In Loving Memories of Strong Women!

Ms Nicey 4th October 2015 – Updated 4.10.2017

It is with a sense of sadness and foreboding heartfelt loss that I once more sit down to write another touching tributes to one of my fellow Townhead and Westmoreland born and bred ladies of substance who departed this life for some quality time of rest. I know I will never be able to find enough words to express my loss to the wonderful person who was Ms Nicey. I am hoping at this time my little tribute will bring some amount of comfort to Ms Nicey’s family as I try my best to do justice to her memory in the only way I know how. I am ever conscious of my little breda Christopher Baugh at this poignant time. I am also thinking of Alganon aka Leeford James, Vernie and young Spoon Boot, Smalling because I honestly can’t recall his name and he is family to my niece Careen Nembhard-Sinanan from Ms Maisie Smalling-Campbell tribe. So right there I covered my family connections in a nutshell.

That’s why I have to first reflect on my own circumstances and say that I am only still here with you “but for the grace of God” to be able to let my voice be heard once again. So let me give praises and salutations to “Mama Lou’s Wash Belly my little breda Ervin and his family/wife Denese” who talked and helped through another difficult patch last week. Without their support to overcome that difficult moment on Sunday when I was having a meltdown… I’d not still be here to write another tribute to my fellow human being. I can let others have a little insight into my own predicaments over the past year since my own Mother died to date. So please I am beseeching everyone “not to be too quick to judge another person” without first taking some times out of your busy schedules to know what is happening in their life.

Despite my predicaments during the week, after making the decision to resign from http://www.lefy.org.uk, to save mine and my husband’s life. I was trying my best to carry on with life as normal as possible. When my daughter-in-law called on Saturday, I was getting ready to go out to a “charity fundraising do”. I reassured her I was ok, and yes I convinced myself I was, but I am good at covering up and hiding from the world. I met a young man and a lady in a wheel chair on the bus who were going to the same function and we got lost and eventually found our way there. I chose to sit with them and enjoy what was on offer. However by Sunday I just could not control the jitters and my body was shaking like a leaf that got struck by a hurricane. My heart was racing and my mouth was drying out, signs and symptoms of my disabilities. I was trying to hide everything from TOM so as not worry him unduly. Because, already matters were taking a toll on his health and our personal life as a couple.

Realising I would not be able to deal with my “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” by myself and the other available avenues would not be of much help. I had to become resourceful, relying on my own resilience and coping mechanisms of survival and call my family. I would like to extend a warm heartfelt gratitude and thanks to those of you (and you already know yourselves) who continue to be concerned enough and have been keeping in touch. I value your support and kind words of encouragements. I know I am like the “pompous old idiot” who have to question why me Lord, but I guess I am not as perfect as my father was in his undying faith in God. I know there are prayers going up all around the world for me and I am ever so grateful. It seems however that God is taking longer on my case and I just can’t fathom out why! I am sure GOD was waiting to introduce me to Barrister Ryan Clement at http://www.ryanclement.com/, to help me in fighting my battles (2017).

Throughout the week I tried to get on with my life as best I could after finally unlocking the noose that was around my neck, choking the life out of me drip-drip-drab. Then I loosen the chains that bound my ankles and made me a “victim of Modern Slavery” once again. Because there are some who are intent on making me a Criminal to return to Jamaica to be imprisoned in the prison promised as part of the package to the government http://www.gov.uk/Number10. That’s why my credibility, good name and character has been blackened and tarnished over the past year. Refer to https://www.gov.uk/employment-tribunal-decisions/ms-m-myers-v-london-early-years-foundation-2300047-2016 to see how I know I am gifted from GOD – 2017. No matter what I do I can’t see a “light at the end of the tunnel”, so I eventually have to accept defeat. However I am just recouping and coming back, because it would be a morbid “SIN if I give up without a fight”. Although I believe in moving on, justice must be seen to be done for everyone. For the likes of those who have been wrongly judged and persecuted to appease the inflated egos of some. Refer to Dr Maria Hudson 2012 Research Paper recommendations for http://www.acas.org.uk/researchpapers (2017).

