Dedicated single dad

Jahmar Rose admired for raising his two sons well

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

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Being a single dad to two boys, one of whom is autistic, is not an easy task for 35-year-old Denham Town resident Jahmar Rose.

Eight years ago Rose, a records clerk at JN Bank, assumed his single parent role when his wife Shellian, who was ailing for some time, passed away one year after their marriage. Since then, he has been caring for his sons, 13-year-old Jahmar Jnr and nine-year-old Daniel, who, he said, are the centre of his world.

When Jahmar Jnr was diagnosed with autism at three years old, the news was devastating for the striving father. However, his upbeat persona did not allow him to wallow in self-pity.

“Life comes with different challenges and everyone has challenges. It's a part of life,” the St George's College old boy quipped.

Jahmar Jnr is unable to speak, has little social skills, and occasionally has a meltdown. Although he is independent to an extent, he requires constant supervision.

In his community, and just about anywhere Rose goes with his sons, he often captivates the hearts of people, many of whom are strangers.

“The people in my community respect me. They always tell me how they like how I deal with it [caring for an autistic child],” he said, pointing out that the absence of his father from his life was part of the reason he is determined to be there for his sons.

“I see how some youths in my community are treated because they don't have a father in their lives, and I don't want that for my children,” he declared.

The dedicated father is grateful for the strong support of his deceased wife's family, who help to look after his sons. His relatives, who live nearby, keep the boys after school, while his mother-in-law, Jennifer Williams, who lives in another section of the community, helps with the children's laundry.

“He is a good father and a nice man. Him tek care of dem from their mother died. Him handle them the right way. I pray for him that God will guide and protect him so that he can [continue to] tek care of dem,” Williams said.

On a typical day, Rose gets out of bed between 3:30 am and 4:30 am. He prepares himself for work and gets his sons ready for school. They leave home about 6:00 am and make a quick stop at a nearby cookshop to buy breakfast. Together, they walk to Daniel's school, St Anne's Primary, which is five minutes away from home.

Rose and Jahmar Jnr continue the walk for another 10 minutes to downtown Kingston where they board a taxi to the boy's school Elleston Unit of Randolph Lopez School of Hope for children with intellectual disabilities. From there, Rose heads back downtown and takes another taxi to work. After work, he collects his sons from his in-laws, and heads home to prepare dinner. By 7:00 pm, the family retires to bed.

Nicole Reid-Wright, supervisor at the Elleston Unit, is impressed with Rose's dedication.

“I give him thumbs up for being an outstanding dad. He attends PTA meetings. If he cannot attend, he sends his apologies and meets with the teacher afterwards to find out what took place,” she disclosed. “He arrives at the school early [with his son] and he never leaves until a teacher comes. He makes sure that his son has all his school supplies, and after school, checks with the teacher to find out how things went with his son,” she disclosed.

Similarly, Rose's supervisor, Gayan Facey, records manager at JN Bank, commends him for being a good father.

“His children are his priority. He attends PTA meetings and any meeting relating to his children,” she said, adding that Rose frequently gives fatherly advice to the other young men at work.

Facey further pointed out that Rose is an excellent team player in the Records Department and is never late for work.

“When he is given a task, he ensures that he gets it done promptly. He is dependable, very thorough, and is rarely absent from work, except when he is sick or on vacation leave,” she relates.

Among the things that Rose and his boys enjoy doing together is voluntary work. As a JN Act!on volunteer for the past 12 years, the father is always ready to engage in the next outreach project.

As often as they can, they worship at Beeston Street New Testament Church. They spend most of their spare time at home and about three times a year they go to the movies. However, Rose said what he really enjoys most with his sons is helping them with their homework.

“My dream is that they will own their home one day and become law-abiding citizens,” he said.

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