Mario Cross remembered as a loving son and brother
ON March 30, mourners packed the Dover Seventh-Day Adventist Church, in St Catherine, where they paid their last respects in singing and speeches to Mario Arlando Cross, who was slain 23 days earlier.
The 25-year-old Cross was, along with 68-year-old Livingston Garvey, killed by gunmen in Portmore, St Catherine, on March 7.
Garvey, a contractor, was being driven by Cross to the area to collect money for work he had done in the community, when they were pounced on by the waiting gunmen.
Sister of the slain man, Caviene Cross, clearly grief-stricken, said "Your life was a story only 25 chapters filled with love and life struggles. It wasn't always smiles, but yet, in the midst was always laughter. You were always over-protective, even though you were the younger one. Loving, quiet and jovial, the chapters of your life that I will never forget, my brother and my friend; the book has ended early, so we think our heavenly Father knows best. You are gone, but in our hearts you will never be forgotten."
Mother of the departed, Jacqueline Grant-Cross, remembered her only son as a lover of motor vehicles, and one who was respectful and caring. His concern for her, she said, was displayed during a three-year health issue that she battled.
"The level of respect he had for me, he called me 'lady'. My 'eat and lef' food was something that he would always look forward to having. Every time I eat, I had to leave some for him, as sick as I was. How do you mourn the loss of your first child? How do you mourn the loss of a son? It was wicked, dreadful, ruthless, devious, unlawful and unjust. They might have killed my son, but they have not killed my spirit. God will take care of me, and God will take care of those who did this to my son," the lamenting mother said.
Member of Parliament for West Central St Catherine Dr Kenneth Baugh highlighted Cross's love for work, and the trust that was placed in him.
"Because of those qualities, he was driving with care, that fateful afternoon. He was doing his duty, unsuspecting of those who planned his demise. This heartless and cruel act is too common in our country; we are dying for the day when it will disappear from the face of our land.
Baugh, while asking the family and friends of the deceased to take courage from the good deeds that Cross did during his lifetime, noted, "Jamaica has once again diminished, we are mortally wounded, because an honest law abiding person has been pounced upon by those who plan harm, plan danger, and who without conscience will take a life," Dr Baugh stated.
Cross's childhood friend and classmate, Kevon Woodhouse, in a touching tribute, made a call for others to emulate his slain friend.
"I feel it so much, I did not sleep for the Friday night (the day Cross was killed), I did not eat for the Sabbath. I know Mario did not do anything wrong, he was the most peaceful person I ever come 'cross. If Jamaicans, should take a page out of Mario's book, and practise his lifestyles, there will be no need for any police, because, there wouldn't be any war. Mario gone, but he will never be forgotten, where I am concerned. He was a good example for everybody," Woodhouse said.
Delivering he eulogy, Cross's aunt, Lety Cross, recalled his fondness for giving those closest to him nicknames, and showing the greatest respect to those he came in contact with.
"He was like a handyman in our family, and this attitude was shown to his friends, or anyone who needed his help; now he is gone, the pain and the cherished memories remain," she said.
Among the many tributes paid were those from the Garvey family, and the Dover Baptist Church. Pastor of the Kitson Town Circuit of Seventh-Day Churches, Wayne Smikle, bemoaned the many killings in the society, including the taking of infant lives.
"No need fooling ourselves, we are living in terrible times; this world we have come to live in is very dangerous. But, one day, Jesus will stop all the crying, Jesus himself will put away the pain and grief," the pastor said.