All Diana Stuart wants is a home for the holidays, and for her family to be back together.
Since Stuart lost her home in New Orleans, St Michael to fire on June 24 this year, her family has been separated, living with various relatives.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY Monday evening from her boyfriend’s house at Parris Gap, St Michael, Stuart said it would not be much of a merry Christmas for her because all she could think about was the fact that her family would not be together.
“Christmas is a time for family, but my family is split up. It’s real sad. I’m here by my boyfriend; my mum and my last daughter are by my sister and my big daughter and grandson are by her father. We aren’t together. It makes me feel really sad because right now I’m sick and stressed out. I suffer with anxiety attacks so I try to calm myself,” a dejected Stuart said.
While accepting that getting a home in time for Christmas was nothing but a distant dream, she held out hope that her wish would become a reality early in the New Year.
“For next year, 2017, I would like a new house, good health and for my family to be back together,” she said.
Stuart said life has been difficult for her since the fire, and it has been taking a toll on her mentally and physically.
“I only work two days a week. My mother works in the market and there isn’t much flying fish around so things are very hard. My big daughter doesn’t work so it’s a real challenge at this point. Losing a house is a lot of stress on your body. People would say you have your life and so on, but it’s a real hard thing to experience.”
Stuart said she was not sitting and waiting for assistance, but her efforts have been in vain.
She said she has already secured lumber with assistance from relatives, but she needed help with the foundation and the roof.
Visits to the Urban Development Commission and the Welfare Department have not been fruitful, she added, and Member of Parliament for The City Jeffrey Bostic has been of little help.
“I spoke to Jeffrey Bostic when it first happened. I spoke to the guy at his office as well. The last time I heard him was around school time when he called to ask if I needed anything for the children but, he hasn’t gotten back into contact with me,” she said.
Still, the fire victim said, she was grateful to those who have offered assistance, however small, including food.