A Lasting Gift

Today I had the pleasure of browsing through my bookcase, and a special book caught my eye. It was a gift.

One of the significant contexts of my life was Graduate School. I met some truly wonderful people during those years. One of them was Jeremy. He was funny, smart, kind, and a kid compared to me. I was much older than all of the other graduate students in the department, at that time. He had grown up in England, his father an Anglican priest, his mother a woman of colour born in Jamaica.

Jeremy’s graduate research took him to Jamaica, the birth place of his mother. He used to send me postcards from Jamaica, I still have a few of them. One year, when we resumed classes, he brought back a book for me, called Lionheart Gal: Life Stories of Jamaican Women, by Sistren with Honor Ford Smith (1987). I treasured the book, it was meaningful to Jeremy, a connection with his Mother, who was a Jamaican woman by birth.

A year or so ago I was chatting with an old friend from that period of my life, catching up on the news. It was then I discovered that Jeremy had passed away. What sad news that was. Apparently he had contracted a serious but curable disease, I can’t remember which one, but decided to self-treat with herbal remedies. They didn’t work, and he lost his life.

But when I hold this book in my hand, I do not think about how Jeremy left us, I think about how wonderful it was to have known him, enjoyed his humour, his company, and a wee bit of his heart.



Date: 1:00 PM EDT Thursday 26 September 2019
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.6 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 17.3°C
Dew point: 16.1°C
Humidity: 93%
Wind: W 19 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


“The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.”
Elisabeth Foley

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Eileen Barton

Sorry that Jeremy passed but how wonderful that you got to know him and have such precious memories.


Sorry to hear he passed away. But how lovely to have a gift as a memento of the time you shared together.


Losing one’s old friends and loves is the hardest part of getting old. I have lost very important people from my past and it just doesn’t seem fair that I am still here and they are not. So sorry about your losing your Jeremy. Each person only has a handful of really special people/pets like that in their life and when they leave us, it makes life just that much sadder.


I don’t think you’d find much difference, except in scale. There’s a reason “thou shalt not covet” became one of the Ten Commandments.