Love long time in the making

by Davidson Bowen

If it is one thing that Kevin Cozier and Jennifer Belgrave believe, it is that every cloud has a silver lining.

And having accepted the fact that clouds will come, they don’t worry about the clouds; instead, they make a conscious effort daily to focus on the silver linings.

Their love story goes back almost ten years when Kevin first saw Jennifer at the old Hayman’s Sugar Factory.

“I can still remember the first time I saw her,” Kevin said with a boyish, cheeky, grin. “She was walking going cross the yard and I said to myself, ‘You, that young lady look nice boy, I wonder who she is’. But at the time I was married and I just used to admire her,” he said as Jennifer burst into laughter.

“It took him a while, a very lonnnnggggg while, before he even said anything to me,” she interjected.

But just as they began to exchange “Hi, good morning. How you doing?”, Jennifer was transferred to Bulkley Sugar Factory where she still works as a cane-weigher.

It was the tragic circumstances a few years later that brought them back into each other’s sights at Kevin’s brother’s funeral.

“I was surprised to see her, but glad in a way. You know, sometimes God has a way of giving you just what you need when you need it. Well all the time I would have to say. A little while after my brother died my wife also died. She died of cancer,” Kevin said soberly.

“I really could not handle it. I knew I had to be there for my kids, to make sure they were okay and so on but personally I was a mess. All I was doing was crying and I could feel myself falling apart. But through the whole ordeal Jennifer was there for me. I wasn’t no put-on or fake anything, I could feel that it was real and genuine and I really appreciated that.

The two then began spending more and more time together and the kindness and care evolved into love.

“There was something about him from the first time I saw him, or should I saw from the first time he made me see him. Kevin just used to come in the office and not a word he would say. It took years before he even say hello, but his eyes, I could feel his eyes on me,” she chuckled.

“I called after I heard his wife was ailing because I knew it had to be hard and he was a decent guy so I just wanted to help in any way I could. I would have to say that after his wife passed we became true friends. He said I was there for him, but he was and is always there for me too and I really appreciate that.

“We would talk about everything under the sun and one night we talked so long that when the conversation was finish it was time for me to start to cook and go along to work, I could not believe it was morning,” she said as they both recalled the occasion and laughed.

Jennifer added that apart from Kevin’s smile, it is his character as a “real man” that she fell in love with.

“Kevin works very hard, he is very determined and the BLP and DLP has nothing on him — he is the best minister of finance. But above all he listens and does not pull down anyone. And the way he deals with his children is just amazing,” she said.

After admitting that Cupid had struck them where it mattered most, the heart, they decided to do the formalities of introducing each other to their respective families. This was a process that went relatively smooth as both families knew the important role they were playing in each other’s lives.

“From day one my kids took to her. Actually one day my younger daughter came to me and asked if they could call her mum. I smiled and wanted to say yes but I told her it was up to Jennifer. She and all three kids, Kadisha, 13, and the twin Keara and Karam, 11, have a very close relationship,” he said.

Jennifer too said her daughter Lisa, 35, adores Kevin.

“Sometime I am not sure if she is glad for me or happy for him, but she loves him.”

Stressing that church has played a significant role in their upbringing, Jennifer and Kevin are planning to go to church on November 30 this year, not to celebrate the feast of St. Andrew, but to confess their love for each other to their family and friends and be joined in holy matrimony.

If life is spared, that day will be a celebration in the true sense of the word as Jennifer will be marking 10 years as a breast cancer survivor.

“Every year, since nine years and three months ago I do something very special on that day and we both agree it is the perfect date so do something this special,” she added.

When asked to describe Jennifer, Kevin laughed and asked: “Nuff words or briefly?”

“She is great. She makes me smile a lot. She puts me on the right path, be it work, church, or the kids and she always has something positive to say. She has me on my feet. I thank the Lord all the time for bringing her into my life. She has changed my life, the way I view things.

“Jennifer is very neat and tidy and straight forward. She would forget herself to make sure I have and others too. She blesses my heart. She is very loving and caring. And her faith is phenomenal, actually because her faith has strengthened mine. I love her,” he quickly blurted out.

The philosophy of these two love birds is “communicate, be honest, and trust God”.

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