Once I pressed that “send button” I became ‘free at last free at last’ in the words of one of the great Black Leaders Martin Luther King. As Psyclops in the tale of the long running saga Dulcimena did say “man born fi drown caan heng”. Suicide will never come into my scheme of thinkings or become an options despite the provocations that I’ve been under this past year. Because I am still much of a Christian who believes that there is no “repentance in the grave” for sinners like me. In retrospects, little did I know that I would become part of statistics because of LEYF and cohorts. For despite appearing in http://www.hctgroup.org Impact Report 2016, of 1 in 5 suicides associated with uneemployment. I was not accepted to do the Mentoring trainings to get back into employment (2017). As my breda rightly reprimands me that “I should not question God” ever. But God I am afraid I’ve still got lots more questions to be answered until I get some closures. Why have the lightning bolts struck me two (2) times in a row over a seven (7) year period and why can’t there be any justice for me? Is this how life is meant to be for the vulnerable and those who just want to make a contribution to bring about change and make a difference.

Now I get that off my chest as this is one of my strategies dealing with my “Chronic Anxiety” so instead of cussing bad wuds, I’ll channel my energies into writing. So back to the primary reasons I am hearing about her death, and writing a tribute to MS NICEY WOLLERY. I’ll have to stop to find out more details to include later. Just something to get my talents and creativity that they are trying to deny me to get my teeth into so I don’t have to focus on my woes, trials and tribulations. I’ll try and tell the story of an exceptional human being who was MS NICEY, in the best way I can in the state of mind that I am at present, having a Nervous Breakdown which caused the resignation (2017). I have known Ms Nicey all my life and considered her family even though we had no blood ties.

The thing that struck me most now about Ms Nicey was that she had her share of adversities to deal with at every stages of her life’s journey. I know about some of her life’s journeys because we had lots in common and we spend quality time chatting woman to woman about life’s knock down, pick me up, etc.… Yet I have no knowledge of her ever faltering, giving up or questioning her fate like I am prone to doing. I was away from home on Friday 2nd October 2015, as l travelled to Milton Keynes http://www.open.ac.uk/ceremonies for AOUG Foundation for Education Research Awards and The AOUG Foundation Lecture at Walton Hall. I was privileged to be in the company of some inspirational and motivating individuals. I listened to the lecture and a flashbulb went off in my head. So now I am presented with some tools to continue more research, about Neuroscience and the Brain that may shed some lights on my situation.

I got home knackered, went to bed, got up next morning and listened to the message from “my best friend – Mertie Legister-Bernard” who is my source of information. Maybe I tried to block it out of my mind pretending I didn’t hear the name properly. Got in after doing my chores, duties and volunteering, sat down and listened again to the messages and it was clear Ms Nicey is dead. I guess I am placing myself in a world of make belief, telling myself that there has got to be another Ms Nicey and not my Ms Nicey. I racked my brain trying to come up with the other Ms Nicey I knew, but they had all gone on before, so no doubt. If my circumstances were different I’d have picked up the telephone to find out what was going on in Jamaica that I should know about, or be on Social Media. But I had to stay put and wait for the news to reach me somehow.

I was thinking she have a bedridden mother and a disabled son to care for. This is just to show how out of touch I’ve become because of the horrendous issues that have taken over my life more than a year ago. I didn’t even realised Ms Nicey’s mother Ms Lou had died this year. As it is “circumstances alter cases” and I am waiting in suspense for someone to get back to me. Now I’ll go delve way back in my childhood memories to see if I can do some amount of justice to the indomitable spirit of the “Lady Who Was Ms NICEY” and hope others will add their memories to my salutations. I have been jotting little titbits down for my book I tell myself I am writing hopefully before my time here is expired!

