Sun | Jan 21, 2018

Iris Bailey; : An orphan in 13 days, I’m still gonna make Mommy proud

Published:Saturday | May 7, 2016 | 12:00 AM

My mother was a wonderful person, a very charismatic person who was loved by so many. She taught me how to deal with the struggles of life and how to cope with certain life situations.

Oftentimes she would sit me down and relate her experiences to me so that I could learn from her and try not to repeat the mistakes she made. A loving person she was, and her presence was always welcoming. I just loved being around her, as she would always have a smile on her face.

My mother, who we called 'Judy', was always proud of her four children. She would regularly tell me how much she was proud of me. She said she was proud of my achievements and that I should continue to do well in school and continue to make her proud.

Sadly, that is now impossible, for she will never get the chance to see how successful I will become when I grow up. But I'm glad she saw the foundation of my success before she died. My mother passed away on March 23, 2016, exactly 13 days after the death of my father that same month.

When my father died, I saw it coming as he was sick and in the hospital for a couple days until he passed away. It was really a sad moment for the family, but I said at least I still had my mother, of whom I was determined to take good care. Oftentimes she would cry for her husband, who had been with her for 28 years, but I encouraged her to be strong for us. Sadly, her heart couldn't bear the pain. I never thought that within just 13 days I would have lost both my parents.

Sometimes I don't know how to cope. I wonder how I'm going to manage as an orphan, but I know that God will never leave me nor forsake me. Her death came as a shock, for no one saw it coming. She had spent only five hours in the hospital.

I'm now an upper-sixth-form student at Denham Town High School, who will be sitting the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations in May, and I'll try my best to focus on what is important in my life. I'll still make my parents proud, even though they're not around. I am determined to become the successful young lady my mother always wanted me to be.

- Iris Bailey is a sixth-former at Denham Town High School. Email feedback to