Excerpt for Death,Atonement Tears (DAT) by , available in its entirety at Smashwords





Copyright © 2018 by Tony Miles

ISBN: 978-1386052135

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever including Internet usage, without written permission of the author.

Book design by Maureen Cutajar





















Meeting Elaine was like a moral rebirth for me,having emerged from the cocoon of selfish lust for the female flesh, with little consideration for the emotional well being of my numerous female companions.


Camille’s pain and suffering for deceiving her friend.

“My life of misery continued, each time I make love to Anthony, I saw your face, wet with tears staring angrily at me.”


Jackie: on sexual-harassment at the work place.

“You must all unite like the spider’s web to hijack the Jacks and Janes from the planes of power.”


My brother George when hearing of Tatie’s death, with a pensive adult-like look on his childish 9-year-old face beaming with confidence like a conceited whizz kid uttered these unforgettable words “Tatie gone to Sanderland”.Google search has not identified a place on the planet with that name, left me with no choice but to conclude “Sanderland” is a place for the dead.


My heart-rending experience while interviewing Belinda.

“I succumbed to my misguided vanity, that tears and strength are not twinned and cut short the interview, like a whimpering coward, who mistook the act of displaying human sympathy towards another, for weakness, and capped that unconscionable behavior by unleashing my appetite for a couple of drinks.”


Miranda in her quest for redemption.“I wanted to correct the wrongs committed by my parents and myself. I freed my mother’s sex slaves with her help, offered them a new life, using my ill-begotten wealth from my deceased drug dealer boyfriend Tony and monies I stole from my mother.”


The somber look on Jackie’s face, tears, flowing from her eyes when she told me she was willing to temporarily lease her body to a stranger, although it was for only one night, on the instruction of her boss or lose her job.

My brief moments with Belinda awakened a dormant, soft, sympathetic trait in my character for another human being, albeit a complete stranger, bringing me to tears at times, when her troubled, sad face, deteriorating physical appearance, reappears in my memories.

Reading Jessica’s letter from her son highlighted the hope for atonement and forgiveness on both mother and son’s part. The contents of the letter have left an indelible mark on me.

Spending hours with Sammy Spade looking at his two-hundred-pound plus body trapped in a wheelchair because of the negligence of a drunken driver, yet he forgave the man.

Martha whose self-inflicted pain while living in remorse for years, blaming herself for her husband’s death, yet her unbelievable physical appearance showed no sign of the agony within.


I must tell you your book is one of the best I have read, I finished reading it within a few days short of a week after I started reading it, even though I had to take breaks to stop the tears; “yes I’m emotional”. Upon completion I found myself feeling this great amount of love and appreciation for everyone who is a part of my life. Not only has your book inspired me but also allowed me to gain respect and adoration for Tony Miles for he perceives to be of good character and is above the bitter influences of this life. (Chantelle Brown)

“If we could spend our time correcting our discovered flaws, our life span would not allow us enough time to find fault with others.” (Tony Miles)

What motivated me to write this Book?

I was the recipient of almost perfect upbringing by my parents, yet failed to implement most of it, once I entered my adult life. Inspired by their exemplary lives, feelings of guilt shadowed me throughout my latter days. Act of atonement was divinely sought, which led me to this avenue. Knowing my imperfections, I sought to blend them with other persons who have genuine intentions of telling their stories with one objective; others will benefit from their experiences. If benefit is positively derived from our efforts, the quest for redemption would have been fulfilled.



A collection of short stories based on interviews from persons whose varied experiences tugs at the conscience of a world that has lost its moral bearings. Their past deeds in cases, while others seek redemption, by baring their souls for public scrutiny hoping others will not walk the path they chose to take. Others by their acts clamour for change hoping their deeds will inspire others.

Deception, infidelity,hubris,greed,incestuous relationships,acts of forgiveness will no doubt give a chance for self examination.

Cassandra duped by her best friend,Camille, yet she kept vigil and consoled her tormentor while she died, telling us betrayal and forgiveness knows no boundaries.

A former police Officer whose paralysis was due to a drunk driver.That the officer forgave him and forged a meaningful relationship with the individual speaks of our capacity for mercy.

Martha resigned herself to a life of loneliness after her husband’s suicide combined with the chilling fact of his sufferings due to terminal cancer.Her husband a medical doctor herself a nurse,did not minimize the harsh reality that death will come to us all.

My own romantic experience with Elaine who wished to satisfy her desire for us to have a child risked her life in so doing, against the advise of her doctors being a victim of sickle cell, displays the power of love.

Miranda brought up in the Ghetto by parents of guttered morals,overcame the stigma of ghetto life. She rose from the ashes of degradation,becoming herself a role model, being able to liberate her mother’s sex slaves speaks volumes of the human resolve.

Yet there were others who wilted under pressure like poor Belinda a victim of sexual abuse and drug addiction gave up on life at the tender age of 28.

Jessica’s greed and infidelity, amassing monetary assets while her own morals sank to rock bottom as she teetered on the brink of an incestuous relationship with a son she abandoned at age three and did not recognize.He plucked her from the jaws of penury giving her a new lease on life.

In the case of Jackie who was offered a choice of sleeping with a superior or risk losing her financial independence.

These cases may mirror your own life experiences and likely find yourself locked in the embrace of some of the characters for one reason or another.

The stories were carefully selected offering the opportunity to reset our moral compass,measuring responses how one would act were the roles reversed.

