Apologies for our absence
It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I try to keep this blog light and upbeat so it’s been impossible to write recently because my heart is so heavy. Last month we lost one of our best friends, Cindy Herrmann Flowers. She was not only my friend but a wife, mother, good-time-organizer, business woman, community champion, adventure seeker… she was an anomaly. She brought people together in big ways yet she was divisive. She had a sharp tongue and a soft heart. She had a strong character, strong opinions and a weakness for Snickers, decorative plants, and a worthy cause. I’m absolutely gutted over her unexpected death.
Until now, our community on the peninsula has been astonishingly and oddly untouched by the pandemic for the most part. Sure, we’ve struggled through mandates and lockdowns and financial hardships for the past year and a half but aside from losing our village doctor to covid in the beginning, we’ve not endured any other real tragedies. We were aware yet sort of still a bit oblivious to the impact the virus had on a personal level. All over the world people have been losing family members and close friends to covid complications but we didn’t know anyone here that died… or that even got all that sick. We were in this sort of protective bubble, being minimally impacted by the pandemic. Cindy’s situation burst that bubble for us- shattered it in to a million pieces along with our hearts.
In my nightmares I couldn’t imagine a more heinous scenario. Cindy contracted covid while 7 months pregnant and had to be intubated. Her husband, Dwayne, had to quarantine and recover from the virus on his own at home. Their little girls had to isolate with an uncle. The baby, removed via emergency c-section, was transferred to a different hospital (Did you know there is only one NICU in the country? At the public hospital, Karl Huessner Memorial, and it was only established in 2015… is that wild or what?!?) where he was also isolated. It was an impossibly tragic situation and the ultimate outcome was devastating- Cindy did not recover.
I still can’t fully wrap my head around it and I shudder to think about being in Dwayne’s shoes and having to pick up the pieces now for his family. All of Placencia recognizes and feels this loss; in a small community, one can have a significant impact and no one would argue against it: Cindy had a big impact on this community.
I’m so grateful she enlisted me to be her partner-in-crime whether it was exploring a new hiking trail or organizing and executing a new fundraising event. I mourn a future without her- without her organizing special events and play dates for the kids and family get-togethers and girl’s trips and BBQs. But I’ll just have to remind myself to celebrate the past that I enjoyed with her… like when:
She got a bunch of new (used) bunker suits donated to our Fire Department
Or when we organized buy-one-give-one food pantry chickens and cheeses
And when she had the brilliant idea to thieve flowers with friends and then again when we turned our pilfering in to a fundraiser
I’ll always remember what fun we had finding Lynam Prison (and meeting a random rasta out in the bush)
And how the whole town got in on the fun(draising) for Floatchella and the village-wide Scavenger Hunt
Well thanks for indulging me and reading this post whether you knew Cindy or not. It’s been cathartic writing this and therapeutic to reflect back on some of our shared experiences. Her contributions to the peninsula will not be forgotten and her friends and family will remember her proudly.
18 thoughts on “Apologies for our absence”
I met Cindy only once through my husband who met her at, at the time was called Tony’s Gym. She invited me to a women’s breakfast on the beach at Barefoot way back in 18/19 of our six wk stay in Placencia, where i may have met you & many awesome women that morning who put out so much kindness to an incoming stranger .It just made me fall in love with Belize/ Placencia even more. From there I have followed her adventures through you & your heart felt blogs.! Sent Donations through Cindy to all the different needs of the humaine society, served the humaine society when ever we came down. & like you and ALL of Placencia feel the heartbreak of Cindy’s passing & the tragedy its left. They say it takes a village & Dwayne & his beautiful family will now need this village ! ..& what a village to step up to this challenge. I have no doubt in my mind that the support will be great !! & her memory forever will be kept strong & alive throughout Placencia .
My heartfelt condolences to you & your family
Love your blogs ..stray strong
Hugs Donna Browne
Thanks for writing this Megan, absolutely beautiful!
