Today I cried, I screamed, I shook and a part of me died. I got a call from my colleague telling me that Junior John is dead; Monday 12th September at the Choithrams Hospital where he was rushed to when he had an attack.
I’m just so shook up by the whole incident. Junior and I go back to 1994 when I started reporting sports for Expo Times. We were good colleagues and I was learning from him as he had been in the game longer than me. He’s the closest I ever came to having as a mentor and a brother before I met Durosimi Thomas.
In a way, I admired him and his friends, the late John Rock and Conrad Roy. They had their sports paper and I was a fan as I like talking sports. He could accomplish anything he wanted to. He was one of the best in the business I ever knew. He was smart.
Mr John would go the extra mile to assist you, or call one of his many friends or brothers to do the same if he can’t, just to make sure that you are comfortable. We never heard him talk about other people. He believed in fairness. When there was a conflict he had to deal with, he used to say, “wan an bangle nor dae shake”, or “you all are big people, try and work it out”. Strife was not part of his life.
He loved talking about his Lodge and always want to be amongst people that will give him peace and tranquil. Some of the oldies music was his favourite. He brought fun and joy to us and others. He loved to share.
Someone once said “Time is perhaps our most precious commodity, and once it passes, it is lost forever”
Mr Samuel John, there was indeed a time we hung out, ate, talked, gossiped and emailed but all of that is gone now and all that is left now are the memories.
Junior, as I loved to call you; you were born a star, remained so and even died a gold star. You touched many lives in many ways. I admired you; I loved you and adored you greatly. A call from you always brought a smile to our face. Oh, I wish to see your caller ID on my phone now.
I miss you, bro. The world missed you because you made such a huge difference. I often wondered why you were so loved, adored and admired by many, but now I know the reason why “Good people go only too soon, they have only a short time to leave their footprints in the sand of time.”
Now the beat goes on. I’ll be telling people about my best friend and colleague Junior for the rest of my life. Your grandson who carries your name Samuel will always bring back your memories because you a true hero and a true friend.
Life is too short. Too short to accomplish everything that you could want to do, to go everywhere you could want to go, and to spend enough time with everyone you love. Now that is the painful truth we all have to live with. Today is Samuel John; nobody knows when he or she will depart the stage.
Those who knew Junior, even just through the journalistic circles or through other means genuinely adored him. His inimitable wit, playful charm, and positive attitude made him a friend and, to those of us lucky enough to know him “in real life,” a cherished friend.
Like my late father said, “Life is short. We have to be ready and know how it is to be with God when we pass away. That’s because we will never know when it will happen. It could happen tonight, tomorrow, next…
Death comes up on us when our work on earth is complete.
Gone before us too soon Junior. Certainly, the precious memories of you will remain in our hearts. This is your time, bro; ours will surely come. In everything, we all can say, Jesus gives and takes, blessed be his holy name.
By Austin Thomas
Wednesday September 14, 2016