The final episode: Death Foretold a journey into the spirit world,premonitions and puzzling coincidences occurring in doubles informative educational materials regarding the truth about cancer puts your thoughts in a state of alert.

The commonality about the past deaths foretold, they were proceeded by tears, happening in the month of MAY, yet the first two saw their pending deaths with happy anticipation, one at nine years old told our dad he is going to heaven on his way to the hospital and he should not worry. My mom a week before her transition told all her nine children she is about to die, and to die is gain.

My own death warrant, was issued medically a victim of terminal cancer in September 2017. That revelation has motivated me beyond my norm to offer myself to help others so afflicted or to prevent cancer and overcome the death fear.

As if divinely guided to online information I found this website (TTAC ) THE TRUTH ABOUT CANCER offering invaluable information on the truth about cancer inclusive of video presentations; permission was sought and granted to include the articles on which you are about to be educated on the truth about cancer.

I implore you to read and encourage others to, and adhere to the contents as the information could add scores of years to your treasured life.

Giving mixed outlook how to deal with situations that you might encounter throughout life’s unpredictable journey is our objective, hoping the contents therein meets your expectations

God Bless You All


This book is dedicated to:

MY MOM: who changed her existence over five decades ago, yet her exemplary life will be remembered until I come face to face with mortality.

My Mom and Dad in 1953

As parents they personified exemplary parenting and good role models.

My father: whose forgiving spirit reached celestial heights,when he opted not to take action against the hospital, whose carelessness caused the early end of his wife and my mom; and he could not have chosen a better mother for the ten of us.

George: whose ten brief years exposed his unusual brilliance.

Jerome: a perfect example of a good brother.

Joyce: a most amicable, kind and caring step-mother.

Elaine: personification of a kind, faithful, unselfish, brave and loving woman. Acting against the advice of her doctors, who highlighted the risks of having a child. Elaine defied medical concerns and endured the agony of a troubling pregnancy due to her affliction of her life threatening illness, sickle cell anemia to which she succumbed at age 47.

Her sacrifice bore fruits as she spent her final years happily with our daughter. Despite my own despicable lack of appreciation for her undying love for me, needless to say, I was not deserving of her affection which deservedly has never been replicated.

Kadiesha: A child every parent would be proud of, she has adopted all her mother’s good qualities, and as fate would have it none of her father’s bad ways. She is a perfect example of what proper single parenting can achieve; both academically and dignified principles She migrated to the USA with her mom who nurtured her from age six


I would like to acknowledge all those who volunteered information for the book, including, those whose stories were not included.

Thanks to the numerous persons those who offered support and advice. I must make special mention of:

Celia Miles; Always responded positively to my regular request for assistance and has proven to be an excellent teacher.

Dr. Maurice Miles &.Dr Trudy Hall -Miles who opened the capsule to my book writing experience, supporting me every step of the way. Without their encouragement and support this book would be only a dream. Compilation of the information for the book was done at their home in Bowie MD where I spent a lot of time.

Editor: Jessie Sanders:

Cover Designer: Jeanine Henning:


Saying you are sorry does not complete your act of remorse, do something to justify your words.

MARTHA was very nervous when she related her story to me. The interview took place in the United States, in the summer of 2014. Martha is of Jamaican parentage and migrated to the US two decades ago. She was only eight years old when her parents left her with her grandmother. Martha retired from her nursing job a couple of years ago. She seemed depressed and distant and rarely looked me in the eyes while speaking, and often her thoughts strayed. As time progressed, I realize that the distant look was all about just wanting to give an accurate account of events that occurred.

However, as the story unfolded and she tried to relive her happy moments, I witnessed a transformation in her manner-ism, and the apparent shyness disappeared like dew drops on appearance of the rising sun. I normally rename my interviewees to conceal their identity: Martha did not allow that. She wanted to use her own name, which is of biblical origin and her favorite female character in the Bible. The rest of the story makes her difficult to be identified.

I am sixty-nine years old, a widow for the past twenty-nine years. My first work experience as a registered nurse was at the University College Hospital Jamaica, where I was trained. I migrated to England, as there were employment opportunities for nurses from commonwealth countries. I reluctantly grasped the opportunity and migrated to Canada. After my husband died, I migrated to the USA.

I decided to spend only three years in England, as my boy- friend Joseph was in his last two years at the university, completing his law degree at St. Augustine Campus in Barbados. We planned to get married two years after he graduated. Joseph, three years my senior, was a charming, loving man who always made me laugh. He always said, “Humor is meant to desensitize the mind of unpleasant thoughts, and act as a catalyst against conflict among each other.” There was never a dull moment with him. We would go to church together on Sundays. It was a big joke as to whom we would accompany to church. Joseph preferred going with his mom; being a minister, like her dad, her sermons were much shorter and spicier.

Joseph and I had a happy relationship but thought it was best for us to pursue our career paths. At the same time, it would test our feelings for each other, as sometimes long- distance affairs really test our mettle. Unlike today, communication was not easy: letters and a telephone call once per week was the best we could afford. We still have to be grateful, considering that Romeo and Juliet killed themselves because of lack of communication. My life story took a page out of that tragic romance; the verdict is still out whether lack of communication is to blame.

My first year in England was spent in Birmingham. This was a test of courage, endurance and adjustment, and to tell the truth, I suffered from culture shock. I was stunned at what I saw and experienced and had to live with.

