Posted in Being Prayerful, Celebrating Existence, Life, Remembering Loved Ones

Celebrating Angels

Today a nation cries. Today a country is brought to its knees. Today hearts were broken into pieces throughout the island. Today tears were shed by many and pain, anguish and anger were evident everywhere. 


February 4, 2021- the day the body of Andrea Amy Bharatt was found in the Heights of Aripo, her body thrown over a precipice. This is a day many would not forget. Prayers were being said for the young law clerk to return home safely since she went missing on the evening of Friday 29 January, 2021. Hundreds turned out for a vigil only the evening before while several hunters and trackers had joined the police in the days she went missing- many hoping they would find her alive. 

Andrea Bharatt


The life of a family was turned upside down as this young woman who had done everything she was told to do was subjected to a horrific end. She travelled with a friend in daylight shortly after finishing work in what appeared to be a registered taxi. However she was lured into a trap many others would not have expected as the licence plate was fake. God only knows how her father is coping. To think that she left home and could not return as she left, to think that they could not say goodbye or hug each as they would is the unfortunate reality that her murder has brought.

To think of her last moments is painful and heartbreaking. To think of the scant disregard and respect for her body as she was assaulted and her body thrown over a precipice is beyond disturbing. 

A YouTube video Andrea Bharatt made during her studies


Described as an ‘angel’, Andrea was also described as a soft-spoken, pleasant and very hard working young lady who worked towards her dreams and she greeted everyone she met with a smile. She was one who left many with great memories and there has been an outpouring of love and concern since the day she went missing.

Photo Credit: Pinterest(Susan Noyes Anderson)


To have raised her alone for the last eight years following the passing of his wife, for her to grow up to be the young woman she was it means Andrea’s father did an incredible job. It also means the bond they shared would have been a very close one. To have her snatched from him like this and to lose her like this is unconsolable. More so it means more hearts are continuing to break as many think of the irreparable damage done to him and the constant pain and anguish he is facing. 


Andrea’s story is one of the many that has brought pain to many in our twin island Republic. This is not the ‘sweet T&T’ Natasha Wilson described years ago. The stories of the tragic end Andrea Bharatt, Ashanti Riley,  Krysta Lackpatsingh, Joanna Díaz Sánchez, Rachel Logan, Cindy Joseph, Hope Arismandez, Emily Annamunthodo, Sean Luke, Jezelle Phillip, Ellena Dial and so many others faced have showed the harsh reality of the times we are living in. We pray for each of their souls. We pray for each of their families. 

Ashanti Riley


Ashanti as many would remember left home to attend her grandmother’s birthday party. She was on her way to meet her boyfriend and other family members and together they would go to her grandmother’s home but Ashanti never arrived. Like Andrea she was a beautiful young woman with a beautiful soul. She too was described as a loving young lady who was hard working she too had a horrific end. She brought joy and laughter to many. 


Ashanti had spent her Sunday morning at home with her Mom and when she left little did anyone think that she would never return. Ashanti disappeared on the 29th of November and her corpse was found on Dec 4th while Andrea disappeared on January 29th while her corpse was found on February 4th. Her murder sparked outrage and the ordeal she faced in her final hours was surely inflicted by persons with no compassion, no mercy and no respect.  


When Krysta Lackpatsingh’s life was taken in 2004 it was on a day when she had returned home early to type up a report on the family’s computer because a computer had not yet been installed at work. Krysta, a Probation Officer attached to the Point Fortin Magistrates Court was found by her parents, Jade and Steve Lackpatsingh in a pool of blood. She had been stabbed at least 18 times. Always pleasant, she loved helping others and she loved life. She was beautiful inside and out. Her laughter could fill a room and she had a special ability to soothe those around her.

What wrong did Krysta do? She came home early to complete her work because it could not be done at her place of work and instead had her life taken in a most tragic way, heartlessly and brutally. Krysta’s death shocked the entire Cedros community.

