A mother's anguish - It's not an easy road for Marjorie Bell
On December 7, 2016, Marjorie 'Madge' Bell's life was forever changed. While happily painting her room and looking forward to the upcoming Yuletide season, she received a phone call that shattered her world, and up to now, she has been walking around in a dazed stupor.
Her oldest of four children - daughter, 36-year-old Marcia Ford - was brutally gunned down at a bar, along with a taxi operator, in Savanna Cross, Clarendon.
In between tears and sometimes blank stares, Bell related the ordeal of that fateful day on which she fainted multiple times. Refusing to allow the funeral parlour driver to take her daughter away, Bell embraced the bloodied body. She just could not believe that she was really gone forever.
NOT COPING WELL
A resident of Inverness, Sandy Bay, in the parish, Bell now travels between homes in order
to take care of her four grandchildren left without a mother. They are still living at their late mother's residence.
The distraught mother admits that she is not coping too well, overwhelmed by the new situation thrust upon her. She said the pressure is just too much.
"A feel like walk road, walk, walk, walk before mi come a mi yard, you understand," she told The Gleaner, a faraway look in her eyes.
"And di biggest part a it now is that mi know sey she dead now 'cause mi nah see har. Mi nah call har phone. Mi an har used to correspond every two days. Mi nah hear nutten from har. Mi nah si har or nutten, so mi realise sey she dead fi true," Bell shared, breaking down altogether as another fit of tears overcame her.
After regaining a semblance of composure, she said that most days, she feels like a zombie just going through the motions, doing what she has to do for her youngest child - a 14-year-old student of The Queen's School - and trying to tackle the huge responsibility of taking care of her grandchildren - ages 18, 13, 12, and eight.
... A hard, expensive road ahead for a distraught mother
Added to the grief of losing her daughter, the expense of sending five children to school is already taking its toll on Marjorie 'Madge' Bell. In fact, some days, she can't send them to school as there are just no the funds.
Her 36-year-old daughter, Marcia Ford, was brutally taken from her, leaving behind four children, who have now become Bell's responsibility, along with her own teen daughter.
"It hard, enuh. It rough, enuh. It tough, enuh. Sometimes mi can't even find it. Mi nuh have no form a help, just mi other three children, and they are not working, but they still try to give me something," Bell shared in despair.
Her grandchildren's future is looking bleak, with her being unemployed, but she is trying her best to hold the family together.
"Mi caan allow them to be separated. Dem already lose dem madda. I'm doing everything in mi power to keep them together, but I need help," she pleaded.
Bell said that she just needs some clothes, food supplies, and help to keep them in school and she will do the rest.
TIME TO HEAL
Emotionally, she said that they need time to heal as the youngest, age eight, hugs her ever so often and tells her that her mother is dead.
The 12-year-old often wonders aloud about the reality of the death, while the 13-year old is yearning to live somewhere else.
"She says to me, 'Mi want somewhere different fi live, yuh know 'cause when mi haffi go a school a mawning time, a in front a di bar mi haffi stand up, and when mi go out dere, it just bring back memories, and mi a sey, 'I wonder if dem a guh kill me like how dem shoot Mommy'," Bell related, adding that her granddaughter gets emotional, too, when she hears passengers discussing her mother's death in the taxi she takes to school.
The heartbroken mother will have to wait a while for closure as an autopsy is yet to be scheduled for her daughter, who was gunned down at a bar on December 7 last year in Savanna Cross, Clarendon. But it is also a blessing in disguise as she still has not identified the resources to take care of the funeral expenses.
Until then, Bell continues the arduous task of picking up the pieces, keeping the family together, and trying to get the sight of her daughter's blank, lifeless stare erased from her memory - something that keeps her from eating.
"Every time mi tek up mi food to eat, after two bites, I haffi put it down. The memories just too much," she said.
"It's only God knows. Just Him know how mi a go carry on."