I have some memories of Ms Nicey going back to the times when my family lived on the Ackbersingh property stretching all the way from Townhead Cross Road/Square to Ground Road. The property also stretch in the other direction going towards my Primary School Townhead. That tells you about the influences of the Ackbersingh family in Townhead and beyond in Westmoreland. I was born on the property where my family lived on rented/leased premises just for house spots like lots of other families who could not afford to buy their own land. The road passing my home lead to Ground Road, into Bull Head territory and short cut for those coming from Hanover to Frome Market with their donkey loads of produce to sell on the way to the market.

For some reasons I’ve still got this memory in my head of where Nicey’s mother Ms Lou used to live. I could stay at my house and see their yard across the road. Sometimes a truck would bring “Ms Nicey’s stepfather Mass Witney home” and could never work out why. I have this picture in my head of Mass Witney as a “tall, strapping, red skinned man” been taken home in the truck. Mass Witney was Mikey’s dad and that’s all my memory served me up from back when I was 4+ years old. Fast forward to years later when I am living in GaGa Street, but I still have the connections with Ms Nicey’s family. Because Granty Papa aka Henry Salabie practically was like a breda to me and all but lived at our home. He was sent by his mum Ms Ethlyn who is the auntie of Ms Nicey to stay at our house because as Granty told me his mum liked the way my parents and in particularly dad was bringing up the family when we lived at Townhead.

He moved with us to GaGa Street as everyone looked out for the welfare of each other comes what may. All of Townhead and the surrounding communities are one big happy family and most people are related by blood. For those who are not related by blood there are other ties that bind us irrevocable. Ms Nicey had her children Alganon aka Leeford James, Kingsley aka Magma, Vernie, Christopher Baugh, Spoon Boot Smalling JNR. As time went by each and every one of us grew up and went our separate ways, but there are some bonds that cannot be broken. Ms Nicey was amongst the families who moved to the “Truro Project” from Townhead and became owners of their own little piece of property through the distributions of land to the poor who would not otherwise be in a position to buy their own.

Life went on as usual and I travelled to the UK where I called home since June 1992 – 25 years now if anyone is counting. Even I, a “mathematics dunce can work this out” without “beating my chest and counting my fingers and toes” in this day and age. Each time I visited Jamaica, I made it a point of my duty to carry out “my pilgrimage” going the extra miles to visit family and friends near and far. My pilgrimages are marks of respects to my parents, my father in particular because of the upbringing I was brought up and raised with. My father was the one who taught me taking us to visit his ancestral home where he was born on annual pilgrimage. We went to Aberdeen St Elizabeth to pay homage to the NEMBHARD family. Learning about some of the cultures that were inclusive to the St Elizabeth side of my heritage.

My breda ASHTER took up where dad left off, tracking down the family. Then I carried on where Ashter left of and I’d have to plan my visits home to Jamaica with precision. When it comes to Truro which I must confess was one of my “stumping grounds” I’d have to start at a certain point and work my way across the perimeters of the space that is Truro Pen. From Kaka Swamp, to Pallabottom, to Back Street, Truro is a melting pot of cultural diversity that is a tapestry in itself and history. I would have to do my visits in stages and start again another day laying down markers. My elder breda lives at 1st Street in Truro so that tells you all you need to know about my links with Truro.

I have spent precious time at Ms Nicey’s home on each of my visits chatting to her and getting her insights on life in general. I have had dialogues with Ms Nicey long before her mother, Ms Lou came back from the USA to live with her. Ms Nicey was this “fiercely independent woman” that is characteristics of the majority of Jamaican women who faced adversity throughout our lives. She was blessed with a “wicked sense of humour coupled with such dry wits” that I never identified on anyone else. She was “deadpan serious” and delivered her stories without batting an eyelid, about life. She was always relating everything about her challenges, struggles and how she managed to overcome the obstacles that were placed in her way. If you needed any advice about any subject from affairs of the hearts to how to rise up and get yourself out of the circumstances that you were born in.

