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Aunty lived God’s commandment daily

Mary Serrette died on Sunday, March 31 (Easter Sunday). Her Funeral Mass and burial was on Friday, April 5 at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Maraval. The following is a condensed version of two eulogies by nieces, Stacy Serrette-Bodu and Arneila Toussaint.

It took an entire day of introspection to even begin writing this eulogy… introspection about ‘Aunty Daily’: the type of person she was and the type of life she lived. And as I turned the ideas around in my head, I ended up with the same conclusion every time! That my aunt… Sousoot’s wife, mother to Tasha, Michelle, and Candice, was an unrecognised, modern-day saint who was walking amongst us.

And I don’t say they, but Mary Daily Toussaint Serrette lived and embodied what is in my opinion the most important order we have been given –to “love one another as I loved you”.

This agape love showed up in Aunty Daily’s every interaction and it was not only felt by her family but everyone who came into contact with her.

My earliest memories of Aunty Daily include her cooking for the entire family every Sunday after church. Her sisters, nieces and nephews, her parents, when they were alive, all knew that Sunday lunch after church by Aunty Daily was a staple in our family. That woman could have made a fried pork, boy!

And don’t talk about that roast bake fresh every morning and evening! Everybody knows if you’re going by the river and you’re feeling a bit peckish on the way to or from, you could count on Aunty Daily for a piece of bake.

As you’re passing by just call out to her while she’s busy watering her beloved plants and that bake is guaranteed.

Looking back at it now, through adult eyes, what made Aunty’s generosity so amazing and Christ-like was the fact that she didn’t have much. But whatever she had, she could and would share!

Everywhere Aunt Daily went, she always was drawn to a soul that needed a Spirit-filled word. Even in taking her beloved husband to the clinic, he can testify that she somehow always ended up chatting with someone, listening to their life story, and offering a word of prayer and hopefulness.

This evangelism didn’t just extend to strangers, though. As her nieces and nephews grew up and drifted away from Sunday worship, Aunty Daily would pick up her phone and insist they come to church… never giving up, calling week after week until they had no choice but to say ‘Yuh see me, I can’t take Aunty Daily calling me again today, nah… better I go to church!’

She also did volunteer work, cleaning patients at the hospice and went on home visits to the sick in the St Anthony’s cluster. Fr Leo Donovan OP, former parish priest, can boast of the nutritious meals she prepared for him.

The least vengeful person you would ever meet is Aunty Daily. Sometimes you’re going to her with an issue looking for sympathy and back up, and after listening to your whole plight while pruning the mini forest she was growing in the gallery, all you would get out of that woman was: “Pray for them… doh study that!”

This is a true story: “Aunty Daily, you know a man hit my car and is a write off, girl.”

“Oh my God! So, nothing eh happen to the man? He eh damaged?”

“No, Aunty, nothing wrong with him but my car mash-up!”

“Well forgive him and pray for him nah… don’t study that, God will help you fix your car.”

If the situation was really bad, like life or death, then you know you are getting a nine-day intercessory novena and you could bet your last dollar, change will be coming after that!

Between her devotion to prayer at 5 a.m., 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., exercising her green thumb and volunteering at church while roping in the neighbours in the community like Mr Johnny & Aleeferto’s help, I don’t know where Aunty Daily got the time or the energy to be such a devoted wife, mother, and later on, grandmother.

Her family did not one day suffer neglect due to her commitments. And as the children grew and left home, and it was just her and uncle… she continued to love him fiercely and care for him through every circumstance! What a woman!

However, we take comfort in the knowledge that in your darkest hour, you were able to experience the reciprocation of the neighbourly love you exemplified throughout your life, and we thank Linda, Apryl, Aaron and Sassan for being there for you in your time of need.

We take even further solace in the fact that as the time fast approached, you were steadfast in prayer, calling on the Blood of Jesus and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. We are certain your path is clear.

So, sleep well our ‘Saint Mary’, knowing that even as you took your last breaths and expressed your love for your family, we heard it and felt it every day of your life!

Your love continues to be felt even beyond the constraints of your physical form as we honour the legacy you left behind – a legacy that shows us not just by words but by actions how to truly live in God’s love.