No daily baths, using the kitchen sink for multiple purposes, seeing unwrapped bread on one’s doorstep, one bathroom serving multiple people in a dwelling house. I was flabbergasted, unhappy, and lonely. Where I lived were mostly white people.

They were not friendly, and we West Indians, it is our nature to be friendly, so we regard it odd when we see people not acting friendly—friendliness exhibits happiness and respect.

I made a decision to go to London and I had every intention of benefiting from the experience. I loved where I worked at the hospital, with friendly white people and a better atmosphere. This experience taught me a lesson not to generalize people; each living creature is unique. My two best friends are white, and our friendship has lasted to this day.

There was another person whom I would call very interesting—Raja, a Pakistani medical doctor completing his internship at the hospital where I worked. He displayed a liking for me, and it was reciprocal. Raja was unusually short for a man at five foot five. His height gave me a feeling of superiority, with my five foot seven tall, 129-pound body towering over him. That was part of the fun of our relation- ship at the beginning, as we were nicknamed the tall beauty and the little man. Raja was only short in height: he was tall in every other way, smart, kind, super in bed (it was worth the long wait) and extremely knowledgeable about other countries’ cultures, as if he had no intention of finding a lifelong partner in his cultural sphere. He introduced me to some of his country’s customs and expressed disagreement with some of them. He was from the upper class, very honest, and he would do nothing to hurt anybody’s feelings.

While I was learning Raja’s culture, my feelings were running amok, as I found myself having feelings for two men at the same time. I had been fully drilled into Raja’s culture. Sex before marriage was not a requirement, unlike in our Western and European culture, which I prefer, since sex adds spice to a relationship and the lack of it can poison it; the wait may end in disappointment for both parties.

The sacredness of my body was the least of my problems.

My inner feelings were swaying in the direction of the Indian doctor. Was “out of sight out of mind” playing with my emotions? Joseph was becoming more of a memory than a boyfriend. My Christian upbringing taught me many things, one of which was if you need to make a crucial decision, seek divine guidance. If your faith is strong enough, you will act accordingly.

My world was almost shattered when I had a disturbing dream. It said in part: “Choose the one your heart tells you, in choosing do not ignore any signals shown to you by your partner during your marriage.” Confusion had become my constant companion. I had this terrible feeling that some- thing bad would end the relationship prematurely with the man I chose.

I spoke to my girlfriend Carole about what the dream meant, and she took me to an African woman who interpreted dreams. These words will linger in my mind until death:

“Choose the man you love. You can only love one person at a time, so do not ignore any signals that exhibit unhappiness from the man you choose, otherwise unhappiness will follow your path.”

Fate seemed to be conspiring with my future plans. I got a call from Joseph advising me he has been granted one-year scholarship at a Law University in London and he would be arriving at Heath-row Airport in one week. Was I happy? I don’t know: my selfish thoughts took over my sense of reasoning.

Frankly, I did not want to lose either of the men at that time. I wanted to do my own choosing at my own pace, but life is not structured like that, putting other people’s lives on hold to suit our own selfish reason

That is despicable and should be avoided. I told Raja of Joseph’s intention, and I suggested that they meet each other and let them surmise the situation, let God do the choosing for us. He agreed. Raja was such an understanding person that I wished there was no choice to make.

Joseph arrived. I met him at the airport and took him to the hotel provided by his sponsors: he had arranged that I could stay with him at the hotel. We chatted for hours over glasses of red Italian wine. During the conversation I told him every detail about Raja. He showed an interest in meeting him, which happened the following day. I discovered that I cared a lot for Raja and was falling in love with him and had no desire to have a sexual encounter with another man. My immediate fear was sleeping in the same room and bed with Joseph at a time when my sexual desires was at a peak of vulnerability. To succumb to that desire would shatter the belief I had in my own strength of resisting temptation, and my love for Raja.

It was eighteen months since I had had sex, and that was with Joseph. Raja and I decided we would wait until we were engaged: a compromise from his cultural upbringing. I was determined not to betray Raja’s trust in me by breaking our sacred bond. I silently prayed for God’s guidance on how to deal with my sexual desires, coupled with the fact that Joseph was signaling the same feelings.

My prayer was answered: without beating around the bush, I told Joseph that my monthly cycle was in its second day.

I could see the disappointment branded on his face, the silence in the room betrayed our sexual desires for each other, as you could hear the sound of our heartbeats interrupting the dead silence in the room.

We had some lively discussions, somewhat to dispel the nightmare realization that I was sleeping in the same bed with a man who was not quite my ex-boyfriend. Harboring lingering feels for him while I was falling in love with another man was flirting with danger.

After a couple more drinks, we spoke of our relationship and decided to invite Raja to the hotel’s lobby to meet Joseph at 1 p.m.

I must tell you, my sexual desires had reached fever pitch, but I had no intention of upgrading my lie to Joseph and succumbing to my desires; neither did I have any intention of denying my body’s desire for sexual release. I headed for the bathroom while Joseph was sleeping and responded to my sexual feelings. I slept like baby.

Joseph and I had breakfast and parted company until 12:45, when he came by to meet the new man in my life. I was nervous with my heart pounding so fast that you could see my chest moving. I went to the bathroom and took a tranquilizer and felt much better.

The introduction went perfectly. They both seemed to respect each other and had a two-hour talk alone while I went shopping for a birthday present for Raja. I was floating in a sea of happiness. Now I knew how Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet felt when they fell in love. There was no turning back. I was now basking in the sunshine of love and happiness, and an ecstatic feeling engulfed me.

