Tue | Dec 1, 2020

‘Give them their roses while they’re alive’ - Richie Feelings contemplates first Mother’s Day without mom

Published:Sunday | May 10, 2020 | 12:00 AMShereita Grizzle - Staff Reporter
Sandra Davis, Richie Feelings’ mother, who died of brain cancer in April.
Sandra Davis with four of her sons (from second left) Richie Feelings, Tomokie, Kemar and Raheem.
Sandra Davis.
Richie Feelings and his mother, Sandra Davis, who died of brain cancer in April.

This year’s Mother’s Day has undoubtedly been impacted by the COVID-19 virus. Plans to show appreciation to the one you call ‘mama’ have been thwarted due to worldwide quarantine conditions. But while there may not be the usual elaborate dinner at her favourite restaurant, a spa day, or a weekend getaway to her favourite resort, technology has made it possible for many to still stay connected with that special woman today. However, for those whose mothers have passed away, that reality does not exist. One such person is popular selector Richie Feelings, who, today, will be marking the first Mother’s Day without Sandra Davis, the woman who gave life to him and his four brothers – Tomokie, Kemar, Raheem, and Timberland (deceased).


The pain was evident in his voice as Richie Feelings spoke about the plans he had for today. He told The Sunday Gleaner that he and his siblings each had their own special way of showing their mother love. His way was cooking.

“Me woulda normally cook for her. Anything weh me cook, she love, but she really did love mi oxtail. Me know weh me mother like, and so me always try fi make sure she get wah she want. She love porridge – hominy corn – and she just know when Mother’s Day come, me always do something special fi her,” he said. “Me nuh even have words fi say how me a guh handle the day, innuh. Thinking about it, me nuh even know how fi feel.”

Disclosing that his mother died of brain cancer, the selector said her diagnosis came on the 10th of March after she suffered a mild stroke. She died on the 13th of April, days after celebrating her 56th birthday. He said the short time span between the time of her diagnosis and that of her passing made things even more difficult for him and his four biological and two adoptive siblings (affectionately called ‘Big Man’ and ‘Little Man’).

“She was not a lady who was sickly. My mother never even complain ‘bout headache outta the usual. She was healthy. When I tell people my mother age, dem can’t believe because she nuh look her age. Me used to seeing my mother dress up and dem supmn deh, so it did hard fi see her inna the hospital,” he said.

“To see your mother, the person who gave you life, battling an illness and you cannot do anything ‘bout it was the worst. Is one month I go to the hospital for, and every day was a different challenge, but every day, mi go with a ray of hope because my mood was based on how she received me when I go there, and she was a positive lady.”

“After we hear what was causing all of this, her speech start go, her memory start go, and is like everything just start happen one time. It covered three quarters of her brain, and basically, what they (doctors) said was that there’s nothing we can do. Me never prepare for my mother to go so soon. Everything just come, and it affect me so deep. More while, it make me angry, it make me depressed, it make me hurt,” he continued.

Well aware of the fact that people have a tendency to take for granted the time they have with their loved ones, the selector urged his fellow Jamaicans to cherish the moments they have with those they love.

“Me always tell people say, ‘Don’t wait till yuh mother dead fi love yuh mother’. People love yuh when yuh gone and dem see yuh inna box. One a di hardest things me have fi face right now a fi see my mother inna box a go inna hole. A mi mother dis, innuh, how me must bury me mother?” Feelings questioned.

“My mother, Sandra Davis, was a trying mother. She had five of us, and she wasn’t a mother who stopped loving her children; there wasn’t a limit. She was always present. She came to the parent-teachers’ meetings, the football games, everything. Me nuh know nothing but love from my mother, and she definitely knew I loved her. But nuh matter how much tears me cry now, me know she nah go come back, so me wah tell people, stop take yuh loved ones for granted; give them their roses while they’re alive.”