Thu | Jun 13, 2024

Christmas grief for mother, grandsons

Published:Friday | December 24, 2021 | 12:11 AMOlivia Brown/Gleaner Writer
Beautie McDonald is flanked by her grandchildren, Jahiem Senior, 11, and seven-year-old Shakeem Senior, whose father Roydel was murdered a month ago on the grounds of Clarendon College.

For years, Roydel ‘Tay’ Senior strove to make extra money every Christmas by chauffeuring returning residents.

But this year, things have changed. Plans are under way for Senior to be chauffeured - but in a hearse.

The late groundsman at Clarendon College in Chapelton, Clarendon, was gunned down on the school compound late November, sending staff, students, and his family into a tailspin.

Beautie McDonald, Senior’s mother, said he enjoyed Christmas and was enthused to be part of all the year-end festivities. The grieving mom is still devastated at his passing.

“I don’t know if I gonna have any Christmas because my son was everything to me. He was my food basket. I keep saying I don’t know how I’m gonna make this Christmas without Tay,” she told The Gleaner, adding that he would have been on a beach trip planned for this week.

Compounding the sorrow are the Christmas wishes of Senior’s two sons – aged seven and 11 – which their grandmother is unable to honour. They want to go on the traditional Grand Market shopping spree on Christmas Eve.

Described as caring and family oriented, Senior had big plans for his mother this Christmas. He promised that she would be able to move into her own home – a project he was spearheading.

In a sad twist of fate, the home construction has been halted.

Reflecting on happier times, the Yuletide season was a period when Senior would shower her with gifts.

“Every Christmas him get me cake, give me money to go Grand Market to buy what me want, and bring me sorrel,” she said.

McDonald told The Gleaner that Senior was a good father who loved his children dearly. That love, she said, is why Senior was in the community where he was killed.

“If Tay did hear when me say, ‘Come home ... mi nuh like you alone out by Chapelton. All your family in Beckford Kraal, and him say, ‘Mommy, I can’t leave the two children,’” she said.

“Is the two children make him stay in Chapelton. That’s why he was there that night [when he was killed].”

McDonald disclosed that a lengthy wait to have an autopsy conducted on her son’s body has also deepened her grief.

However, the family remains committed to ensuring that her grandsons have a good Christmas despite the limited resources.

olivia.brown@gleanerjm.com