Camille Kelly died on September 6. Her Funeral Mass was September 16 at St Charles Borromeo RC Church, Tunapuna. Her eulogy was delivered by her brother, Patrick.
Camille Judith Eileen Kelly is the fourth of six children born to my parents, Felix, and Lona Kelly.
From her very early years in primary school, Camille was a natural athlete. At Fatima RC school sports day, she excelled in track events. She also liked playing cricket with the boys and in those days only boy children played cricket, so she was unique as her very presence holding a bat or bowling a ball challenged the status quo at that time.
Camille also had a unique bond and connection with children and that unique God-given gift, which may have been latent at the time, somehow was a sign of prophetic significance.
When Camille completed her secondary school education, she worked at a daycare centre operated by Mona Brown at Bates Private Road where we lived.
In 1980, Camille went to the UK and enrolled in a programme that exposed participants to developing the competencies and skillsets in dealing with special needs children.
She returned to Trinidad in 1982 and worked at the Immortelle Centre where she was able to impart her specialised knowledge, but more particularly her love and devotion and caring spirit to the school’s population.
Around this time, 1982/1983, Camille was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus at the age of 22/23 years, a condition which she was going to live with for the next 40 years.
On December 1, 1985, Camille got married to Mark Rolston and on August 15, 1986, gave birth to her precious Joachim.
For those of us who are not aware, Systemic Lupus is an auto-immune disease that has an impact on every organ in your body over time and which weakens those organs inexorably over the life of the person.
As fate would have it, Camille’s time at the Immortelle Centre was involuntarily curtailed to no more than five years due to her Lupus condition which prevented her from performing her duties and responsibilities on a regular and consistent basis.
She was effectively disadvantaged as she could no longer seek nor hold gainful employment given her unique circumstances. So, what did Camille do?
She trained in England in special education with a view to working with her first love (children), and it seemed as if the doors were closing in on her talents that were yet to be explored to their fullest potential.
But the Lord works in mysterious ways, and He took Camille into a realm where her talents, her uncompromising love, caring and sharing would have an impactful resonance on a broader scale. Her journey, her mission was to be community-wide in scope and focus and that she did with indefatigable commitment, energy, and dutiful humility.
I use the words indefatigable, energy and duty because Camille discharged her God-anointed mission in spite of the excruciating pain and discomfort that she had to endure almost continuously over a period of 40 years.
Camille would hardly ever disclose, or show any signs that she was in pain, yet she was an integral part of a number of outreach programmes, religious groups and Church ministries and I name some of them here: Mothers Interceding for Daughters & Sons; First Communion and Confirmation teacher; Involved in the Prayer Ministry for the Incarcerated; A member of the Lupus Society of Trinidad and Tobago; the Bethesda family; and The Eternal Light Community.
Camille was the go-to person for the hosting and leading of prayer sessions and she invariably conducted intercessory prayer interventions as she was always offering prayers for others in her usual selfless manner.
Camille’s journey on this Earth and the missionary work that she was called to do was divinely inspired as she was specially chosen to do what brought her infinite joy and fulfilment when we thought that she was poised to leave an indelible mark at the Immortelle Centre.
These were all stepping stones as she was being prepared for the role that she was anointed to perform and for which she will be sorely missed but not forgotten as her light will continue to shine upon us in that intercessory space that she has created for us.
I pray that the Lord will grant Camille eternal rest and salvation in the sanctity of His heavenly Kingdom.