Krysta Lackpatsingh

The torture Andrea, Ashanti. Krysta and each of the other victims endured is unthinkable. So too is the torture their families have endured and continue to endure. 
When several of these victims did the right thing how can we say they did wrong? Their lives were ended by heartless, cold, unfeeling monsters that are roaming our land. Who are they to take lives they did not give life? Yes, once there is birth, death is inevitable but when that time comes is not to be determined by man. 


We need to wake up and look out for each other. We need to be vigilant and careful. We need to take measures for good protection and we need to keep praying. We need to be thankful for our loved ones and for our time with them. 


Yes, many of us did not know any of these victims, but it has not stopped us from caring and praying. Do not let their stories be stories which will be forgotten. Do not let their lives be a distant memory in time to come. Do not forget their families. Do what you can to offer them comfort and prayer. In essence, keep applying the golden rule- Treat others the way you want to be treated. 


The lives of each of these victims matter! Let us remember what they taught us, how they have inspired many and what they have showed us. The lives of their families matter too! This is not about you or me but it is about every single one of us! 


We celebrate each of these Angels! Together they have shown us how inner beauty radiates outward! Together they have shown us how rising in the midst of adversity is imperative! Together they have shown us that the purity of their hearts is something they were blessed with! They were gone too soon but they will never be forgotten!  

Posted in Celebrate Today, Celebrating Existence, Life, Love and Blessings

Celebrating Today Every Day!

Celebrate today! Why should you do this everyday? For starters you should celebrate it today because you are alive and you are reading this! Consider too it is a new week, new month and look to each new day with hope and faith that it brings you one step closer to your goal.

Photo Credit: SGS Posts- Simple Good Sayings 29 Aug. 2019

For those who may think that there is nothing to celebrate, let us focus on what there is to celebrate- life, the ability to make decisions for ourselves, the ability to chart our individual journey, the ability to see things for what they are.

I urge you to take the time to read this post which I wrote in 2014. Here is the link: https://rachaelathomasj.com/2014/10/12/celebrating-today/

As we celebrate today let us focus primarily on now and let us focus primarily on you. What should you be happy about? Let’s see:

• You just opted to make some time for yourself.

• You didn’t get to start worrying about tomorrow

Photo Credit: SGS Posts- Simple Good Sayings 30 Aug. 2019

The truth is both are important. Firstly you should always make time for yourself as it is a key component of loving yourself. Neglecting yourself means losing out on an opportunity to have the things you need to grow and to be a better you. For example it is what you need for your peace of mind. Have you ever observed what happens to something when you neglect it? Now ask yourself this: What will happen if you neglect yourself? Let the answers you come up with be enough to encourage you to make time for you! Do the things you love, do the things you want to do but even more so, do the things you need to do.

Secondly, why worry about tomorrow when tomorrow is promised to no one? For those who can recall these are three things I always urge you to do:

  1. Always focus on what you are sure about and that will help you deal with each situation. It will in essence help all the pieces fall into place. In short, it will help you to get clarity and figure out how to move forward.

  2. Always give your best. When you give your best there is no room for self doubt. It will help you deal with past actions and it will also help you move forward.

  3. Keep your faith and your belief. Accept that you are unique and you are specially made. If you have no control over situations worrying can only serve to do negatives- you overthink, you increase your blood pressure, you make rash decisions, you may lose your ability to analyze and assess. If you believe in God and in His greatness how can you not trust Him to set your situation right? Once this is done, breathe and celebrate.

What is there to celebrate? There is a lot. Your life, your family, your friends, your experiences, your successes, your challenges, your disappointments, the people who don’t like you, the money in your pocket (no matter how little it is), the hardships you faced, the struggles you have overcome.

With some asking why you should celebrate negatives like challenges, disappointments and some of the other things I have mentioned, I will gladly explain. Challenges and disappointments make you stronger and they help to develop your drive and your determination. It fuels you to persevere and helps you assess whether it is really worth it. By that time you realize how much you want it.

Photo Credit: SGS Posts- Simple Good Sayings 28 Aug. 2019

Celebrating people who don’t like you is not something you should invest a lot of time in. What it means is that you should realize that people who don’t like you either inspire you to work harder or they are not meant to be in your life. That’s where the ‘scissors of life’ concept comes in. Cut out the unnecessary baggage and the unnecessary people.

