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FULL STORY:Family broken by slaying

Toni Yarde

FULL STORY:Family broken by slaying

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A daughter remembers a mother who would go all out for her; a mother recalls a fun-loving, bubbly daughter.
Last Monday evening, the family of murder victim Nicole Harrison-Watson huddled at mum Mercedes Gill’s home, struggling to come to grips with the harsh reality of a loved one lost, and leaning on each other for inner strength.
Fighting back tears, Nicole’s daughter Samantha Harrison said: “I loved and will always love my mum. She was my best friend and my role model.
“She was always there for me through all moments – good or bad.”
Samantha, 18, who is Harrison-Watson’s only child, said she and her mum were “inseparable”.
“That was, of course, until my godmum Auntie Kathy-Ann was around, and then we would have to share her,” she said nostalgically.
“She was an amazing woman who would always greet you with a lovely smile, which then caused her signature dimples to be visible,” the former Alexandra, now Combermere student said.
“It’s going to be very difficult for me to carry on without her, but with the help of God, family, friends and well-wishers I know that I will make it through,” Samantha said, adding that she was determined to be such that would have continued to make her mother proud.
For victim Nicole’s mum Mercedes, who works at the National Conservation Commission, it was much tougher to talk about 
her only daughter.
She gazed into the sky as if looking to the heavens for strength; she paused then began to reminisce on the 
first of her two children. 
“She was not just my daughter; she was my best friend. My daughter had a bubbly personality, so full 
of life! What amazed me was that she loved to spend time with me. 
“She would encourage me to come go out with her and enjoy life. We would hang out a lot. We had lots of fun times together. I now have to hold 
on to these memories,” she said. 
The distraught mother broke into fresh tears as she recalled Nicole’s vow to always take care of her.
“Mummy, don’t worry about a thing. I am going to take care of you. If Bradley [Mercedes’ son] can’t do it, I will do it. 
“I felt so complete with her in my life. I am empty now. All I have is my granddaughter Sam’s smile to lighten my load,” a wailing Gill said.
Too shaken Nicole’s brother Bradley Forde was too shaken to speak. The look of grief loomed like a dark cloud over his face. 
At times, he would just give solace to his mourning mother.
Her paternal brother Anthony Johnson, the one to make the grim discovery ,of Nicole’s body, was also 
too emotional to speak.
Samantha’s godmother and Nicole’s close friend for over 22 years, Kathy-Ann Gilkes, said: “I have lost a significant part of my life. Nick was my friend, my sister, my sounding board. 
“We did most things together, especially laugh; Nick loved to laugh and we did that a lot. 
I cannot begin to imagine life without her. She was beautiful inside and out.
Gilkes, of Al Hart PR, said she spoke to Nicole every day like clockwork. 
“She was such a loyal, kind and selfless friend, who lived for her daughter! Everything was about Sam and making sure she was a well rounded, strong and respectful woman.
“She can rest peacefully knowing that she has left so many of us here to look out for Sam. She will be missed by many,” Gilkes said of the former clerical officer at the Urban Development Commission. 
The 37-year-old resident of Block 14, Ferniehurst, Black Rock, St Michael, was murdered at her home early Saturday, her body later found about 1:20 p.m. the same day.