Love without boundaries
Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer
Sashah Topping and Damir Tufail met at age 15, and neither of them knew that a summer romance that fizzled would have turned into a long and lasting love.
However, Topping's mother, April Parchment-Knight, a lover of love stories, did point out to her future son-in-law, "I want you to marry my daughter".
Of course, Tufail was a heartthrob not ready to settle down, and Topping was a young woman positioning herself to take on the world. So when the two broke up it was not devastating.
The two went their separate ways. Topping relocated to Florida from Jamaica and Tufail, whose roots are Pakistani, went back to the United Kingdom.
The couple, who exchanged vows under torrential weather conditions last Saturday in the sugar mill of the 17th-century Bellefield Great House in Montego Bay, did not sever all ties. So, during the years of absence, they kept in touch.
In 2013, each reaching age 25, they rekindled the feeling they shared as youngsters. Topping flew to the UK to spend two weeks getting to know the man she was about to spend the rest of her life with, and Tufail's mom, Naila, was happy. "He had brought home girls before, but this time he said, 'Mom, I am going to marry this one'."
A trip to the UK, then a trip back to Jamaica to relight the magic and chemistry, plus a visit by Damir Tufail to Florida to see if he could survive the US marketplace, proved successful.
Now 26 years old and ready for children, Topping, a registered nurse and Tufail, a realtor with the high-end real-estate company, Diamond Centurion Group, said "I do" in the presence of several of their school friends and relatives, in what could only be described as an earth-shattering and beautifully designed ceremony.
Topping's father, Seymour Knight,
spoke of a daughter who came into his life at age 18 months. Within no
time, he said, she displayed a strength magnified by her strong
"One of her greatest assets is her strength,"
said Knight, cautioning Tufail that, as an Intensive Care Unit nurse,
this was a necessity, but he must remain the man of the
An aunt of Topping's described her as a
sensational superstar, who was awesome and at the same time
The evening, interspersed with tear-jerking
speeches and immense happiness, saw the bride's sister, Kristina Knight,
stating that she no longer needed to be her sister's bodyguard. "She is
now in good hands."
Damir Tufail, in his response,
said it takes a certain type of woman to get a man to move from one
country to another, and if it had not been for Sashah, he wouldn't have
made the move from the UK.
The second of two boys for a
single mother, Damir Tufail embraced his new family with open
Their kisses were long and deep, their smiles
were wide and captivating. Their wedding was a joy to those who have
Photos by Janet Silvera