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.

Worldly

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Date: 1:00 PM EDT Thursday 26 September 2019
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Quote

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

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8 Responses to A Lasting Gift

  1. Eileen Barton says:

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

  2. Thanks Eileen! It was an honour to know him, he certainly enriched my life.

  3. Teri says:

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

  4. Teri, thank you. Yes, it is lovely to have something that I can hold in my hand, something Jeremy intended for me, and had held in his. Looking at it I am reminded how brief and wonderful our lives are, how fleeting, how precious, and that the web of respect and kindness lives forever, taking many forms.

  5. Bex says:

    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.

  6. Bex, I agree, losing our people is the hardest part of getting old.
    I think it is something young people don’t really realize, even though they know it happens, will happen, they are unaware of the depth of the impact it has on a person’s life. Sadness is a natural and healthy emotion, the older I get, the more ways I find to deal with it. Sometimes I wish I could go back in time, perhaps 10,000 years, and experience human cultures as they were back then, to gain some perspective on what humans are doing now. I wonder if humans before cancerous greed had ways of dealing with loss that we just can’t comprehend.

  7. Teri says:

    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.

  8. Teri, you might be right! I’d love to confirm that, it would be quite an experience.