by Tricia Reddock
They say that funerals are for the living and I believe that life and living should be about learning.
So what can we learn today about Patrice Reddock’s journey with us in this place?
My mom to me was the most iconic, frustrating, creative, demanding, visionary, talented, stubborn, funny, dramatic, charismatic person that I ever met.
The most criticizing, exciting, delighting, high tasting woman around.
She could inspire you, uplift you, teach and preach while feeding you.
Then turn around to deflate and berate in the midst of confusion.
I am convinced she brought an entire parallel universe with her when she burst forth.
A place to retreat from reality when she got tired of us mere mortals.
She did it beautifully though.
Charming with a brilliant, bright, red-lipsticked smile.
She would walk around in town, never looking down,
We all know she existed on a plane
several dimensions above our ground.
She was larger than life.
No one who knew her well
ever fully escaped her particularly harsh
brand of tongue lashing.
Her cussing, her fussing, and hurting of feelings.
Demeaning, sometimes screaming.
Believing it was the best way to get through to you.
But it was all good cause she loves you, ya know.
It was just her way of saying,
“All I want is what’s best for you
and to see you grow.”
Buried deep underneath that colorful
tapestry of contradictions,
lay the convictions of a woman child
hiding some secret hurt.
Her fabulousness obscured a tortured soul.
Everytime you think you know her well,
you realize you don’t really know her at all.
She morphed and changed through many different forms.
Lenora Edwards I imagine,
Was a very pretty little girl.
Her world began somewhere you know,
Only if you know.
You can’t get there by the road,
You have go around to somewhere
very few have ever seen.
That place is a fuzzy, hazy dream.
And in her dreamtime,
she had already made up her mind
That one day she will go far off to another place
Where she will learn to sew, because you know,
She reimagines all of us that much prettier.
Then she skipped to Patsy.
She’s the party girl,
Hair and music were her world.
I heard she didn’t listen,
So it ain’t my fault, or Leslie’s
that we don’t listen either.
Guava doh bear lime.
I also heard that she was rebellious,
Doing what she wants,
Going where a good time calls.
Cause hey, life is for living.
It’s my way, or the highway.
And that’s everyday.
Without one care in the world.
Enter the lioness of the
concrete jungle In Brooklyn, New York.
That’s where Patricia was born.
She took designing classes,
Had some fashion shows in Flatbush,
Where she established her talent.
She even tried to settle, and got married.
Patricia was all about the business of success,
Studying how she wanted to dress us.
She was now royalty,
Lenora’s pain was a distant memory.
Patrice Reddock was the one
who came back home.
Where Patrice Fashions was born.
Out of Campden Park, she sparked
a whole new excitement for ready to wear.
Her clothes were everywhere:
Barbados, Martinique, St. Lucia,
Caracas, Trinidad, Jamaica, Guadeloupe.
Patrice Fashions was available all over the region,
And at a store near you.
She also made her political alliances
Directed towards a better future for St. Vincent.
What she didn’t do for her own children,
She did for a whole lot of other
young women and men.
She was mentoring and telling them
what she sees and
who and where they could be.
Futuristic, timeless, current, nostalgic,
Someone you remember,
Someone you want to meet,
A friend, the one who says,
“You have to be circumspect.
Do you know what it means to be circumspect?”
She was a perfectionist with a strong work ethic.
She would have a fit if you missed a stitch
or didn’t look good doing it,
“Miss. Why aren’t you wearing your lipstick?”
Everything had to be perfect.
And that’s how she always worked it.
However, we all know, perfection is a myth.
It’s simply not attainable every time.
In Patrice’s mind,
anything less was unacceptable,
so she rejected those of us who reflected
her imperfections back to her.
She chose to be out there on her own,
In a place full of strangers,
In a house that wasn’t her home.
But she was alone,
surrounded by people
she didn’t really know.
They came in on the end,
They didn’t know this was
decades in the making,
So they were mistaken,
and they couldn’t take her
where she needed to go.
Lenora was afraid
to go home alone.
Suddenly, the tables were turned,
The prodigal daughter
returned back home,
Lenora was no longer alone.
A piece of her heart came
back into her home.
Finally, I decided to join them on the phone.
We talked and walked her through the door.
Lenora was not alone
when she went back home.
She was at peace.
Now she can be put
Those divisions and
manipulations of situations.
disrespect of established relationships.
That was yesterday.
We will remember the best.
And put what’s left.
So all this comes down
to one singular truth;
Lenora, Patsy, Patricia,
Patrice brought through:
And most of us are strong,
She didn’t die, she multiplied
From 1 to 28, that fe tell yo,
Patrice Reddock was great!