Using lemons to make lemonade. Events and situations that others found annoying occurrences we'd find ways to enjoy or make the best of.
On nights when there were power cuts (and they were frequent), I would dig my parents for stories about their early childhood. They shared quite a deal with me, many of which were quite humorous. Sometimes they told me stories of their own parents or even their grand parents. I really enjoyed those moments I know they'll miss those moments a lot
It is my hope that they'll try to find a way to turn this profoundly tragic situation into triumph, my loss into a legacy.
I know you came here to learn a bit about me, I wish not to disappoint.
(If you are however one who wants to cut to the chase, click here for the gory details)
My mom and dad met in 1982, some 32 years ago. Daddy said that at the time, that encounter was an insignificant occurrence. They met at KPH (Kingston Public Hospital) as he accompanied his sister (Auntie Marcia) to collect her uniform material for KSN (Kingston School of Nursing) where both of them were to commence training to become RNs. Mommy was chaperoned by her sister, my other Auntie Marcia.
Daddy said, after that, he never saw mommy much at KSN, as she was a quiet, shy girl. A bond grew between Mommy & Auntie Marcia, as they became best friends while attending the institution. On internship to KPH, they rented a part of Mrs. Lawrence’s house at 11 Sayres Road in the Molynes Area.
Daddy attended Art School then.
God’s plan would have it that daddy (at a later date) got the helper’s quarters at Mrs. Lawrence to rent. A new bond grew between the three.
Mommy said daddy was very protective of Auntie Marcia and herself (not yet anything but fellow tenants) and he would meet them at the bus stop when they got off (alone or together) from the KPH.
They went to church, supermarket and did many other things together including washing dishes. One night while doing the dishes mommy said daddy popped the question and being the proper lady, she told him she needed some time, he waited until the time was right, they became engaged and then married on a wonderful sunny afternoon at the Tarrant Baptist church on April 1990. Mommy told me it was the first time she had ever seen daddy really angry. This was at the reception at Medallion Hall where they had another wedding that overran its time and “our” guests were left unattended (I said our because I was in God’s plan) They lived at 23 Mackville Terrace in Meadowbrook Estates.
The Lord was good and He looked down and saw two persons worthy of a loan and negotiations started, during the 9 months of negotiations, Mommy and daddy would sing and read to me in Mommy’s tummy. Mommy told me I would kick and play antics when daddy came home or was around.
On Saturday October 19, 1991 approximately 7 a.m., notification was given to mommy that the negotiations were complete and that the loan was ready to be delivered. Mommy being the consummate preparer, had bags already packed weeks in advance. Daddy started up the old VW and went to the Esso Gas station at the foot of Red hills to get some gas. (This was our first car that frequently ran out of gas, as the gauge did not work).
They left for the University Hospital of the West Indies after telling Lyn a close friend and neighbour.
As they journeyed, they continued their prayers for a safe delivery. Being old fashioned they never knew whether I was going to be Warren O’neil or Trudie Alicia (the two sets of names they had prepared).
They arrived at “UC” and preps were done. Mommy’s labour was painful and long but daddy stood by her all day Saturday, through the night and into the early hours of Sunday morning. At 5 a.m. nurse Una Richards assisted with the delivery, in what daddy said felt to him like sub zero temperatures. Daddy was calm and a tower of strength to mommy as he rubbed her cheeks and felt her ear lobes (a fetish he carried out even to my tiny ears after I entered the world), The nurses present wondered if he had witnessed other deliveries before as he was very calm and even assisted in turning on and off the suction machine.
So on Sunday October 20, 1991, the loan of Warren O’neil Wallace was delivered to Lambert Lloyd Wallace and Pauline Hyacinth Walker-Wallace. They gave thanks to the Lord right there and then as they called my name, “Warren”.
Shortly WE were home, Mommy was very exhausted and she became ill. Daddy at the time was working at JTC (Jamaica Telephone Company) and after a couple months of not seeing any improvement in mommy’s health, he quit his job at Directory services which required late hours, for another 9 to 5, so he could lend greater support to mommy.
My young life was dedicated to the Lord at Tarrant Baptist Church on Sunday, February 2, 1992. Reverend Neville Callam (presided over my infant dedication)
Time came for mommy to return to work (as all good things must come to an end) and at 10 months old I had caregivers (Junie and then Miss Cynthia) at home. Later I was taken to Kiddies’ Nursery, then moved on to McCams Learning Centre and from there, in 1994 to Holy Childhood Nursery and Preparatory School. At Holy Childhood I was awarded a medal of excellence in academics and was an active member of the Cub Scouts. I also participated in sports and loved running, I represented Padua House on Sports days. Earlier in the week (that I made my transition to glory), Daddy had proudly recounted to my schoolmates that traveled with us, how I ran a race for Padua House, a race in which I should have run one leg, my teammate, however was not responsive in receiving the baton, so I did not only run my leg, but the final leg as well and still came second.
From Holy Childhood Prep, I left for Grants Pen Infant & Primary School, as we migrated to St. Thomas where we had purchased a bit of land and built our house, a house still in progress.
“Daddy remember you promised to someday paint it white for me”. I believe a white house looks pure. I had dreams for the landscaping of the lot and a little fountain at the front. “Daddy & mommy please remember these dreams”.
I did well at Grants Pen, where I represented the School in the Butterkist Mathematics Competition and was successful in GSAT. I entered Wolmer’s Boys School at age 10. I was a friendly kid, a little shy like mommy and when daddy was a kid (he is not shy now). I became good friends with Paul Watson (grandson of daddy’ s primary school teacher and son of his schoolmate). Paul traveled with us daily. My new approach to third form made my family proud. I became proud of my school and was exceedingly elated at the 5 love Wolmer’s gave to Kingston College.
