|Maynard’s widow recalls last phone call with husband|
Guardian Staff Reporter
Published: Aug 16, 2012
Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman Charles Maynard spent the last few minutes of his life on a phone call with his wife talking about their children and taking a vacation together.
Maynard’s wife, Zelena, said she and her husband had a policy in their marriage to never go to bed without saying goodnight.
“I called him just to say goodnight and he told me what his plans were after he would have already finished the campaign (in North Abaco) and that he would be home soon,” she said yesterday at her in-laws’ home in Coral Harbour.
“He asked me about the kids and if I had them ready for school [and] he told me that he wanted to take a nice vacation.”
She said after talking for a bit she heard him ask the driver to pull over on the side of the road.
“He needed to use the bathroom and he said ‘honey I’ll call you right back’, but I never got a call back and that was it,” Zelena Maynard said.
According to an FNM statement, Maynard, 42, was riding along with FNM Secretary General Michael Foulkes in the Blackwood area of North Abaco around 12:30 a.m. on Tuesday when he fell ill and collapsed.
He was pronounced dead by medical personnel on the island at or about 1:30 a.m., said the statement.
Maynard was the co-ordinator for the FNM’s North Abaco by-election campaign. He was elected chairman of the party in May after he lost his Golden Isles seat in the general election, and his party was voted out of office.
According to his family, Maynard died as a result of a massive heart attack. The former minister’s relatives said an autopsy revealed that he had an enlarged heart.
Maynard’s widow said she got the call shortly after 2 a.m. that he had passed and couldn’t believe it.
“Earlier this afternoon, [my daughter] saw me out there and she said ‘mommy why are you crying? you have to be strong’ and I told her that I’m sad. She said, ‘Well I’m not crying because today is Tuesday and my daddy said he’ll be back today’,” Maynard said.
“She doesn’t understand; she’s waiting for her daddy to come home [Tuesday] afternoon.”
Maynard has three daughters.
His mother Isadora and father Andrew ‘Dud’ Maynard said they were devastated to learn of his death.
“I was looking forward to him coming back home from Abaco and coming here alive, not dead,” said his mother.
His father flew to Abaco to retrieve the body on Tuesday.
“I put my hands around Charles’ face and I was tempted to say, ‘Charles arise’, like the Lord said, ‘Lazarus come forth’,” said an emotional Maynard.
“But instead, I decided to talk to God and it was then that I decided to make a covenant with God that I will not question him...lose my faith in him and I asked God to give me the strength to continue my faith in him.”
His father said Maynard might not have realized how stressful Family Island campaigning is and how it was affecting him.
“I would not dare say he meant to kill himself, but I don’t think he realized how much [of an] effect it was having on him,” he said.
Former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham also stopped by the family’s home yesterday. He said he was so impressed with Maynard that he created a new ministry just for him.
Maynard’s family said funeral arrangements had not yet been finalized.