Just mere days before he became hospitalised, Wade and I engaged in a political debate while I was also engaged in the task of framing my basement. He was not very good with ‘I have to go, Wade.’ After about an hour, I finally convinced him that I really had to get going and promised to call back. Unfortunately, I never did get that chance and it was the last conversation we would have. If only I had known that it would be our closing argument.
Wade was a proud fellow Vincy (Someone from St. Vincent) with a vast wealth of knowledge and experience far beyond his 62 years. His views, which he always tried to make me subscribe to, were sometimes abrasive but he offered no apologies. We formed an unlikely friendship based on the fact that we were both stubborn people with strong opinions on topics. He respected me for it and I grudgingly did the same. In the middle of arguments, we would praised each other’s ‘smarts’. “Wade man, you really know your stuff. I have to hand it to you.” I would say to him on more than one occasion. “Carlos, do you know that I was the one who…” and he would go into his accomplishments, be it a calypsonian, a deputy speaker of the House of Assembly in St.Vincent, Political activist, Human Rights Activist, Policeman…I knew them all and he wouldn’t be shy to refresh me on them. It was unusual for him and I to agree on anything so we’ll always agree to disagree. I am proud to say that he found me a worthy opponent. Although old enough to be my father, he was more a peer than an elder.
We had a mutual respect for each other although I was never able to be above his suspicions. Wade was suspicious of just about everyone. As an activist, it probably came with the territory. “I still love you Carlos even though you probably saying this and that about me” My denials would fall on deaf ears.
He frustrated me. He made me laugh. He made me love him. He made me hate him. But most of all, Wade made me respect him. How could I not? He spoke with authority on the various subjects he was knowledgeable in. He held fast and unwavering to what he believed in. He shared his popular and unpopular opinions and let you know how he felt about you. He was an exceptional person and secretly, he was mentor to me.
Everyone who crossed paths with Wade has their own tales of experiences. ‘Wade is a loud mouth’, ‘Wade is too political’ Wade is boastful’ ‘Wade is the biggest flirt.’ All true but then you would also hear, ‘Wade helped me to get recognized’ Wade is a good friend’ ‘Wade is a Godly man’ ‘Wade is a wealth of knowledge’. Those are just some of the descriptive phrases that describe this exceptional man. His passing would leave a permanent void in the community, on Facebook and in my life.
How ironic that his illness did what no man could have done, silenced Kojo. As I watched him lying in a hospital bed, I couldn’t begin to understand how he felt. Unable to throw out a smart quip at me or engage me in playful banter. His brain must have been working overtime with things to say. Yes, how ironic.
Goodbye brother, comrade, homeboy, friend. I will miss our arguments. I know you would have laughed heartily after reading this. You probably would have reminded me that I missed something. Oh yeah, you were also a ‘ladies man’.
Rest In Peace, sir.