Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Angela Cropper.


We ain't ships in the night.  Ships are only things, they come, they go, they don't feel. We are the people in the ships.  And we leave impressions on others as we pass. Sometimes, we come on land to do and be much more.

Then we's gone.

"He will replace the late Angela Cropper," the newsreader say on Sunday evening.

I look up from me email, confusion knocking me sideways. "The late" means the person die. I rush to the phone.

"Yes," my Irish auntie say.

It was through my Irish Auntie and the Whistling Doc. that I did meet she and she husband a few times, briefly. Living life mostly in me head as always, I did define them to myself in me own way. They was the rainforest-and-writers couple, a Trinidad woman married to a' Englishman.

But even in that short time, I did catch  a whiff o' something warm, gentle, in them.

They did lose a son, their only child. In his memory, they did start a foundation to help budding writers in the Caribbean to keep their son spirit alive.

"You have to come to our writers' workshop in Trinidad," John Cropper would smile and tell me. Once, at a' Iwokrama rainforest evening, he come over, smiling, and sit with Irish auntie and me. He wife was showing the crowd a documentary that haunt me ever since.  Innocence chopped down because of greed. Indonesia rainforest people and animals dispossessed.

Then John Cropper, and Angela mother and she sister was murdered at home in Trinidad, and the house was robbed.

She come to Guyana for his memorial service.  I did just want to convey how sorry I was, so I go with Irish auntie and she to the service. That night, the Amerindian people give she a gift they did make. A picture, embroidery or collage, details gone, but I remember how touched she been.

"How does she cope?" I ask my Irish auntie.

"She has strong faith," she say.

For years, the family tragedy, she, the documentary, pass through me mind.

Then two weeks ago, she pass from this world.

Yesterday I been thinking how she was one o' them who did come on land to be more, to do so much more. Without destroying a single rainforest tree, she cut a path for we Caribbean women to follow.



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