I invited Raja to dinner at a Pakistani restaurant in London’s West End, much to Raja’s surprise. We were always going to my West Indian restaurants, which he enjoyed: he loved everything West Indian, especially me. I was overwhelmed by the welcome I received, and was affectionately called West Indian-Pakistani. Everybody seemed to know Raja; after all, he was a good, handsome doctor.

After an hour, I was introduced to the owner, a charming lady, and a perfect host in her early thirties. I had no idea the restaurant was owned by Raja’s only sister, Mala; she invited me to her office, and we chatted for two hours. She jokingly asked, “When is the date”? I was speechless for forty seconds, then I smiled and said, “He has not asked me yet. There was a knock at the door. It was Raja’s mother, the young looking Kara appeared, and we were introduced. Within an hour of her arrival, Raja asked me to marry him. I started to giggle like when I was a teen- age girl being kissed for the first before I lost my virginity. I screamed, of course.

We got engaged three days after, with just his mom, Kara, and his sister, Mala, and two of our friends present to witness the auspicious occasion. The venue was a luxury hotel south of London, where we wined and dined into the wee hours of the morning. It was a lovely evening, but the best was yet to come. Raja said he had a surprise for me. Next day he came home at six beaming with a smile. We had two gl asses of wine each and discussed our wedding, which was targeted for ten months away. But what was to come was eight minutes away. I always hear lots of things about LOVE, what it does to you, some say it is even blind. What I discovered that day, it can give you the strength that makes you feel like Samson. Raja with his midget size body lifted me out of the chair, like lifting a baby, gently placing my sexually starved body on its back, my heart racing like a turbine engine. He started to undress me, each time he touched my garment my sexual desires rose the less garment, the more the arousal. Finally, I was on the verge of sexual explosion initiated with the man I promised to spend the rest of my life with.

Our bodies were bonded together like fresh paint on an artist’s canvas. Raja knew the art of love making; he explored every square inch of my slender body, making every part of my frame sensitive to his touch, like my entire body was a G-spot; little did I know that multiple climax was not fiction but facts. I have never ever, and will never enjoy such thrilling moment of sexual encounter, such thrill of ecstasy cannot be ex- pressed in words it must be experienced. Moments like those are not easily replicated.

There is a saying, “Diamonds are the path to a woman’s heart,” but sex is the road to a man’s generosity, and this Raja was about to prove. Added to a night of enjoyable sex, Raja told me to prepare to visit my homeland. We were going to Jamaica, Couples Hotel in Ocho Rios, for a six-day vacation that proved to be unforgettable. Raja has never been to Jamaica but wanted to know about this beautiful country that so many people who visited spoke so much about.

We arrived in the Caribbean Paradise at noon on a beautiful summer’s day. The 145 passengers were greeted at the Montego Bay Airport by representatives from the tourist board. We were all given complimentary drinks of rum punch: the sound of Jamaican music filled the air, making us feel so welcome by some of Earth’s friendliest people. No wonder people love Jamaica so much.

We were taken to our hotel by buses. The hospitality at the hotel was impeccable. After three days at the hotel, we went on a tour to Montego Bay and Port Antonio in a rented car.

The trip was adventurous. We even met some of Raja’s patients who were visiting for the first time, and we kicked up a storm. We purchased day passes and interchanged visits to our various hotels.

The last leg of our road trip took us to Port Antonio. Raja was enamored with the place, and we walked around the town meeting natives, who gave us all the history of the once famous playground of the rich and famous. We took a boat ride out to Navy Island once owned by the legendary movie star Errol Flynn. It was fun-filled, and that’s not even mentioning our stop at Boston to sample their jerk offerings. No one should miss that experience of cooking at its best!

As the days went by, a feeling of sadness engulfed us, having to leave my homeland. It was my first visit in over twenty years. What struck me most was the casual attitude of the people despite the visible signs of great disparity between the rich and the poor, and signs of hard times among some citizens; everywhere we turned we heard music blasting the airwaves. Raja loved the place, and we planned to purchase a beach cottage in Runaway Bay that would be our vacation or permanent home when we retired. We visited Jamaica four times in six years until Raja lost interest in travel. Later events will tell you why.

We got married three months after we returned from vacation. Blending Jamaican and Pakistani culture was awesome. Joseph and his girlfriend were invited. Raja, unknown to me, asked Joseph to toast the bride. The program was labeled differently, as they both conspired to surprise me. That shows how fortunate I was to have been involved with two men of such high caliber that they became friends for life.

Joseph and his girlfriend got married six months after. Joseph and I went to the wedding in Barbados, and Raja had the privilege to toast the groom.

This was the beginning of my new life as Martha Battani. It was exciting; we visited Pakistan for two weeks, getting a peek of the Indian culture, but I was not enthralled. On our return to London, we then discussed the options of migrating to America. As fate would have it, Canada was recruiting doctors and nurses. We applied and were successful. We went to Vancouver, one of the most beautiful places on this side of the planet. The work ethic was great and the people were friendly. If you were not a friendly person, you would be sucked into the instinctively friendly atmosphere, as if you had been hypnotized by the charm of the people. It was like a dream come true.

Within three years we got our citizenship and purchased a house. Life was playing us a good hand, but there was one missing link. We wanted a child, and we tried desperately for one, without success, and that was affecting us badly.

