Till now, I've been silent about the death of my friend, Patti Rogers. I just couldn't find the words to express what I felt.
I am devastated, feeling like my heart is broken into tiny pieces, some of which I'll never be able to get back.
Patti was the first musician I sought out in Trinidad when I thought about singing jazz. She was the perfect mentor, and from the first night we met at Arthur's in St James, we hit it off.
Patti and I would talk for hours at times, mostly about music, singers, songs, and how to remain enthused in this Trinidad and Tobago.
Patti and her mother, Lorna Rogers, would come to my gigs, and after every song, I'd hear one of them say loudly: “Doh stop at all.” Even if is meh 15th song. It was our joke.
Patti was hardly ever daunted. If her enthusiasm ebbed a little, you'd never figure that out when she picked up a microphone. She was pure grace, class, and the perfect mentor for me.
Over the last few years, since the birth of my son Isaiah, we didn't see each other or speak as much as before. But whenever we did, we both knew that the love we had for each other was never-ending.
I cannot think what this place will be without her.
I was hired for this gig in San Fernando on Friday evening. Due to my state of mind, I contemplated cancelling, but did not.
I met Sharon. She had lost three of her four children—one, quite recently. She was also, like Patti, a cancer survivor.
When I saw Sharon's energy, the beauty of her spirit and her resilience, I was in awe. I explained how heartbroken I was.
She told me I needed to sing—for Patti and for myself. I did.
I woke up the next morning still hurting, but thankful for Patti Rogers' life, and for the blessing of our friendship.
Patti, I will miss you with every fibre of my being. I will sing because I know you'd want me to. I'm sure I'll hear you, albeit in my head, saying: “Woman, doh stop at all.”