Agreeably too we can agree that not everything can be celebrated and I maintain that no one can tell you how to feel unless they are in your shoes. Some circumstances are very different and change us forever. I would never ask you to celebrate death but I would ask you to celebrate life and celebrate each moment you share and have shared with your loved ones. Let that be your comfort and let it help you smile.

Don’t give up!

Don’t ever think you are alone because you are not!

Never limit yourself but challenge yourself!

Make every moment count!

Live without regrets!

Use these pointers everyday! Let it help you be a better you and let it help you manage the challenges each day brings.

Posted in Life, Love and Blessings, Uncategorized

Celebrating Love, Life & Blessings!

 

Special Friday Greetings for you
Special Friday Greetings!
Life and experiences change us!
Always let them change you for the better and not the worse! Live and love life!
Keep being you, keep smiling & always be true to yourself!

 

Today I take this opportunity to celebrate life, love and blessings! Some may think that a post ‘Celebrating Independence Day 2018’ may be ideal but considering the recent turn of events in our country there is a clear contrast in the way I felt last year and the way I feel this year.  I am sure many can understand this and many can also relate to it.

Interestingly enough many have been checking my post from last year in this past week, particularly yesterday and today.  For those of you who are interested in what that post is about please visit https://rachaelathomasj.com/2017/08/31/celebrating-independence-day-2017

I am happy many opted to visit the page. Maybe it was due to a feeling of patriotism, maybe it serves as a reminder of how drastically things have changed, or maybe just maybe, it is a combination of both.


In all honesty (take note that I always write in all honesty)my heart goes out to the many who had to tell their families they lost their jobs and they don’t know where their next income will come from. Bear in mind it is not just workers of PETROTRIN but hundreds who work for contractors that work for PETROTRIN and the hundreds and thousands who are being sent home in other sectors of the economy.

As if things weren’t already tough we continue to see how they are getting tougher and suffering increases. What it does mean though is that the struggle is real and now more than ever we have to be thankful for life and blessings! We have to continue praying not just for ourselves and our families but we have to pray for each other and for our country. We have to pray for peace and for courage to face the current reality and what lies ahead.

As if the earthquake on August 21 was not enough of a ‘shake-up’ (yes, it is an act of nature we could not prevent) but as a country we have been surviving increases in the amount traffic fines are now costing, people continue to lose jobs, cost of living continues to rise and this past week has been filled with heart wrenching news of the realities of the energy sector.

Now more than anything we have to remember that to be humane we have to live like humans.  Now more than ever we have to look out for each other, we have to be steadfast in our prayer and we have to be steadfast in our devotion. Further to that we have to be thankful that our experiences make us wiser and they make us stronger. More so we have to be confident that they will guide us forward and help us to make more informed choices and more practical ones at best.

Let us look at what we can be thankful for:

·         We got up this morning (some did not).

·         We made it through the day in spite of pain, in spite of hurt and in spite of the challenges we have been facing or the challenges we faced today.

·         We are loved and we are blessed by the Divine who has given us life.

·         I got an opportunity to share this post with you and you got an opportunity to read it.

·         I got to tell you that you are not alone and in case you felt you were hopefully now you know you are not.

As Mother Teresa said, “Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.”

I ask that you be mindful of the fact that survival is a key part of moving forward! Prayer is a key part of surviving and having faith is a key part of why we pray and how we choose to live.  Never believe that you are alone because you are not!

 

In closing please remember this:  His Holiness Param Pujya Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji always reminds devotees, “If you are a Hindu, be a good Hindu.  If you are a Christian, be a good Christian and if you are a Muslim, be a good Muslim.”

 To those of you who have been chanting “Shivaaya Rudraaya Namaha” as directed by His Holiness I urge you to continue doing so!  To those who are praying please continue to pray and please share the message of peace. Please share the need to pray, to look out for each other and to not give up. Let this be an added  source of motivation to you: