In mom’s memory: James family donates handcrafted bench at Starfish Point

The content originally appeared on: Cayman Compass

Rookmin James loved visiting her Cayman family every year, but when COVID-19 struck last year she could not make her annual trip here and, unfortunately, last August she passed away before she could return.

Mom Rookmin James loved Starfish Point. -Photo: Submitted

Her daughter, Betty Larrabee, said it was hard for the Caymanian family when James, who lived in Trinidad, passed away at the age of 68.

However, she said they wanted to celebrate her memory in a special way, while giving back to the community she loved.

“My mom’s favorite spot was Starfish Point when she visited,” Larrabee told the Cayman Compass in a telephone interview on Tuesday, so it was the natural choice for the family to do something at the North Side attraction.

To celebrate what would have been her birthday on 17 Dec., the family donated a handcrafted bench to the Parks and Recreation Unit for Starfish Point, something they knew James would have wanted.

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“When she visited, there was no public area, there were no showers and change rooms [like now]…. so that was the inspiration for the bench,” Larrabee said.

The bench was crafted by Larrabee’s husband Zachary.

Starting from From left Betty Larrabee, Zachary Larrabee and Crosby Solomon of the Parks and Recreation Unit with the bench dedicated in Rookmin James’s memory at Starfish Point. -Photo: Submitted

“My mom loved Zachary’s woodworking skills. She would always say it was appealing,” Larrabee said.

She said he wanted to build the bench and donate it to Parks and Recreation because James was “very family-oriented and community-minded”.

Larrabee said making the donation gave them all such sense of community.

She added that it also makes it a little bit easier for the grieving family to know that “people enjoy what my mom enjoyed, which is, pretty much, family”.

This handcrafted bench was donated in Rookmin James’s honour.- Photo: Submitted

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