Daddy’s Day

Once in a while, you come across something that brings tears to your eyes.  Something that reminds you of the vulnerability of the human soul; and at the same time, gives you hope that no matter what we might be going through, we are truly blessed with an indomitable will.  Something that reminds you that there is nothing that we can’t do as long as we allow ourselves to.

This poem did exactly that for me, I hope you enjoy it too.

Her hair was up in a ponytail
Her favorite dress tied with a bow
Today was Daddy’s Day at school
And she couldn’t wait to go.
But her mommy tried to tell her,
That she probably should stay home.
Why the kids might not understand,
If she went to school alone.
But she was not afraid;
She knew just what to say.
What to tell her classmates
Of why he wasn’t there today.
But still her mother worried,
For her to face this day alone.
And that was why once again,
She tried to keep her daughter home.
But the little girl went to school,
Eager to tell them all.
About a dad she never sees,
A dad who never calls.
There were daddies along the wall in back,
For everyone to meet
Children squirming impatently,
Anxious in their seats.
One by one the teacher called,
Each student from the class.
To introduce their daddy,
As seconds slowly passed.
At last the teacher called her name,
Every child turned to stare.
Each of them was searching,
For a man who wasn’t there.
“Where’s her daddy at?”
She heard a boy call out.
“She probably doesn’t have one”
Another student dared to shout.
And from somewhere near the back,
She heard a daddy say,
“Looks like another deadbeat dad,
Too busy to waste his day.”
The words did not offened her,
As she smiled up at her mom.
And looked back at her teacher,
Who told her to go on.
And with hands behind her back,
Slowly she began to speak.
And out from the mouth of a child,
Came words incredibly unique.
“My daddy couldn’t be here,
Because he lives so far away.
But I know he wishes he could be,
Since this is such a special day.
And though you cannot meet him,
I wanted you to know.
All about my daddy,
And how much he loves me so.
He loved to tell me stories
He taught me to ride my bike.
He surprised me with pink roses,
And taught me to fly a kite.
We used to share fudge sundaes,
and ice cream in a cone.
And though you cannot see him,
I’m not standing here alone.
Cause my daddy’s always with me
Even though we are apart.
I know because he told me,
He’ll forever be in my heart.”
With that, her little hand reached up,
and lay across her chest.
Feeling her own heartbeat,
Beneath her favorite dress.
And from somewhere in the crowd of dads,
Her mother stood in tears.
Proudly watching her daughter,
Who was wise beyond her years.
For she stood up for the love
Of a man not in her life.
Doing what was best for her,
Doing what was right.
And when she dropped her hand back down,
Staring straight into the crowd.
She finished with a voice so soft,
But its message clear and loud.
“I love my daddy very much,
He’s my shining star.
And if he could he’d be here,
But heaven’s just too far.
You see he was a fireman
And died just this past year.
When airplanes hit the towers
And taught Americans to fear.
But sometimes when I close my eyes,
It’s like he never went away.”
And then she closes her eyes,
And saw him there that day.
And to her mother’s amazement,
She witnessed with surprise.
A room full of daddies and children,
All starting to close their eyes.
Who knows what they say before them,
Who knows what they felt inside.
Perhaps for merely a second,
They saw him at her side.
“I know you’re with me Daddy.”
To the silence she called out.
And what happened next made believers,
Of those once filled with doubt.
Not one in that room could explain it,
For each of their eyes had been closed.
But there on the desk beside her,
Was a fragrant long-stemmed pink rose.
And a child was blessed, if only for a moment,
By the love of her shining bright star.
And given the gift of believing,
That heaven is never too far

– From the poem Daddy’s Day, by Cheryl Costello-Forshey

The Invitation.

I can add my thoughts but I hardly think that I could do better than Oriah.  Her poem is timeless and a true representation of what honest relationships ought to be like.  Enjoy!


By Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for,
and if you dare to dream of meeting
your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love, for your dream,
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon.
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow,
If you have been opened by life’s betrayals,
Or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain,
Mine or your own,
Without moving
To hide it or fade it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy,
Mine or your own,
If you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
Without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic,
or to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself,
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.
I want to know if you can be faithless and therefore be trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty
Even when it is not pretty every day,
And if you can source your life
From its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure,
Yours and mine,
And still stand on the edge of a lake and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes!”

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair,
Weary and bruised to the bone,
And do what needs to be done for the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you are, how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the center of the fire with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
When all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
With yourself,
And if you truly like the company you keep
In the empty moments.

