovell’s world came crashing down. Literally.


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