Ms Nicey was a true “Agony Aunt” of substance because she had been there, worn the t-shirt, read the scripts and no doubt acted in a few of the scenes that would change the outcomes of her life. Anyone who was a lifelong cousin of my breda Granty Papa aka Henry Salabie, friend to my elder breda Balis and his wife Ms Doreen is sure to have answers to the scores about life’s many journeys. Ms Nicey had her ups and down throughout her life like any other person, but nothing ever kept her down for long. Whatever the challenges she rose above them. I recalled one year sitting at her home and listening to her talking about caring for her mother who was bedridden. Coping with her son who was brutally beaten up and now disabled and her own health conditions. But she was still so full of her “plucky self and believed God would give her the strength” to carry on despite the challenges.

There was another time when Ms Bebe aka Cynthia Walters went to look for (Ms Icilma that was the last I saw her as she was coping with her cancer diagnosis and undergoing treatments). Ms Icilma walked with us through a shortcut to take us to Ms Nicey’s home. As usual the “risqué jokes” were very much evident, because when one is in Ms Nicey’s company, one can expect the unexpected. Ms Nicey was not one to make apologies for being the kind of person who she was and takes no prisoners in any aspects of her life of course. What one see with Ms Nicey is what one gets and like a lot of us, Jamaicans who have had our hard knocks in life we are critical of ourselves. But at the same time use humour to help us get on with the challenges of life.

We will not pretend to be someone who we are not and won’t think twice of making a “mockery of ourselves” if it help us feel better about who we are supposed to be. Life has not always being kind to Ms Nicey, but I don’t think she ever once stopped to question God like I have been doing since my childhood, and just got on with her life. She just accepted her fate and to this day I just can’t understand how women like Ms Nicey and my own mother, Mama Lou managed to do it. For many years she looked after her bedridden mother, Ms Lou. One of her son “Spoon Boot aka Smalling was beaten up and left for dead, resulting in him becoming disabled and totally reliant on his mother. So Ms Nicey ended up caring for her mother and son. Then shock horrors of horror another son Kingsley James aka Magma was brutally murdered at his business place out by Toll Gate.

I just don’t know how Ms Nicey coped and managed all the trials and tribulations that beset her, but somehow she did! She got on with the job of caring that she considered her duties as a daughter and mother. And she dealt with the grief of loss in the same way I supposed! Somehow God seemed to have made the likes of the Ms Nicey with the calibre and capacity to take whatever life throws at them! The last time I had a serious chat with Ms Nicey was when my sister Ms Doreen and I visited in January 2014. We talked about similarities between our mothers who were both named LOU. By this time my mother had no memory of me, her only daughter. As per usual Ms Nicey was her “jolly self” and talking about her status as a matured person in her “3 score years and 10” and proud as punch about her achievements despite adversities.

As usual I got my photos before leaving. The next time I chatted with her was the day of my mother’s funeral at the Truro Cemetery. I spotted her sat on Pansy Holland’s veranda so stopped to chat to both of them. We had our usual laughs about life in general. Pansy who is a former colleagues, as we were Basic School Teachers working in Early Childhood Education gave me informed tips. These tips was about helping my #1son Kevin Murray in his campaign as he dipped his toes in the political arena. I never had time to go back and see any one not even Ms Nicey, as that’s how it is on a short two (2) weeks visit to bury one’s mother. However I did get to have a chat with Granty who filled in some of the missing pieces of the jigsaw puzzles of our life that Ms Nicey was so much a big part of.

As you might have guessed from what you have read so far there was such close links that existed with Ms Nicey’s family and mine, it was truly amazing. That’s why I am begging and entreating every one of you out there to spare some time to discover your history before it’s too late and you are left with regrets and “more questions of if mi did know” when it is too late. Although I can’t say this time that our family are blood relatives. However one don’t have to be related by blood for there to be a strong link that bind us together. Where I come from Townhead district, Westmoreland, Jamaica especially in the time when I was growing up. The saying “it takes a village to raise a child” resonated in all sections of a society. The society that was empathetic and humane, and aware of the diverse and complex needs of others regardless of their circumstances or statuses in life.

