AF (formerly known as JM) was born in Grenada on June 22, 1925. On June 22, 1947, she married IF, and the two of them celebrated fifty-five years of marriage before his death.
On the morning of Friday, August 12, 2016, AF passed away peacefully in her home and in the presence of her loving sons, G and C. Her death is a loss many of us will feel deeply, but there is some comfort in knowing she can suffer no more and has been joyfully reunited with her husband.
A good description of what made my grandmother so easy to love and so special can be found in my grandfather’s memoir. He wrote as follows: “Behind the simple, gentle manner of my wife, A, lies a storehouse of knowledge, generosity, meekness, and life’s richest experiences. I will be forever indebted to the inner strength and beauty of my dear wife, as will our sons.”
My grandmother was indeed gentle and loving. I remember the sweet rise and fall of her voice as she called my name or sang a hymn while cooking or doing other household chores. She was slow to anger and quick with affectionate kisses and hugs.
Throughout her days, my grandmother amassed a large storehouse of knowledge—from skills like sewing and crochet to the deep wisdom of someone who has lived a long life and paid close attention. She also had an eye for detail and a flawless memory.
My grandmother was generous and humble, always putting others first. And especially when it came to children, she was extremely generous. She knew how to have fun and share a hearty laugh. She appreciated a good story, something sweet to drink or eat, and a good sea bath. She also had impeccable manners.
A devoted member of the Anglican church, my grandmother was a woman of deep faith. And she would need to rely heavily on that faith when her health began to fail. Following her stroke, grandma was bedridden and must have faced regular challenges, disappointments, and frustrations. She must have mourned the loss of many simple joys we all take for granted. However, though her body became weaker, her faith, thoughtfulness, and generosity remained strong. She continued to laugh, give wise advice, and tell stories those of us with younger minds had almost forgotten.
Here’s what I remember: Finding her smiling face in the crowd when I landed at the airport. Her delicious food and desserts. Her gentle voice waking me up at dawn for an early trip to the beach. How she and her friends kept each other laughing. The loving and loyal way she looked after my grandfather, especially when he got sick. The joy and pride in her voice when she talked about her sons and her grandchildren. Her sage advice. Her unshakable faith. How she qualified all of her plans with the words “God spare” or “God willing.”
I have many fond memories of my grandmother from when she was still healthy and able to take me around—be it to an early morning church service, a social function, to visit friends and family, or walking down and back up the formidable Market Hill to do the day’s grocery shopping. However, she earned the deepest reaches of my respect and admiration when many might claim she couldn’t do much of anything. It is from her bed, her body partly paralyzed, that she most impressed me. She must have had darker and painful moments, but she was slow to complain or indulge pity. Instead, she continued to be concerned for others. She continued to recite Psalm twenty-three.
AF is survived by her sons, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, great grandchild, extended family, and good friends. She was greatly loved, and she will be greatly missed as well.
Those of us who called her friend or family, let us not just mourn her. Let us also be bearers of her legacy of faith, generosity, and love.