Caribbean Fever - Your ONLY destination to all things Caribbean and more
Beyoncé's songwriter Diana Gordon has been reunited with her long-lost brother after a remarkable chance encounter when she recognized him sitting, homeless, at a bus stop 3,000 miles from home.
The singer - who wrote the now-infamous 'Becky with the good hair' line and co-wrote on the album Lemonade - had given up hope of finding her brother David after he left their home in New York, 16 years ago.
Writing about the moment she found her older brother sitting on two crates on the street in Los Angeles, Diana, 28, said: 'After the first decade went by, I lost hope of ever finding him.
‘These last few years, I accepted the fact that we were never going to find him... in my heart I had put him to rest.'
He was living rough only 'a few miles' from her home in LA.
The moment they were reunited: Diana Gordon was driving in Los Angeles, California, when she saw her homeless brother David - who had been missing for sixteen years - sitting on two black crates at a bus stop only a few miles from her LA home
Worlds apart: Diana - who was the middle child in their home in South Jamaica, Queens - pursued a successful music career and landed her first record deal when she was just 19 years old
The siblings were raised along with four other brothers and sisters by a single mother in Queens who struggled to take care of her six children abandoned by their father.
In the face of these challenges, David filled in for the absence of his father and would pack bags at the supermarket - before he was old enough for a real job - so he could raise money to help his sisters.
The siblings' paths couldn’t have been more different. Diana - who was the middle child in their home in South Jamaica - pursued a successful music career and landed her first record deal when she was 19 years old.
She's gone on to write hit songs for Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Lopez and Ciara, as well as Beyonce and is a successful singer and performer in her own right.
Of the moment she recognized him and stopped the car, she wrote: ‘My heart was beating, the tears had already begun to pour down my face. You see, after the first decade went by, I lost hope of ever finding him.
Back in the day: David and a Diana grew up in a family of seven in Queens, New York. David (pictured right) was the oldest of the six siblings and Diana was the middle child
‘Los Angeles has a population of nearly 10 million people. How is it that he was sitting alone at a bus stop less than a few miles from my home?’
Disheveled in a black hoodie and a pair of pajamas, David smiled at Diana when she introduced herself but it was clear the last 16 years away from home had taken a toll.
‘When I said hello, he beamed his old megawatt smile that is now missing two teeth and gave me a light-hearted, childlike "hey, how are you?" he did not recognize me as his sister.
‘As I continued to talk to him, I quickly realized my brother who had once built computers and gadgets out of spare parts has suffered severely in ways I have only begun to understand.
‘His memory is fragmented. His spirit defeated. He has only had his own thoughts to comfort him during this long stretch of time and because of that, a form of mental illness has set in.’
‘I remember when we were kids, all of the little things that took away the sting of the pain inflicted on him: a movie, a certain cereal, a comic strip. Those small, little pleasures that children enjoy are the only things he has been gently asking me for.
‘I guess that was the only way for him to survive all these years. His happy place.'
Family ties: Diana convinced her brother to go home with her and organized a birthday gathering for him last month to make up for the many years of birthdays he had missed
Diana (left) and Beyonce (center) photographed together at an afterparty for the Formation World Tour
Living hope: The Beyonce songwriter had given up on finding David 10 years into her search, and was overwhelmed with emotion when she saw him
Diana still has hopes of merging paths with David and has since connected him with his other sisters via FaceTime and has also shown him several old photographs of the family together.
‘I convinced him to come back with me to my house with the promise of a warm bed and food. He was hesitant, thinking it was a trick. He is not used to any sort of kindness.
‘I will do everything in my power to see him through to healing. He needs a break in his life...he has never had a single one.
The singer-songwriter is hoping to create a new normal for her brother and even organised a birthday bash for him last month.
Diana has since reached out to hospitals, counselors, social workers and friends to plan David’s next chapter and has set up a Gofundme page to help raise money for her brother to get back on his feet.
‘What has become apparent is that it is going to take a lot of care, time, nurturing, and a fair amount of money to gain some stability and consistency in his life, and to once and for all show him that he is not alone and that he is loved and worth loving.
‘Our goals are to get him medical care, psychiatric help, and assisted living.
‘I am in the process of gaining a conservatorship lawyer. So I can be the one to make important decisions on his behalf.’
Star power: The musician - who was one of the masterminds behind the infamous line, 'Becky with the good hair' has helped to write hit songs by Beyoncé, Mary J Blige, Ciara and Jennifer Lopez