Carol Fong had a loving heart and gentle demeanour
ON March 1 friends and well-wishers of the late Carol Marie Fong turned out in their numbers to the Spanish Town Methodist Church in St Catherine to pay their final respects.
It was a hard pill to swallow for her loves ones as Fong was being sent off on the day she would have celebrated her 51st birthday.
Fong died after suffering from thyroid cancer, with which she was diagnosed in 2012.
Fong's sister, Suzette Shaw-Reid, told Life Tributes that she was still trying to comprehend the reason her sister had to leave her, all while reminscing that Fong was of good courage, even until the end.
"On Tuesday, February 18, 2014, the Lord said to my sister, 'Carol, I give you peace; the kind of peace that only I can give. It isn't like the peace that this world can give. So don't be worried or afraid'," Shaw-Reid stated in a written tribute to her sister, who was affectionately called C.
"I had to remind myself that, being a child of God, we know God calls only the best and you C were tested, tried and accepted," Shaw-Reid added.
She said that Fong, who provided boarding for students in Mandeville, always found time to take care of her husband, Peter, her two sons, Peter Jnr and Ty-Zachary, her siblings, and the children who were boarders as they have a special place in her heart.
Another sister, Judy Grace-Hylton, in reflecting, wrote that she believed Fong would have grown old with her to enjoy many more blessings that life had to offer. However, the Creator had other plans.
"Carol, I thought that we would have grown old together. I mean, really old. The kind of old that required our kids and grandkids and great grandkids to set us on the verandah in the white rocking chairs with the yellow floral decals all over them so that we would get some sun," Grace-Hylton said.
Grace-Hylton said that when she learnt of her sister's diagnosis, she had high hopes of them fighting cancer together, winning the battle, and growing old.
"I had it all worked out. And even after you got sick, it never occurred to me that we wouldn't grow old together," she said.
She added that amidst her lack of understanding about why her loving sister had to suffer and die, she was still thankful for her life.
"I don't understand why you were taken from me. I don't understand why you had to get sick. I don't understand why we won't grow old together. I don't understand. I just know you are no longer here suffering the heart-rending pain that you have been going through," she wrote.
Fong's son, Ty-Zachary, fondly remembered his mother as having a loving heart and gentle demeanour.
"Growing up, my mother always taught me what was best. My mother was my best friend and companion. My mother was a lady of principle, class and joy. In every bad situation, she always found the good and brought it to a more positive light," he said.
"There was never a day laughter was not in our household. She accepted everyone for who they are and treated them equally. My mother pushed and pushed and she fought the battle. She suffered the pain, and throughout it was still concerned about others, even in her sickbed," Ty-Zachary recalled.
After being told of his mother's diagnosis in 2012, he reached within for his mother always taught him to be strong; an attribute he will live by, he shared.
"The day she told me I didn't cry, didn't worry, didn't rush off. I stood there, walked over to her, and held her on her shoulders and hugged her and said 'Ma, don't listen to these doctors. You don't have cancer. Look how you hot' and we both laughed," he said in his tribute.
He stated that he was thankful for her living through 2013 with him, although he had to watch her deteriorate.
"In the year 2013, I thanked the Lord for letting me spend another year with my mother and family," he said.
Fong was born on March 1, 1963 to parents William and Cynthia Shaw at the Black River Hospital in St Elizabeth.
She was educated at the Dunrobin Preparatory School, Crescent All-Age School and St Hugh's High School. After completing her secondary level studies she worked with the Government of Jamaica before joining the banking staff at BCCI in downtown, Kingston.
She later resigned and relocated from Kingston to Mandeville with her family and opened a supermarket called Family Ties Superette. She and her husband later closed the supermarket and established a boarding house for children.
She was buried at the Meadowrest Memorial Gardens in St Catherine.