It reached the point where each time we had sex, we said, “This is to create little Raja or Martina,” for two years of relentless efforts. We even went as far as doing research to establish what time of day was most opportune for conception, but no such data was found.

As medical practitioners, we did the long overdue thing and got a thorough medical check-up. My results were negative. Raja was a bit reserved and showed signs of depression. I was seeing a different person, not his loving self. I showed him my results, which proved I had no problem with conception.

I thought this added to his depression.

Despite the apparent freezing of our mental and physical bond, our love for each other was intact, but my woman’s intuition told me something was drastically wrong. And I needed to get to the bottom of it, but I did not uncover anything that was earth shattering.

Months went by and our relationship worsened. Raja came home late each day, slept in a guest room, and didn’t eat much, resulting in weight loss. I assumed that his lack of appetite was the only symptom. So dumb was I, that it made matters worse. I should have known better. Being a medical practitioner as well, my passiveness was unbelievable. The signals were crystal clear, but I ignored them like the numerous men who were making passes at me, as if they didn’t see the shiny diamond ring on my finger advertising the fact I am taken until death part us.

He did not call me twice per day as he usually did, and when I called him his secretary said he was with a patient. When he came home he went to his study, drank a lot of fruit juice; after an hour by himself he emerged from his bedroom barely saying anything.

We stared at each other in dumb silence, like a forced ritual, tears would flow from my eyes when I exhausted all avenues of communication with Raja.

My once favorite moments were the most dreaded time since my marriage, like cooking and dining together each evening. Now he would only eat roti with steamed fish and cashew nuts, and ate very little. After dinner, he went to his study, then his bedroom. All communication ceased until the next day.

I was getting frustrated with my lonely existence, a most disgusting, depressing stereotype routine of the worst type. He bolted the bathroom door, then he hid inside and washed his underwear, which he had never done for the thirteen years we had been together. My suspicion escalated to distrust: all my thoughts were, “He is cheating.” He changed his locks, blocking all access to his personal information. This was coming from a comfortable high of us sharing everything together except the physical pain I endured alone, during my monthly cycle. Something was drastically wrong, and the sooner it revealed itself the better, as my mental constitution could not deal with the stress of a marriage in ruins.

I went to my priest and a marriage counsellor alone, because he did not want to come along. When I told him what they said, he shrugged his left shoulder, always the left shoulder. I asked a Pakistani colleague what it meant when someone keeps shrugging their left shoulder, but he did not give a definitive answer. I knew it had a meaning. Unfortunately, I did not seek further clarification, because I feared the hidden reasons that I didn’t think I should pursue.

What should I do, separate for a while? I made the suggestion: he did not respond. Things were getting progressively worse.

He started to bolt his bedroom door at nights.

One particular morning, things didn’t feel right. I had a horrible sleepless night and found myself crying in my sleep. In my dream, I saw one of my patients who said to me, “He is gone, don’t worry, take care of yourself.” I was gripped with fear; I had never felt so nervous in my entire life. I knew something was terribly wrong. Next day on the Sunday morning, 9:20 am, I knocked on Raja’s door for three minutes without response. I called my neighbor who happened to own a locksmith company, and he opened the door.

Raja was lying on his back, motionless. I checked his pulse, there was no response. I called 9-1-1: within nine minutes they came and Raja was pronounced dead. They found a half-empty bottle of sleeping tablets in the bathroom. I was told that I fainted, and spent eighteen hours in the hospital and slept for sixteen hours, presumably heavily sedated. My friend who lived nearby heard of Raja’s death and alerted the family. I called Raja’s relatives within minutes of my brief visit to the valley of death. I felt for a span of time to emulate the love-bitten couple in Shakespeare’s tragedy Romeo and Juliet when I saw Raja’s lifeless body awaiting a postmortem to determine cause of death.

Gloom overshadowed the entire environment where Raja served; hundreds of his patients and many others came to pay respect at his thanksgiving service. Raja’s body was cremated. It took me months to rise from the ashes of despair after Raja’s death. I took three weeks’ special leave to recuperate from my loss. It is then that my life took a downward spiral into a world of loneliness and self-pity, from which I never recovered. Raja had a wide span of goodwill from which I benefited immensely; whether I deserved it or not is debatable. The affection, love, and respect shown to me during the first seven years of our marriage gave me a morbid feeling of inadequacy.

I asked myself, “Do I deserve this unhappiness? Raja’s death put my own feelings on hold, and brought to reality how our lives can change quickly.

It brought to stark reality that we are mere mortals and our tenure in this form of existence is temporary. We should at all times remember that the pronouns “I” and “me” should only be used when it is necessary. Having gone through that experience, I realize that every one of us need each other: our status, wealth, and position are facts of our presence here, but we are all on the threshold of experiencing mortality. I now realize that my shortcomings are many.

On his dresser was a letter addressed to “My dear Martha, my one true love.”Dear Martha

Please forgive my selfish behavior for concealing from you the fact that I was diagnosed with an advanced stage of testicular cancer some time ago: my sperm count was much too low to impregnate you.

I am setting you free to remarry and have kids.



At this stage I shared my own experience with Martha.

“It was 1978, two years after my marriage came to a legal end. I married a young, charming, attractive lady, whom I happily took out of the forest, but after seven years we were miles apart, being only twenty-five and she the tender age of nineteen; our young minds were not ready to stay the course and make sacrifices to benefit our marriage. We parted our ways amicably.

