A grieving father says his life will never be the same after losing his eldest son last weekend in a road traffic accident.
Michael (Malakot) Baker could barely hold back tears as he spoke exclusively to the Bermuda Sun about his son, Meshach Swan, 23, who died early Sunday morning after colliding with another motorcycle in Southampton. He was the island’s eighth road fatality this year.
“Meshach was a loving son who always loved to be around his family,” Mr. Baker says. “He loved to do things with me. We’d spend endless hours playing football together in the backyard and he liked to swim all year round… it didn’t matter if it was winter or summer. His favourite place to relax was Abbott’s Cliff, which was mine’s as well.”
Mr Baker says Meshach was very close with him and his mother, Melanie Swan, and both sides of his family: “He never missed any family event. Even on Christmas, he would split his time between my mother’s house and his maternal family. He loved everyone.”
Just hours before he died, Meshach attended the blessings of his six-month-old twin brothers, Micah and Michal. It was also Mr Baker’s birthday. His father says despite him having to work a 12-hour shift as a pool and beach attendant at the Fairmont Southampton hotel, Meshach was determined that he would not miss such an important event: “He came there and stood with his brothers, in his work clothes. That was the kind of person he was. He did not use work as an excuse not to be there and he did not care what he had on. All that mattered is that he was there for his brothers. He was proud of them.”
Reflecting on that fateful morning when he learned of his son’s passing, Mr Baker, with tears welling, said: “I’ve never felt so much pain in all of my life but I have to be strong for my family. I’m not selfish. I have to remember that I am not the only person. My life will never be the same. Meshach represented happiness to me. Anything that happened good to me I shared with him and my wife.”
Mr Baker, who is a recovering addict, says it was because of his son he stopped doing drugs on June 12, 2010: “One day he and I were talking. I had been involved in drugs for 30 years at that time. I told him that I was tired of living that way and for the first time he opened up and told me how much my using hurt him. That was a turning point for me. I never used drugs again; not even dabbled. Before that day I never listened to anyone else.
“On June 12, 2014, I celebrated four years of sobriety. Meshach was not a man of many words but he said to me, ‘I am proud of you, Pops’. I know he served a purpose in my life.”
Note: The Bermuda Sun attempted to speak with Ms Swan but she was unavailable for comment. We also tried to contact the family of Mr. Gladwin Smith, who was the island’s seventh road fatality, but were unsuccessful and are aiming to have a tribute to him in Friday’s edition of our paper.