As Reggae Sumfest 2015 rapidly approached, Rita Marley stood alone on her balcony, staring to Heavens; hands pressed against her chest. As overwhelming memories fuelled her emotions, she thought of all the milestones Bob garnered since his untimely passing – a tremendous increase of wealth, the museum commemorating him, the numerous accomplishment attainned by his children, and certainly the high pedestal Reggae music has been placed on due to his prolific work.
With eyes tightly closed she whispered into the night sky, “If only you could be here with me to ... to help me be strong in these upcoming days … oh Robert.”
A hand fell softly on her shoulder. “Rita, you neva know how strong you are, until being strong is yuh only choice.” A silky voice evoked.
A sudden gasp escaped Rita’s lips. Paralyzed in her stance, her hands quivered uncontrollably while her body was riddled with excitement.
“I’m here now,” the voice continued.
Turning around, Rita gazed upon a face… a more aged portrait of a man she loved unconditionally. His lips stretched forming that famous smile that brought life to the room.
“Ro-Ro-Robert?!” She suttered.”Is it really you?” she gasped.
Floods of emotions
poured into her as she stared upon his face in bewilderment. She finally threw
herself into his arms to prove he wasn’t just a figment of her imagination. He
felt and smelt just as she remembered - strong and kissed by marijuana stains.
“Rita, Jah heard your cries… I’ve been watching over you from Zion and Jah found it fit to allow me to return for Reggae Sumfest only,” Bob expressed.
“That’s only a few days, Bob, you have to stay longer!” He simply shook his head disappointment. “But wait! How are we going to explain your return to the world?”
The seriousness of the situation finally dawned upon her. The man that stood before her has been dead for 34 years, and miraculously here he is again.
“Nuh worry bout dat, daughter. Jah sort dat out already.” He said.
“What you mean --” He placed his finger to her lips to quiet her. “You’ll see.” He said with that infamous big smile. “Now I believe there are some things you wanted to show me but before we do dat, call the Sumfest people dem and tell dem that I going to make a stop at the concert. Don’t worry, Jah a control di situation.”
Even though clearly confused and scared, she made her way over to the phone on the night stand beside her bed and made the call. To her surprise, the promoters weren’t worried that she was going mad and in fact, acted as if it was completely normal for Bob to be there, and were utterly excited that he would be gracing them with his presence. It was as if Bob hadn’t passed on.
She walked back over to him at the window.
Finally the day approached when Bob would be seen on the Sumfest stage. As he stood backstage, Rita stared at him in absolute disbelief that this was the man she loved for close to 5 decades.
“My people, the day has finally arrived. It is with great pleasure and honour that we present to you Bob Marley!”
As the presenters called his name for him to enter, Rita snapped out of her trance-like gaze. He walks quietly on stage shaking his locks as the crowd screams and cheers.
He immediately went into a myriad of hits as the crowd sang along; revelling in every word.
After 5 hours of
performance, he went into a new single Miracle on Marijuanna Street.
“Turn on di lights mek mi reason wid di people dem…” He began with his big smile, “It feels like forever since we’ve last spoke… How yuh feeling?”
The crowd erupted in a roaring cheer.
“Now I here they finally want to legalize herb… Look how long Rasta a tell dem of it’s medicinal and sacramental purposes!” He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a lighter as a chalice is brought on stage. “Let us all light it up and inhale the beauty of Jah gift to us!”
At the end of his performance, he went backstage where Rita was waiting for him.
As the presenter called her onstage to accept a lifetime achievement award, Bob kissed her forehead. Rita hurried on stage as the massive sea of anonymous figures echoed her name in a chorus-like chant.
She glanced back once more before stepping out in front of the massive crowd. He was gone. Rita scanned the room for any sign of him, but there was none.
"Rita Marley!" The announcer called her once more. She didn't worry about his absence, for she knew he was with her, and would always be.
be emancipation; sometimes it allows us to see the enormity, and prevents our
giants from depreciating before our eyes. With Bob, we get to appreciate the
good, and ponder what might have been. He's alive, and thanks to his music, he
always will be…