Many years ago I met a young Fijian lady who unbeknown to me would become a friend…not a close friend but someone you bump into in the middle of the street, stop and have a crazy conversation with heaps of laughs and move on…so a friend…perhaps even one of the nicer friends to the many I have.
A couple of years later I bumped into her in the street (as you do) after not seeing her for a while and she was in a crisp Fiji Police uniform…she had joined the forces since I had last seen her. As a joke I lifted the camera and aimed it at her and as she started joking around telling me she would arrest me I took her photo for the fun of it. The photo would become one of my many favourites not only because it was of her smiling while not realizing I was shooting but because she looked great in her Fiji Police hat.
I gave her a copy and didn’t realize that it to would become a special photo for her and her family.
Over the years we kept up on Facebook and she would tell me how fascinated she was when my husband Sam was in Iraq…asking me all sorts of questions about how he was doing there etc. I believe she kept in contact with Sam while he was there as well and before I knew it she too was in Iraq and of course our chat sessions continued whilst she was there.
Not long ago I found out she was very sick and was suffering from kidney failure…she needed dialysis treatment which is extremely expensive here. I saw her a few months ago and she was thin, fragile looking and no where near the strong woman I had met all those years ago…but we still stopped and had a good laugh about nothing really, said our good byes and moved on. That was the last time I saw or spoke to her.
Today I opened up the paper and sat in shock as I came across her funeral notice and there looking back at me from the paper was Desley in her Police uniform…the very photo I had taken impromptu and as a joke all those years ago.
Once again I was snapped into reality as I realized how quickly we can be taken from this Earth. One minute here and gone the next.
For Desley I’m sad she’s gone and never got to live to a ripe old age…I’m also sad that I never saw her again before she passed on, but I’m happy she’s no longer suffering and has left us all behind to move onto a better place.
R.I.P “sistri” Desley Jabin Khan – see you on the other side my friend…