Thanks for putting into words what so many of us are feeling, she was literally one in a million. So many times I’d find myself thinking how does she do it, how does she have such energy and such capacity to do for others while juggling her own life. I had so much admiration for her fire and drive. She will be missed.
Beautiful, well said tribute Megan. The loss is so great for so many. My heart goes out to Dwayne and the kids and you and all her close friends. Placencia will not be the same.
Thank you for remembering Cindy. She is missed and was a truly remarkable woman. I am glad you are there to help Dwayne and the girls and the baby, get through this.
Thank you for sharing, my heart has been with you through this and I’m so sorry for your loss. She was a force and won’t be forgotten ❤️
Thanks Shay, you’ve been such a kind and supportive friend- feels like you’re here! Great job with organizing fundraising I know it made a huge difference.
I love hearing stories of my beautiful cousin. Keep her memory alive indeed. Thank you for sharing. Lots of love
Oh I’m so glad! I bet we all have a million Cindy stories and we should keep sharing them- for ourselves, for the kids, for her memory
Megan, you always say it best, and this time even better. I especially appreciate how many of the adventures and fundraisers you’ve documented and shared. These are how Cindy needs to be remembered. Thank you and big hugs.
Thanks Anna. I know we’ll all often think back on the special adventures we shared with her. She left a lot of legacies and adventure memories are one of them!
I’ve always loved the way you write.. this time is so special. I’m glad that you took a little bit of time to congeal so many thoughts that you must be having.
Well said.. she will be very much missed.
Aw thanks Shari. It’s still so unfathomable, she’s missed a lot for sure
Thanks so much for this. I knew of her passing but not the how. I am so glad to have gotten the particulars without having to make anyone retell it. I have been to Placencia several times and I’m moving there in July. Of course everyone who ever looked for a place to live knows the Flowers name. I wish I could’ve met her. As you described her, I am sure we would’ve become friends. Thank you for a beautiful tribute to someone I wish I had met.
Thank you for this Megan. Cindy was a lifelong friend of mine starting back in our middle school years. The loss hurts but peace comes knowing she was always living her best life. Your description of her is perfect. ❤️
Thank you for sharing this beautiful testimony to Cindy’s impact on your and our lives. I worked with Cindy at Refugee Services of Texas and can vouch for Cindy’s sharp tongue and compassionate heart. I learned so much from Cindy on how to support our staff to do high quality work for our refugee clients. Cindy faced challenges with unstoppable, contagious determination and a visible repugnance for giving up. Cindy just wouldn’t give up on any of the refugee families we resettled in Texas. I’m praying for Cindy’s family. I’d be hard pressed to name a better feminist in my life time, she was particularly strident and courageous in advocating for single refugee women with children. I cannot understate the positive influence Cindy had on my career and values for supporting displaced families’ success in Texas. Please let me know if there’s anyway to support her family during this time.
I met Cindy a long time ago. We were working a Kindercare in Allen , Texas. She was going to college. And she had talked about this trip she went on with her family to Belize. She said when she finished school she was moving there . I just loved working with her. She had big ideas and big dreams. We had our hands full working with a group of two year olds .But, we always had fun. I’m so glad that I became friends with her . Well she left Kindercare and left for big adventures. Years had pasted and we came across each other’s path again at another school. This time she had her daughter with her. I was so happy to see her. We talked a little and got caught up with what had been going on in our lives. I have been just in shock and can’t believe she is gone . I’ve cried and had a hard time dealing with her loss. My heart and prayers go out to her family . I just wanna tell you she was a blessing to those who got to know her . I will never forget her .
Cindy was my niece when she was younger in the 80s. I didn’t get to see her very often but the times I did see her she was always happy and smiling. She grew into an amazing unstoppable force of nature! I never met her children or husband but reading all of the comments online show what a strong woman she was. I pray for her husband and 4 children now. God give them all strength, love, prayers and help from those in Belize who she helped in her life. Cindy will always be my niece. God needed her home so she went where she was needed. God bless her family!🙏