Friday Night I had told daddy that I wanted to represent Wolmer’s and my country, Jamaica, in Track and field. Burt Cameron seemed proud to have had me on the squad and had promised that he would be showing us some spikes, the following week.
Mommy & daddy, “your little bundle of joy” spent many wonderful moments with you, as you cleaned, suckled, cuddled, nurtured, taught and molded me in the ways of the Lord. I enjoyed your come-pen-chi (my way of saying company) at home and our several trips to Ocho Rios, Portland,
St. Mary, Falmouth. I enjoyed the sandcastles we made on the beaches, my fill of KFC Zinger sandwiches and Hot wings Combo, Tastee Cheese Patties, Juci Mega-Patties (some of my favourite meals and the best trip ever: my trip to Florida earlier this year. Auntie Doreen and family and Uncle Seebert and Aunt Winnifred were very good and tolerant. I know, in the US, I gave a weenie bit of “problems”: spending most of my money on caps and shoes. But boys will be boys!
I was Happy, you taught me to be happy, you made me happy. Daddy you saw the smiley face I drew in the mist on the side window of the car as we drove home together the night before I died. As we drove through the rains, you heard me express to Georgette (Dean) that it was adventures like those I loved. Loved because I experienced them with you. Remember last year, when the fording was washed away, how I helped by using the Chamois to wipe the windshield and you called me your able co-pilot. Cherish these moments mommy and daddy, focus not so much on how I died, but on how I lived.
After our little talks about your concerns for me and that brief phase of materialism through which I passed, you realized and expressed, before my passing how I had transformed and how I grew more and more appreciative of the important things in life.
Thanks for exposing me to the things of Christ and His kingdom. Thanks that you did not force salvation on me, it was by my free choice that I accepted Christ as my Saviour, and freely expressed to you, that I wanted to be baptized. Thanks as well for not discouraging me. As Matthew 10:13 says “Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not: for of such is the Kingdom of God”. KJV
- I loved the Arts– I spent many hours on weekends drawing cartoon characters among other things. I was very expressive, I loved dancing and taught mommy and daddy many of the latest moves. I had represented Grants Pen Primary at the regional level in May Pole dancing where the group was awarded a gold medal.
- I was very kind and thought more of others than myself –. I was willing to forgo my regular snacks so as to accommodate my friends who traveled with us daily and would help the less fortunate even it meant I go hungry. I would give away pocket money and the whole house to the friends that visited and to some at church and school. I never told you, but you have heard it from them. My "missing" clothes would often times turn up on the back of my most needy friends, as I would share with them.
You know I was not the stereotypical only child (who in most instances is described as selfish), you know I was selfless. From the little I saved I helped my friends young and grown alike. I even helped mom and dad sometimes with loans and you taught me about interest and would give me a “likkle smalls” on what you borrowed from me. I was very protective of mommy and would frequently slap her back, if she coughed and I thought she was choking.
- Some things I loved. I loved fried salt fish and herring. Daddy at times would buy these at Ms. Tensie and would throw packets of these through the space over the door as he passed my room, I loved to sing in the shower, I loved nice colognes. Those of you who know daddy will realize in many of these things we were similar I wrote like him, he would look at my friends telephone numbers (written by me) and wondered when he wrote them. My voice at twelve was deeper than daddy’s and sometimes when daddy’s callers called they would wonder if I was his father (Dada, my Grand Father).
- I had a spiritually enquiring mind as well and sometimes asked questions that took many minutes or days of Biblical research to answer.
- I loved the young - Dominic and Adenique Dunois were my baby best friends.
- I loved the old – Mr. & Mrs. Downer (Neighbours and Xavier’s Grand Parents with whom I would stay when they were alone) were my old friends.
- I loved the medical profession, earlier I wanted to be a Zoologist later I was undecided but if you look in my top draw you will see a note, which will give you an idea. The note reads “ My name is Warren Wallace. My address is at Albion Estate, St. Thomas. My short term goals are to do well in school and get A’s. My long-long term goals are to be an orthodontist and raise a good family…
- I was obedient (yes obedient) There were the odd times I may have been slow in carrying out my parents’ instructions, but I did carry them out.
- I LOVE(D) THE LORD: in life and in death (I am safe in the arms of Jesus, Safe on his gentle breast)
Church and community groups, please deal with peer pressure. It was peer pressure that overcame that day. You may never hear whether or not the peer pressure was implicit or explicit, but my friends know and also God had a purpose.
Mommy and daddy! trust me! before the week is out you will be seeing His purpose revealed to you in the clearest of ways. There will be many unanswered questions, but God’s ways are higher than ours, so thanks for not questioning His wisdom.
Relatives, Church Brothers, Sisters, Friends, Schoolmates, neighbours, gathered here today at my remembrance service, weep and mourn some, but try to rejoice, as I lived a beautiful life, a life more pleasing to the Lord than not. Warren O'neil Wallace
“By man’s standards, Warren’s life and time spent on this earth was brief, yet, if you seriously think about it, he lived a full life and fulfilled God’s Purpose: He was a joy to us his parents and others whose path he crossed. He lived 12 plus years, filled with Joy, Peace & Happiness.
God loaned him to us (his parents, friends and community), and He came to claim Him back as His own. The Lord giveth, The Lord taketh. Blessed be the name of the Lord!"
Mommy and Daddy