Waiting for Divine Reunion
If you lived in Jamaica, Queens, and heard a knock on your door on a Saturday morning, it might have been Calvin Dawson and his family. Saturday was preaching day for Mr. Dawson, a Jehovah's Witness, and spreading the word of the Bible was a mission he shared with his wife, Lena, and their daughter, Tatiana, 7.
His English accent, held over from his youth on the British Virgin Islands, reminded people of Sidney Poitier, but that was not enough to keep most people from slamming their doors. "We may reach out for three hours," Mrs. Dawson said, "and find only one person who was open to our message. Calvin helped you see the good in that. That might be one life that you saved."
Mrs. Dawson was three months pregnant with Tatiana when Mr. Dawson, 47, became a computer network administrator for Euro Brokers.
The rest of his energies were focused on his family. If he went to a movie, he went with Tatiana, and he helped care for his mother, Idialia, who has Alzheimer's disease. "We firmly believe in life after death," said Mrs. Dawson, "and we believe that we will see Calvin again. It's so real to us that even though we're sad — he was our best friend — the idea that we'll see him again helps alleviate that sadness."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on March 24, 2002.