During those years of re-entering the bachelor world, I refrained from settling down.

Instead I lived alone in my house in Harbor View, the rights of which my father transferred to me, having paid 70% of the mortgage while living there, most of the time as the sole occupant.

I was presented with numerous opportunities for a live-in partner at least. I rather enjoyed the single life.

Until a Friday afternoon in June 1978 at 2:45 p.m., I was driving along East Street in Kingston, within the vicinity of the Institute of Jamaica. I saw this five foot seven, young, attractive lady of mixed-race indicating her intention to cross the street. I responded, granting her first of many wishes from me. I stared at her through the rear-view mirror as she walked slowly across the street, as if she didn’t want to disappear from my view in a hurry. I had similar intentions; I stopped the car and parked.

I walked to the bus stop where she was heading. A few feet away from her, she turned around, and I could see her inviting smile. We introduced ourselves.

“I am Tony Miles”: She responded


The moment she uttered those words I knew there would be a lifelong bond between us.

Yet there was a lingering, fearful feeling within me that the tenure of our relationship was not pointing in the direction of permanency.

She had a most captivating smile and a look of innocence, and sadness in her eyes. After talking for nearly two hours, I offered to take her home to Spanish Town. She refused, with visible reluctance. We gave a synopsis of our lives, and she promised to call me on Monday. That was the longest sixty-nine hours I can recall, the suspense ending at 11:45 a.m. That was the beginning of our lives together.

After four weeks going for lunches, dinner, and movies, Elaine invited me to her home for dinner and to meet her parents. Her father instinctively liked me. He was down to earth, but her mother did not take on to me at all. A mother’s intuition, I guess: mother knows best.

Three months after, she started spending every weekend with me, then every day. Our romance was a mixed bag, happy moments, pain and suffering, spasms of jealousy and mistrust. As the days went by I realized her jealousy was overblown on my part. She loved me with a passion and did not want any rival in any shape or form.She was kind, loving, and faithful to a fault, unmatched by any other woman I expect to meet or have met in this world, before and after her, whom I have been intimately associated with. If she saw any of my friends with another person apart from their chosen one, she distanced herself from that person. As she see relationships and family as sacred breach of that trust she sees as an act betrayal. .

Apart from her physical beauty, she had inner beauty.

I will never forget, six months after we met, she invited me for dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant. She said she has something to tell me, when we reach home. She gave me a letter from her mother. “What the devil is this now?” I thought, knowing her mother didn’t like a bone in me; I reluctantly opened it. It read:

Dear Tony,

I am sorry for treating you the way I did, I now realize that you are good for my daughter, Elaine, and she loves you a lot. I wish you both the best. Try and take her home sometimes during the week, her dad and I miss her”.


I was overwhelmed by the contents, but the joy was short lived. Elaine took my hands and said she has something to tell me. With tears streaming down her beautiful, sad face; each eye seeming to be competing with each other for tear production and affection of its owner.

Elaine’s unforgettable facial features has been branded in my memory moments before and currently as she uttered these heartrending words; “I don’t know how long I have left.

My mother sent that letter because it is the first time I have been well for so long. Before we met I was making regular treks to the hospital. I have an ulcerated stomach, problems with my lungs, heart as a result of sickle cell anemia. At least once a month for days I suffer from excruciating pain like all over my body though confined to my joints, shortness of breath, commonly called a crisis. At times I feel like giving up, but since we met I now have the burning desire to live, and I have not been sick since.

“I am hoping God sent you to cure me.” A look at her beautiful serene face covered with tears, as if our tear ducts were connected, tears began streaming down my face, for an instant I panicked, believing my tear duct was severed. After hours of consoling each other, I had a man’s drink and Elaine some cider, her favorite.

That night, I knew I could not abandon Elaine. She needed me, and I felt a strong bond envelope my entire being, giving me a sense of worth. By caring for another woman whom I knew was suffering from life-threatening illnesses, and the tenure of our life together was hanging on a slender thread. I was now prepared to devote my entire life to her, and put to rest any consideration for my personal happiness.

It is like a moral rebirth, having emerged from my cocoon of selfish lust for the female flesh with little consideration for their emotional well-being.

That feeling of commitment had brought new meaning to my life, having spent the past three years moving from one woman to the next, void of any serious commitment on my part.

It was an ecstatic feeling to love another woman not for what you can get, but what you can give; your love, trust and body at her desire even at great sacrificial cost, and hope of happiness for her.

I upped the ante on my moral code of conduct. Although, I had this melancholy feeling for her, and yet, I grew to love her as the clock ticks daily.

Things went well romantically for eighteen months. Sometimes our destiny is not in our own hands. Elaine got sick on a regular basis, but her symptoms were not related to her illnesses.

The doctors ruled pregnancy at six weeks along, and recommended abortion, since her life was already dangling on a thin thread and her current heath would pose serious threats to both she and our baby. We discussed the situation, but she opted to have our baby. The months leading up to our daughter’s birth were filled with trauma; Elaine spent weeks at times in and out of the hospital.

This particular day, five hours after I left the hospital, they called me, I was told to come by immediately as Elaine was dangerously ill, and they might have to take the baby, then about twenty-four weeks along. The baby might survive; they both would certainly die if nothing was done.That was as blunt as it could be.

