By Davion Smith, BVI News Online Staff
Marriott was expected to pack her belongings and storm out of the relationship when her husband Gregory Smith lost his sight in 1993.
But her unshakable love and commitment to the man she vowed to love until death has silenced many, including some of Gregory’s relatives.
It also has disappointed many men who have tried to capitalize on Gregory’s disability, by trying assiduously to snatch away his wife.
Gregory himself did not believe the marriage would have lasted this long.
“When my husband lost his sight, he thought that I was going to leave him because we had little ups and downs with his family. They didn’t too appreciate me, but they end up coming around because I show them I didn’t married them; I married to him…Because he lost his sight I should just get up and leave? I didn’t have that plan,” Marriott told BVI News Online.
The 61-year-old mother of six further said: “Since my husband lost his sight, all kinda man been calling. They tell me ‘oh, your husband can’t see’. But I said ‘if he can’t see, he could smell, [and] he could feel’. Not a man could tell my husband they could throw anything in my face since my husband lost his sight… I committed myself to my husband.”
Marriott, who is a professional farmer, said one of the fruits of her commitment is the fact that she and her husband celebrated their 34th wedding anniversary yesterday, May 28.
She however admitted that reaching that milestone was not a cruise.
Marriott told BVI News Online that, after the incident that cost Gregory his sight, they faced challenges.
One of those difficulties was that Gregory – a pastry chef – was no longer able to work.
“When he lost his sight, he didn’t use to want to go any place. He wanted to just stay home; and I said ‘Honey you think I’m gonna go leave you? I’m gonna stay with you.”
Marriott said she encouraged her husband and supported him until he, to a great extent, got back on his feet.
In fact, it was through her efforts that Gregory was able to enroll in the Society for the Blind in Jamaica. He spent five months there.
Marriott said her husband lost his eyesight while he was taking medication for a skin allergy.
“I take him up [to Jamaica]. I went to see the place where he was. I went to see everything before I come back down [to the British Virgin Islands]. I spent a week with him there [in Jamaica].”
“Everyday I used to call my husband… When my phone bill come, it was over $1,000. I had to find out how my husband was doing,” added Marriott.
Mr Smith then returned to the BVI with a fresh outlook. Since then, Marriott has remained by his side.
The couple now spends most of their time together – both at work and at home. They work at the Department of Agriculture.
“I love my husband like how hog love mud. Even my children that I got from my inside; I have a passion for my husband more than my children… If he call and say he have a pain or something happen to him, I just jump on the bus wagon and I am here with him.”
“Wherever you see Jack, you see Jill. None of us don’t go away leave each other,” said Marriot.
She said marriage is not a fashion statement, adding that it is solemn and must be taken seriously.
“If you’re going into it just for a fashion and you’re going into it because you could go in, don’t go in. Some people go into it for what they can get; they not going into it for what they can give to better the situation… If you lose a finger or you lose an eye; nobody wants any man with one eye or one thing anymore. That’s the time I would tell you to brace more together. The love supposed to get stronger,” Marriott further said.
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