Do you sometimes find yourself thinking about people in your past? Then wonder about where they could be and what they could be doing now? Then you go to Google and try to see if you could get any information, maybe reconnect. Well last Friday night I was texting with my friend Cherrilin whom I just reconnected with after we lost touch after the Sandy storm that hit Long Beach. Then we started talking about our students at work from 20 years ago and just reminiscing the old days. I sent pictures (of some of these now adult kids) which I gathered from the internet.Then the question, "How about Sarah Ramdath? Have you found anything about her?(Sarah was one of the teachers at work) " I said I didn't find her on Facebook. Then I realized I haven't tried googling her, so I typed her name and the first thing I saw was "Sarah Ramdath Obituary." No it couldn't be Sarah. She's young, always fun, so full of life, full of tricks and laughter. I looked at the picture closely and confirmed it was not her. I thought, "Phew! Plus this one's from Georgia." Sarah lived in New Jersey. Then I went down the list, and did not recognize any of the pictures. I looked at the Whitepages and found her name and her family members' names. I got on Facebook and searched her youngest son's name. Voila! There was Regan, but only one picture and not much information. I searched her husband's name, and there I saw he is active on Facebook posting God and church-related thoughts. I scrolled down to see if I could find any posts with Sarah on it and there was one from January last year with Sarah's beautiful face smiling. The words took my breath away. A TRIBUTE TO A GREAT LADY.... (my heart pumped faster...I thought...surely you can give a tribute to someone who's alive, right?)
My excitement of having found her instantly turned to shock. She passed away January 24, 2014.
I relayed each information I was gathering to Cherrilin, and each information broke her heart. Before she knew all these, she told me she wants to find Sarah and thank her for all the help she's given her. When Sarah left the workplace, that was the last time we saw her. Although we never kept in.contact, we remember all the fun we had.
Sarah Ramdath...I met her in church August of 1995, when I first came to America. Just as I was at the tail end of my summer vacation, I was getting ready to go home to the Philippines, Sarah told me her workplace needed a Toddler Teacher. I went for the interview the next day, and got hired right there and then. That started my life in America. Thank you Sarah.
Yesterday, I could not get Sarah off my mind. It's strange to think that this world has no more Sarah Ramdath living in it... my heart felt sad. I reminisced all the laughter she caused in our workplace... her witty comments...her pranks. She always had a twinkle in her eye and a subtle smile on her lips when she was being naughty.
I wanted to call Cherrilin and tell her I am sad, but I thought Cherrilin must be thinking of her too. I should let her alone with her thoughts. I grabbed my sketch book and drew magnolias. I colored them pink. The back and forth act of coloring the petals helped numb my hurting heart a little. I zoned out. I drew and colored and drew and colored all morning...all afternoon...all evening till my lids drooped.
I'll call this series of drawings Mourning with Magnolias.
This is for you Sarah Ramdath....