Sheril Ann Gooden, born October 25th, 1962 in Saint Thomas, Jamaica West Indies, was a beloved woman, mother, sister, and friend. From a young age Sheril was smart, responsible, and reliable. She was also well known and well-liked by members of the local community. She passed her high school entrance exam and enrolled herself in Morant Bay High School where she developed an interest in dentistry. In 1984 She moved to New York City, and was determined to continue her education in dentistry. She enrolled in Hostos Community College, where she graduated as a dental hygienist. Through all life’s accomplishments, Sheril’s greatest joy in life was being a mother to her only child, Sheena. She was determined to give her the opportunities she never had and worked hard to provide for Sheena. She moved from the Bronx to Manhattan to support her daughter’s passion for the arts which included ballet and music. She did all of this while continuing to work as a Dental Hygienist where colleagues and patients developed relationships with her that lasted for several decades. Some of whom became like family.
I first met Sheril when I was attending Morgan State University and became good friends with her daughter, Sheena Gooden. You can say the bond between Sheena and I is closer as we are both only children so we are the sibling the other never had. Sheril was another mother to me. She trusted me to watch after Sheena just like any big brother would their blood sister. She always gave great advice, good jokes, and when the time came, she would not hesitate to put us in our place. Sheril showered everyone around her with love and wanted the best for anyone she encountered. Sheril loved all of us and we love Sheril, and therefore this shirt was created.
Words from Sheena: "For 11 months I stood by my beautiful mother, Sheril Ann Gooden, as she battled Breast Cancer. Her Diagnosis rocked the core of my family, and I could do was be strong by her side. So Many nights I cried in fear and frustration, and I prayed she would find peace with God. And Now the matriarch of my family, the person I owe my whole life to has become my angel. Friday, march 1st my mother walked into the arms of God and her mother, and I will miss her forever. her strength will live within me." - Sheena Jezselle Gooden