I literally flew to the hospital in my VW bug with the kind assistance of a police escort I reached the University Hospital in record time. I had to wait about forty minutes before I saw Elaine. She was being examined by an army of medical personnel (being a teaching hospital). How could fate be so cruel and put me in such dreadful position? I was confused, literally mentally impotent. I went to the bathroom, sat on the toilet seat, lighted a Craven A cigarette, and asked for divine guidance, help, and compassion. After what looked like hours, I returned to the ward, a doctor spoke to me and told me they could not figure what happened: Elaine was awake and asking for me.

I was allowed to spend two hours with her in the waiting area.

Those moments took me on a journey into a new world that made me realize the power of faith and prayer. Her recovery was remarkable; she spent another three days in the hospital.

She walked the plank of death many times, but displayed the strength and fortitude to give birth naturally to a six- pound healthy baby now a grown charming young lady Kadeisha.

Elaine’s health improved after our daughter’s birth. After a couple years our affection for each continued to grow. We didn’t really plan to get married, at least I was not ready, but living common-law was not the ideal situation either, as it was so alien to our upbringing. Elaine’s sister invited her to spend two weeks in the USA. After returning, we discussed the possibility of Kadeisha and herself migrating to that country. It took years to file the paperwork and getting everything in order, but they eventually migrated.

We corresponded and visited each other.

Her health deteriorated over time, and she succumbed to her illness at age 47 in2001..

I can never forget her agonizing screams of pain during her crisis periods. She has no more pains and is resting peacefully.

I could never abandon her after she gave me her health sheet, which looked like somebody who could die any time. Dedicating your life to someone who needs and loves you is one of the greatest satisfactions any human being can have. But, did I squander such noble act of human decency post Elaine of which I have paid the price?

My deepest regret I did not offer her the happiness she deserved, her love and faithfulness for me was unquestionable. Even throughout her sickness she was a paragon of virtue, rarely complains,and would even suppress her pain to avoid those she care about experiencing her anguish and feeling sorry for her.

My greatest regret Elaine fell in love with a man who was not deserving of her.

Happily, people who suffer from sickle cell are living much longer now.

The University Hospital has modern facilities to look after patients. Even during those years, the time and attention they spent with their patients was highly commendable.

“We all lose people we love, life is a transition, self-pity has never resurrected anyone,” I concluded.

MARTHA: continued her story, with tears flowing down her face. Having selfishly taken her on my morbid emotional trip I had unconsciously resurrected her own tattered feelings. I did not apologize to her, as sharing our feelings with others often soften the pain. At the same time baring my soul to her, further cementing our bond of confidentiality.

As I have learned during the dozens of interviews, baring your soul to another invariably the results are reciprocal.

“I cannot tell you how I felt,” Martha continued. Words are inadequate to express the hurt and anguish as she stretched her hand towards me invitingly to hold it, instinctively I responded at the same time touching an emotional chord, almost bringing me to tears.

After months of introspection, I realize that I had contributed to Raja’s death by ignoring the signals that were as obvious as sunshine on a clear summer’s day. If I had been more sensitive to his problems, could we have worked together through our crisis? Doctors can tell us how sick we are, but there are other situations that can prolong our life span, way beyond the doctor’s educated prediction.

Raja made sure that I was well provided for: he paid off for the house and bought an apartment in my name.

Despite the financial security, I am a lonely unhappy woman, being a widow for twenty-nine years, and the clock is ticking away for a second marriage.

I have accepted the fact that I will die a lonely, sad woman. I am now sixty-nine. Loneliness to me is equivalent to dying.

Raja has not over all these years corresponded with me, since he is gone.”

Martha said that she made a will donating her earthly belongings to a home for the aged in her homeland Jamaica. She looks to be in excellent health and certainly doesn’t look her age. That home may have to wait a long time for that windfall.

The final words Martha spoke to me really left a lasting impression: “My greatest regret was that I did not conceive a child, but I later realized that you don’t have to conceive to parent a child that has been given birth by someone else.”

Martha’s words are so true: there are millions of women worldwide who have taken the mantle of motherhood without having a child themselves, and no doubt they are happy for doing such a noble act of human kindness for another human. Loneliness can really appear as a punishment, but isn’t loneliness not only the lack of the physical presence of another person but a creation of our own thoughts with so many activities to occupy both our physical and mental needs? The worst loneliness of all is to be in the presence of other people you care about and still experience that feeling

Redemption from failure is to let others know why we fail to save them from repeating our mistakes.

The format in examples poses questions, giving the reader the opportunity not only to condemn the villains but, “If we could spend our time doing serious self-examination, and correct our discovered flaws, our lifespan would not allow us enough time to find faults with others.”

We can all see flaws in others: put yourself in the volunteer’s positions and ask yourself:

“What would I have done?’ Seeing faults in others is easy as a heartbeat: it mirrors our own weaknesses, which we tend to miniaturize.

Let us examine how many people we know that have gone through romantic transitions without turmoil and hate. Martha, Raja, and Joseph by their examples have shown us that the path for respecting each other feelings is within our grasp: it is all up to us.

Martha, who had a near-perfect life prior to her husband’s decline and death, has slumped into loneliness and depression, despite her financial security and physical attractiveness. Each of us is given clear choices in life: sometimes it is handed to us, and at times we will go through the pangs of hell to achieve it. Martha and Raja were good people, but like all of us they had their faults.

Communication between them dwindled to the point of nonexistence.

