This post is kind of a sad one, as Ed passed away the night before last. Those of you that have been diving with us may remember Ed, he was the older gentleman that always stays at Les Alizes in the corner apartment right where we get on and off the diving boat. He was always waving us off, or welcoming us back.
Originally from Cape Cod, Ed has been spending the winters in Saint Martin and in Grand Case for the last 15 years. I have had the pleasure of knowing him for the last two years. He was a kind, gentle man, with his wits about him until the very end. He could be pretty cheeky sometimes, but because of his age and demeaner he always got away with it.
I remember one time he was on the white bench out in the walkway down to the boat, I was there with about 4 customers….
“Hi Ed, how are you?”
“I’m fine, I really like that new bra you’re wearing.” At this point he is pointing my, erm, how can I say this… my bikini top.
“Ummmm, thanks, Ed. But this isn’t a bra, Ed, it called a bathing suit!”
Or sometimes I would be cleaning the boat after the morning trip and then I would walk off the boat and back to the diving center. He would be there on the balcony, as normal…
“Hi Ed. How are you today?”
“I’m fine, dear. All the better seeing you all wet in your bathing suit!”
Ha ha ha! So cheeky! But there was never any harm in it.
Everyday he would be out there on the balcony watching our activities. “You’re getting busier and busier, Sally.” “Where is the new boat?” “Using both boats today are you?” There was one day when we had a woman on the boat who suddenly stripped off and was wearing nothing but a thong! I thought he was going to have a heart attack right there and then! Or sometimes you would hear him shout out “Watch out!” if he thought we were going to run over the bouy or something like that. Or he would tell the little kids swimming to get out of our way.
Normally Ed is here for six months at a time, arriving before Christmas and leaving in late Spring. When we had time he would tell us about his days driving his boat out on the New England Coastline. Ed also knew all the best places to eat in Grand Case as he had been here so long. He is well known throughout Grand Case, as even though it would take him 30 minutes to walk the 500 feet to the restaurants every night, he still would.
He fell ill about 4 days ago, was very tired and weak. I went to see him in his room and the doctor had put him on a drip. Reverend Hodge had nurses and doctor’s checking up on him four times a day. He is such a great man, Reverend Hodge. When I saw Ed he held my hand, it was so soft and he had those big knuckles from arthritis. I realised I had never shaken his hand before.
“I brought you some soup, Ed.”
“Thanks Dear, that is very kind of you. Put it in the fridge, I’ll eat it later.”
I dont’ think he ever did eat it, but it doesn’t matter. I held hands with him for a little bit, but then I had to go, the afternoon trip was going out. Ed understood, he knows our schedule, and I said Goodbye. That was the last time I saw him. The balcony looks so empty now. I am really sad that I didn’t make it to hospital to see him there, but he was only there for one night and he died quickly, in his sleep. So all in all, it is a happy ending to a wonderful life. Ed would have been glad that his last days were spent in the beautiful Caribbean, in the little village of Grand Case where he chose to spend his final years.
So, Ed… if you are reading my blog, wherever you are, please know that you will be greatly missed here at the Diving Center, and we will remember you for years and years to come.
(Sally wrote this blog)