 

 

The Pain of Being a Commuter in Nairobi.

I had an altercation with a conductor yesterday as I was going home.  For those who know me, public displays (whether good or bad) are just not my thing.  You can imagine how it must have felt arguing with an unreasonable man in a ‘matatu’ full of people.

So what was the bone of contention, you may ask?

Apparently, I broke some cardinal ‘matatu rule’ by paying my 50sh fare using a 1000sh note.  Seriously???

The guy had the audacity to ask me to give him 50sh in exchange for my hard earned thousand despite my many pleas that I had nothing else to give him.  He then went on to ignore me completely for most of the journey.

About a kilometre from where I was alighting, I again asked him for my change and this time he became menacing and started mumbling, “Nyi watu mmetuzoea sana.  Leta finje nikupe ngiri yako na uache kunisumbua.  Unafikiria ni kazi yangu kukutafutia change” (You people take us for granted.  Give me fifty and I’ll return your thousand bob.  You think it’s part of my job to look for change).   At this time I was still begging him, trying to avoid a scene but the guy threw his hands at me then pushed his head out of the window effectively turning off any form of civilized communication.

That’s when I snapped and raised my voice at him.  Probably not the wisest thing I’ve ever done but I was fed up with trying to reason with an illogical, irrational, extortionate brute (sorry, but there; I said it and feel so much better already).

To cut the long story short, the driver and one older lady did come to my aid (God bless their souls) and prevailed upon the conductor to give me back my money.  As mad as I was, I couldn’t help thinking what exactly we are doing wrong as a country.

Why does it seem like our priorities are turned upside down?

How come those who are supposed to serve us have become predators?

And why does it not seem to bother us much that our country is going to the dogs?

Something has to be done.  I am not sure what but we can’t and shouldn’t just allow this blatant form of thuggery to take over our neighborhoods, our country.  For starters, it is time we spoke up instead of allowing ourselves to be cowed.

I know you understand me: how many times have you been violated and kept quiet because you thought it was hopeless to speak up?  I reckon you already stopped counting.

This is my challenge; SPEAK UP!  Start with where you are.  We can restore some sense of respectability, one voice at a time.

PS:  As I was writing this, I discovered other blogs with similar incidents.  I have included one that I found to be quite interesting.

If I Knew You & You Knew Me

I have heard it said that everyone wears a mask to the outside world.  That we never really allow others to see our true selves.  Fear of rejection keeps us hedged in as we ceaselessly try to portray a ‘picture perfect’ life.  The world reinforces our false beliefs by reminding us constantly that we have to make a good ‘first impression’.

But, what if we met and gave each the chance to be honest with ourselves and with each other?

What if we refused to allow ‘stereotypes’ to colour our perception?

What if I truly knew you and you knew me?

Then we would realize that we are not as different as we think.  At the end of the day, we all want the same things.  We have the same dreams and aspirations.  It really matters not what corner of the universe you are at.  You and I are the same and if we only knew, then we would learn to get along.

Or as Nixon Waterman put it:

If I knew you and you knew me,
If both of us could clearly see,
And with an inner sight divine,
The meaning of your heart and mine,
I’m sure that we would differ less,
And clasp our hands in friendliness;
Our thoughts would pleasantly agree,
If I knew you and you knew me.

Positive Confessions.

Sometimes it’s difficult to stay positive with so much going on and giving up seems the easier option.

But just when it seems like you are done, a flicker of hope arises; a joyful song in the midst of mourning, an unexpected kind and timely word, or a simple smile that restores some trust in humanity.

You are not alone, so please hold on if only it be a minute longer.

Take a leaf from those who’ve gone before you and know that nothing is impossible to them that believe.

AND PLEASE REMEMBER:

Promise Yourself –
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness and prosperity
to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is
something in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything
and make your optimism come true.

To think only of the best, to work only for the best
and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and
press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and
give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that
you have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and to be too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

– The Optimist Creed by Christian D. Larson

Promises, Hope and Dreams.

Aside

Promises were made,

Vows were exchanged,

The beauty of fulfillment,

But then life happened,

Was it all an illusion?

 

The more things change,

The more they remain the same,

All effort seems wasted,

On the futility of this cause,

When will the tide change?

 

 

Yet some hope still lingers,

The embers refuse to die,

Just one more day, one more time,

As we wait for renewal,

For sometimes, dreams do come true.