Lack of sexual activity during sexually active years is a red flag for multiple issues not necessarily exclusive to anyone one partner.

Losing weight and the desire to sleep alone, signals that a major health problem existed: health signals are often ignored.

This last, is a much ignored signal by many of us. I can remember in early 1980 while performing duties as a customs officer at the Norman Manley Airport, a group of us were having one of our usual chats with Bob Marley after been processed through Customs. During the discussion, one of the officers asked him about his foot, as his toe was visibly swollen.He indicated that the problem was not a big deal, but months after the problem became progressively worse, resulting in his death of terminal cancer within a year.

Assuming that infidelity is a factor that led Martha to completely misread the signs displayed by her husband’s waning health that revealed some level of misunderstanding.

Martha displayed selfishness, as someone entrenched in the medical field should have acted aggressively to uncover her husband’s health issues.

Raja displayed selfishness and extreme weakness by withholding vital information from his beloved wife. Being a medical practitioner, he should know how to deal with the situation. Committing suicide was not the appropriate option considering it was likely to leave a permanent scar on his wife.

On the death of her husband, Martha apparently did not integrate herself into society or adjust to her life without her late husband, neither did she adopt a child.

She did not join any group, volunteer in any organization, but cloaked herself in self-pity she made no effort to enjoy life with a companion. She was not bargaining for the years known as the twilight of our lives. Martha mistakenly believed that being alone is independence and happiness when one is young and in middle age. This is a myth created by people who believe that the best company is their own: when the tide of age and loneliness overcomes them like an avalanche, they blame others for their situation.

Do married couples have legal or moral right to conceal vital information from each other, considering their destinies are entwined, no different than a mother whose umbilical cord is severed from her newborn, but the child is hers for life?

Should any partner have sole access to any room in the family residence, especially a bedroom?

Financial stability should not be a substitute for emotional turmoil.

Love that is lasting should be allowed to grow and not allowed to wither. Love is the avenue to share our happiness, sadness, strength, weakness, failure, and success.

Forgiveness and understanding is a strong force to keep the flame of love burning.

Build on your love: if it starts on fertile ground, keep nurturing it; if obstacles are your constant partner, your effort should be relentless to overcome them.

You have a rare medical condition, but your doctors give you a good chance of recovery. However, due to the nature of the procedure, you will have to give up one of your vital bodily functions, namely your sight or your sexual desires. You are in your early thirties and live with your spouse and you love each other dearly. Would you consult your spouse on making that decision and stand by their wish, even if it goes against your personal wishes?

There are many people like Martha and Raja in the world: we should emulate their good ways and ensure that their weaknesses are not repeated in our lives.

Never assume that if your partner’s interest in you seems diminished, it is someone else who shares that interest. It could be you who have downgraded the interest shown to you previously.

Engage your partner in the most effective way you know; if there is a noticeable change in their behavior. Never forget that one of the most important persons in your life should be your partner. If there is a change in that status, without hesitation seek counselling or divine guidance: your life will be more meaningful.

Never create the situation that during the twilight of your life, despite your economic viability, you are one miserable, lonely human being. Considering there are seven billion of us, that must be a chilling thought. Your longevity should be cherished and not be a millstone around your neck. Be grateful for the gift of life, waste no time in self-pity and narcissism. Living without another human being sharing your life was never a divine intention. Do not question that or any intention of a divine nature.

My own behavior comes into question, having professed my love for Elaine, which was reciprocated. I did not offer to marry her, knowing she would not refuse. Despite the fact, I encouraged living together and having a child out of wedlock, I did not discourage her from migrating, offered her no alternative to stay knowing she risked her life during her pregnancy and her health would not improve over time. I should have shown more sensitivity and parented our child together, and most of all I was aware that her life span was within fifty years. My actions were indeed despicable for which I have sought redemption.


Behave in a dignified, honest, humble, respectful, truthful way and be exemplary in your daily life, and the world will be yours, everyone will be clamoring to be your friend.

If each one of us should possess these good characteristics, humility, kindness, truthfulness, honesty, and love, who could deny this is not a heavenly life on earth?

One of the most common questions asked by fathers; “Is this child mine?” Most times this is said with justification, with so many women and men unfortunately having multiple sexual partners at the same time.

A woman told me once “One man not enough for me: one for sex, one for rent payment, and one to pay the other bills.” She ended up with six children by four different fathers, while she ended up battered, used, and abused. Had she thought of the negative implications of her varied alliances, she might have avoided the curse that she unwittingly visited on her children, namely that of depriving them of a loving and nurturing environment.

While the deadbeat men in her life bear equal responsibility for the fate of the children, she is the one who took total control of her body and therefore should have learned after one or two, even three mistakes. There are numerous documented cases where misinformation on the identity of someone’s father has resulted in couples indulging in incestuous relationships, unbeknownst to them. Some of these have resulted in fights over inheritance, mental issues, and damaged lives, affecting generations of families.

As a young man growing up, I always heard that a woman knows the exact moment she conceives; that is to say, she knows who the father is from day one. This is obviously an old wives’ tale; otherwise there would be no reason for DNA testing, nor would there be so many instances where a woman unwittingly gives the child to the wrong father.

The ensuing episode may sound incredulous to many; however, incidents like this might be more common than we think. As the saying goes, “Fact is stranger than fiction,” and this story could certainly qualify as fiction.

What I found encouraging though is people were willing to relate their experiences, believing it will help others not to repeat their mistakes.

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