The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.
(From Nature Boy)
For my Brother on His Passing
Read below: 1) Keith’s Obituary, 2) His relationship with a brother, 3) See a gallery of activities at his home in Old Harbour Bay, Jamaica.
(Click on text to read obituary)
For my Brother on His Passing
Mystic… warm and deeply resonant is your soul. Your voice no less
Warm and resonant, speaks reverently of things perceived,
Things not obvious to all.
Now free from the limitations of the flesh, You, Seer, will seek to understand
The mysteries that intuition led you to discern. You take with you
On your journey, the treasure
That you found most useful. Your Crocusbagalove will be sufficient. Save for us, a place
At your table in your new abode where, in the shade, late in languid afternoons
We can sit and share
A mystic thought
Later, by glow of starlight, we can contemplate a scene below where those, still mortal,
Play at ritual combats,
Power on power,
Who should wear the laurel wreath for one, brief hour.
While in the shadows,
Behind a flickering light, stands the
Nervous angel who
(Garry G. Feb. 2016)
(Click on photos to enlarge)
For my Brother
My brother Keith was born in 1951 and I was born in 1939. We had no contact until 1983. We led separate lives, separated by time, by circumstances and by geography. I lived with my paternal family in Kingston until 1955 when I emigrated to Canada. Keith lived in Old Harbour Bay, a mere 20 miles away, but in the mindset of that era in that place, that distance of 20 miles was a continent away. Besides, in 1955 when I emigrated from Jamaica, Keith was a mature 3 year old and I, an immature 15 year old. Nearly 30 years would pass before we would meet each other.
In 1983 I undertook a difficult reunion with Ena Williams, the mother that we shared. Although 12 years older than Keith, in many respects I relied on him at that time to help me navigate my emotionally charged reconciliation with our mother with whom I had not communicated since the early 1950s. He was the adult and I, the child despite my 12 years seniority in life experiences. Keith had the ability to relate in natural, authentic and respectful ways to a wide range of people, from those with the humblest of origins to those with status. On a walk around the village of Old Harbour Bay in 1983, I watched admiringly as he greeted people, young and old, showing empathy for the condition of some and celebrating the small successes of others. He was a consummate diplomat in the village.
I later learned from our mother that Keith had a well developed sensitivity to those in the neighbourhood who were lacking the abilities to fend for themselves. Keith brought home a needy, mentally challenged young man who later became a fixture around his mother’s business, employed doing odd jobs in return for money and room and board. Keith was an advocate for the underdog.
Keith and I have communicated frequently since those first tentative and uncomfortable moments of 30 years ago. We were happy to discover that we had much in common, beside our mother. Keith was a keen and astute observer of sports, college and professional. We exchanged many assessments of our favourite teams by email. We shared opinions of the chances of success of athletes and discussed national rankings of teams and players. These bits of trivia that normally would have taken place at a younger age when siblings, cousins and friends would debate the merits of sporting figures, still took place, although for us at a much later stage in our lives. As they say, “better late than never.” Keith and I even played cricket in 1988 when he visited my family in British Columbia.
I am proud of my brother Keith, and happy that despite the many obstacles, I was eventually able to establish a relationship with him.
May he rest in peace between cricket games on the other side of this enterprise that we call ‘life’.
With Love from the family in British Columbia, Canada
Garry and Deanne Girvan,
Allison Girvan and Family and Anita Girvan and Family
Gallery of Keith’s Old Harbour Bay
(Click on a photo to start carousel)