David’s death a hard blow
The loss of his youngest brother has been “devastating” to Charles Thompson Jr.
Before returning to Miami last Sunday, the eldest of Margaret Knight’s sons told the WEEKEND Nation: “I cannot really put words to what I am feeling.
I feel more for the family, especially the girls [the late Prime Minister’s daughters Misha, Oya and Osa-Marie]”.
Like David, Charles Jr was born in England and spent the early childhood days there, along with the other siblings.
They all came to Barbados when their mother returned here to live, and Charles recalled the three boys were at different secondary schools – he at The Lodge School, his brother Paul at St Leonard’s and David at Combermere, while their sister Lis went to Queen’s College.
This brother always knew of his younger sibling’s ambition to one day lead Barbados.
He said: “I know a lot of people would feel that they were instrumental in directing David to becoming Prime Minister or wanting to be Prime Minister. But when we lived in Fitts Village, a couple of us and some girls were sitting down on the beach one day, and one of the girls asked David, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ and he said, ‘I am going to be the Prime Minister’.
Charles Jr has been gone from Barbados for the past 15 years, but he said whenever he returned here “David was busy, but not too busy to go with me to a couple dubs. He liked his reggae just like I did, and we’d go to sessions at Sam Lord’s Castle, and in different parts of St John.”
When David became became Prime Minister, there could be no prouder a brother than Charles.
“I felt too proud.
He had reached his goal.
I know it was what he wanted and he went for it.”
But Charles Jr also remarked: “I know that as Leader of the Opposition he had a few knocks here and there, and he was a little discouraged at times.”
The two talked a lot whenever David passed through Miami where Charles resides.
While the late Prime Minister was ailing, Charles said, “every now and then I would talk to him”, and they frequently exchanged text messages.
Relating his last face-to-face encounter with his brother, Charles said: “Just before he came home, I went to visit him, and when I saw him as I went into his study, he was sitting in his chair . . . .
“We talked a little bit, laughed, joked; at one point he got up and held Lauren [Charles’ former wife, making a funny remark to her], and all of us were in a bit of disbelief about this because he was shaky on his legs.”
When everyone else had left the room, Charles remained and said he pointedly asked his brother the burning question: “David, what is the prognosis?” to which David replied with a steupse: “Charles, I don’t deal with prognoses. When the Almighty is ready, I am ready.”
Charles received the dreaded phone call from his mother in Barbados at 2:30 on the morning of October 23.
Tears continue to choke his words as he talks about his brother’s passing. But he says the good memories will sustain him.