Because my family was as “poor as a Church Mouse” but that didn’t stop us from having “visions and dreams of breaking the cycle of poverty that enslaved” us to a life of doing without the basic things of life. As children we could go to any of the neighbours if we are hungry and be fed. When my father and grandmother were sick, everyone rallied round to help our family. In her later years mama was the “village informal career – nurse” who left her own home to spend time in the homes of those who needed her tender loving care in their times of greatest needs. Mama was not educated nor possessed the intellectual knowledge and skills that would qualify her to pass exams to be a nurse. But what she lacked intellectually she made up with “common sense” which is not readily accredited to some snobs who installed themselves on their “high horses” of superiority (refer to the ET Judges – 2017).

Mama had that empathy and humanity in abundance, the same like Ms Nicey to cope with adversities no matter the circumstances. And I am sure both were empowered by the God who I like to question in the face of my trials and tribulations. In the end when Mama’s time came, the community rallied round to give back what she gave. Ms Nicey on the other hand was spared that part of the journey experienced by my mother. But I am proud to say I am happy to learn that my mama’s cousin Joyce Saunders-Brown was at Ms Nicey’s call taking her to hospital in her hour of needs. More reasons to value the ties that bind us as a family. So once more I can write about experiences from the cradle to the grave in abundant details. I will therefore refused from subscribing to those who are “hell-bent on demonising me for what I stand for” in order to suit their bloated inflated egos.

As I ponder over Ms Nicey’s legacy, I am more than proud to say I can put her on the same pedestal close to my mother. Because like my mother and many women and men of her ilk whom I have had the privileged to say have touched my life in some ways or another, Ms Nicey deserved to be considered a Saint. Ms Nicey gave of her best in the most unfaltering ways, caring for her loved ones and coping with loss. But God blessed her to give of her best services in times when she was needed. I do not know why God decided to call her home to rest from her toils and labours and I am not going to question God on this one surely! Others will have to pick up the pieces because Ms Nicey carried the baton for such a long period. Her family might be wondering why she had to go without even a final goodbye!

Rest assured that even Mervelee Myers, the sceptic will have to come to the agreement that God has chosen Ms Nicey for His own special purpose at this time. We all have to take a leaf out of Ms Nicey’s book of life and learn to give of our best without complaining and questioning God. We were all made for a purpose in God’s eyes and Ms Nicey completed her purposes on earth. God must have other jobs for her to do and I am positive she has linked up with Kingsley her precious son who was so brutally taken away and are already making plans for her family and friends. If I can achieve even half of what Mr Nicey accomplished in her 70+ years on this earth, I will be proud to say she was an example, a role model and a mentor to me in so many ways.

RIP dearest Ms Nicey and God will do the rest of your work. As I reach out to all the family and friends of Ms Nicey, I have my little breda Christopher Baugh in my thoughts more than ever. Rest assured that your mother Ms Nicey would understand and give all of you her children, but you in particular her blessings. I have spent long moments with her chatting about all there is to know about life and she was yet another of those women I considered to be one of the sisters I was never blessed with from mama and papa. My thoughts are with you all at this sad time.

Song: Some bright morning when my life is ended I’ll fly away home to glory… We are only lent here for a short time and once our work is over then we have to go on to the next steps of the journey. Ms Nicey, your  name will live on forever in our memories!

Today I am reflecting on my life, because I was thinking the battle with LEYF would have been over. Instead I am still here fighting to clear my name and exonerate myself from discrimination. Women like my Mother and Ms Nicey would not allow anyone to take liberties with them and I am ensuring I take my Fight4justice to the next levels to edduate people and breaking down barriers.

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