his Life

My Father Wayne

By Ramon Graham ~

Good Morning to everyone. Thank you for joining us today, as we say goodbye to our friend, family and my father Wayne Graham.

Before I continue I just have to say seriously…2020?!??

In this strange time, this was the last thing I or any of my family expected to be doing… especially via a remote audio recording. 

It was hard to believe that he was gone. For the past few days, we and anyone who spoke to him felt like he was going to get through this and get back to enjoying life.

Even though his life ended suddenly we can all agree it was happy and considered a success by the other lives he touched and the number of people who loved him.  He was the type of person who was part of so many lives with his caring and fun loving spirit. This is even more apparent as we talk to friends and family.
His people - near, far, old and new have been making sure to let us know Wayne was “Good people”. No matter how small an interaction he had with them he will always be remembered the next time they meet. I cannot even count the number of times while visiting him in Trinidad, that no matter where we went he seemed to bounce up someone he knew and was always ready to introduce us with a big smile.  As my daughter, Leila, pointed out during one of those times - “Like, Grandpa knows everybody in Trinidad.” Because of this, I know his memory will never be lost.
These memories will also live on with his family. The one thing that comes to mind and will be an endorsement to the life he lived and that I am sure he will love, is that we all got to see him enjoy life spoiling his grandkids - Aidan and Leila. On the whole he was a supportive ex-husband; a loving father, son, brother, uncle, and friend; but in hindsight it was all about the grandkids. Rachel and I would always jokingly say he did not come to Maryland to visit us.
Aidan and Leila were his pride and joy from the day they were born. Leila more than Aidan…you didn't hear that from me. They both had their own unique relationship with him and always enjoyed their time with him. I know they will always cherish those memories growing up with him and remember those moments as some of the best times of their life. For that I would be always grateful for, especially since his greatest strength was his support of his family.
For me, like any father son relationship we didn’t always see eye-to-eye. He could be miserable, hardened, sarcastic, and stubborn. Wait a minute… I guess in the end I learn from the best. Over time, however, my hope is that we grew closer, and that he was proud of me.
Dad you lived and enjoyed life to the fullest. That vigor for life was always a joy to us and your friends. Although it ended way too soon, that light and joy you brought to this world will live on through your Family, and countless others you’ve touched along the way. That life will always be remembered, celebrated, cherished and loved. Until we meet again. We love you and we will miss you.

My Friend Wayne

by Dennis Drake Jr. 

Good Morning. Just putting a few words and thoughts on paper and saying a personal goodbye to my dear friend Wayne. Had the borders been open I would have been on a plane immediately.However I am here in spirit, not to mourn his passing but to celebrate his life. It’s ironic that one who was so full of life was taken too soon. As I am sure everybody else is, I am still numb and at a loss for words.

Please allow me to share a few thoughts with you.Let me begin by defining ‘friendship’.

The qualities of friendship I came up with are:

• Being there for each other, physically yes, but more importantly spiritually
• Being a confidante, a coach, a mentor as we embark on the journey of life
• Being someone who crosses your mind every so often, even though you have not seen them for such a long time
• Being someone who brings a smile to your face, thinking about the good times that you had, memories that you will treasure forever.
I can go on and on, but let me stop here.

Wayne was a true friend, a life-long friend. This is a friendship that is over 50 years old. We had good times together which will always be treasured memories.- such as riding to Mayaro on a small Honda motorbike, in the dark of night, in the pouring rain, to find a lime‘somewhere down there’. You also introduced us (Norris Achong and myself), to spearfishing. We spent many a Sunday morning down the islands and up the north coast as far Maracas in our little pirogue.

Wayne, what can I say? In you I saw a true gentleman, a family man, a wise man, someone who you know has your back and will do anything in his power to help you. My friend, you have shown me the way in so many respects, more than you will ever know, more than I will ever know.  And I thank you for that. It goes without saying that I am certain you have instilled all these noble qualities in your children, Rachel and Ramon and grandchildren, Aiden and Leila.

I started by listing some characteristics of ‘friendship’. I will end by saying that you were all that and more! I am still smiling, remembering something that you told me years ago – ‘brothers, from different mothers’ .RIP my brother. They don’t make them like you anymore.