Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Barbados' Walk for the Cure 2014

Over 5000 Barbadians turned out to run or walk the 5k Walk for the Cure 2014 on 5th October. In an island of only approximately 270,000 persons, 5000 is a large number at an event. It was a lovely evening with festivity in the air as we all crammed into the small space to start the walk at the location juxtaposed to the Garrison Savannah in front of the Clock Tower. Like Christmas in a Caribbean island, I met and greeted present and past friends and acquaintances who I had not seen in a long time. I saw some of my church-family members, acquaintances/friends who attended school with me years ago and friends from a different time very long ago. I had gone to do the walk with my work colleagues but due to the massive number of people present, I saw them only twice - at the starting line and again at the finishing line. Persons of all ages were there including my 18-month old daughter who did the entire journey in the pram without one complaint. She was not alone but was one of the many babies and toddlers in prams. In a true Caribbean style the announcer hailed the various groups represented as the pending crowd waited anxiously to start. Then away we went, some of us weaving through the crowd to pass persons as we raced to the finishing line while others walked and chatted. The going was slow at first because of the large number of persons in the small space but with the beautiful weather, greeting old and new friends and keeping in mind the reason I was walking made it an absolutely beautiful evening. I add my voice to the shout for a cure in memory of a friend who died a few years ago. I often took her to the hospital as I watched her suffer for 1 year, growing thinner and weaker. Then, my voice rings louder as my daughter's grandmother is a breast cancer survivor, so, I walk for the cure.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

In memory of Cheryl Waterman

It was a year and a few weeks between the date she was given the diagnosis and the day that we buried her. It was a year in which she lived to see many others pass and to tell me that she made peace with God. It was a year in which I felt compelled to go way outside of my comfort zone and traverse to and fro to the hospital even with my young children in tow. It is a year that I will never forget. It was 2010. That year began with vast devastation in Haiti and I was unable to properly comprehend how so many persons, over 200, 000 could die in a few seconds, and continued with our prime minister taking ill and dying within a few months of his diagnosis leaving a country in mourning. Yet Cheryl was my friend and death does not really make an impact on an individual until it intrudes their very domain. I watched her grow weaker so naturally I had expected that she will pass sooner rather than later but as I stood there looking at the grave I could not believe that she was gone. In the days after her death I inadvertently recalled the times we spent together and they were so clear and so vivid; how could she be dead. Sometimes on Sunday evenings the thought comes to me that Cheryl may call today then with a shock I recall that she can’t. I take comfort in the fact that we shared the same belief in Jesus Christ and that I did my very best for her when she was alive.

I will look forward to seeing her again when Christ returns for his own so until then I say Goodbye Cheryl.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Walking Naked - Life without Makeup

It may have been a ‘moment in time’ in my life or the fact that the vacation was too good but I ate all kinds of the foods that I do not normally eat. I even tried foods that I have only heard about but never had a chance to try like Ackee and Salt fish (delicious!!). I now know that it may not have been the food, but my face had a bad acne breakout. After struggling for a short while I made my way to the doctor. She gave me gel to use and informed me that it will get worst before it gets better (promise) and I must not wear any makeup. It may take 8-12 weeks to see a difference, I was told. I was on vacation so I felt that all will be well after the 3 weeks when I was required to return to work. I was wrong!

I have always used foundation to hide the occasional breakout and horrible dark marks that the acne left behind. The acne did get worse, much, much worse and I had to go outside and face the world of work and church (places where I face the same people everyday) and I was told to do it without covering up. I was determined to follow the doctor’s advice so I walked around naked. Twelve weeks later it was substantially worse and did not appear to be getting any better. I was disheartened and ready to give up. (But this is an article on Walking Naked).

Along the journey, though, something very strange happened. Outside of the fact that persons were very kind and did not say anything, life continued as normal. I was not ostracized, shunted or made fun of.

I am not sure if it was as a result of people’s acceptance of me or that I have learnt not to be so self conscious but I found that I have learnt to accept myself, acne, spots and all. A few concerned persons at church eventually did show concern with the state of my face but this was after my acne outbreaks had reduced.

Now six months later the acne outbreaks are under control but the oily, shiny appearance is still with me. I no longer worry about it because I have come to realize that “Nobody really cared” that my face is shinny (except my mother) and I can continue my daily living as if my face was plastered with makeup. I now sport a young, dewy look as I walk naked.