Open Letter to My Father

Dear Daddy,

My first day at school took you by complete surprise. I am told that while you dropped Nna off at school, I wandered into a class, sat, and refused to leave. You didn’t force me to come home with you and simply returned at the close of day.

You have always known this little girl’s heart. In that moment, you came to the realization that I would veer into many unchartered waters and you knew to let me be.

It was you who showed me how to be bold, to speak up, to ask questions. You showed me how to love God and persevere in prayer. You have prayed me into my destiny and covered me, as the priest of our home.

Your love made me unafraid, it made me sure of who I was. With you I was free to be me, to say what I thought. With you, I have known something I have never known with anyone else, security.

When you walk into a room, nothing could possibly go wrong. Your love gave me wings and your unshakeable presence taught me to use them. The gift of your name gave me something to defend, to uphold.

As my friend, you showed me the power of conversation and its ability to shift mindsets and transform hearts.

Your wisdom, your wit, your heart, and all that makes you who you are, I adore.

Thank you for surviving. Thank you for surviving and thriving through all life has thrown at you. Thank you for surviving the Civil War for me, for us. You are the rose that blossomed from concrete.

Because of you, I know what I deserve. Because of you, delighting in God’s love for me is easy.

For holding my hand when my heart was unsteady, for giving me jackets laden with your warmth and scent, for lending me your faith when mine vanished, I thank you.

For loving my mind just as much as you love my heart, I thank you. For trusting me to honor your legacy and your name far away from home, I thank you. For teaching me the virtue of hardships and their ability to produce resilient souls, I thank you. For holding me in my pain and tickling me to get me out of it, I thank you. For letting me play doctor/fashion guru/small mommy/lawyer/politician/journalist/personal assistant/banker, I thank you.

Because of you and mama, our tiny home has laughter baked into its walls.

May your spirit never fade. May your wife be a fruitful vine and your children like olive branches around God’s table.

May all the seeds of kindness you have sown in all directions, return to you bountifully.

And may you know, always and forever, that you are loved, honored, and will never walk alone.

Always your little,

Manma

Rain. Mist. Seas.

Flow but never lose your substance

Bend through creeks, flow into lakes

Cause floods, quench raging fires

Carry thunder

Clean, absolve, make new

Renew broken spirits

Refresh tired bodies

Signal the beginning of a new season

Cause life to flourish

Sustain it

Flow but never lose your substance

 

photo credit: Milo McDowell

Roused by the Sounds of Morning

The apartment I share is situated by a long road that bends to the left and to the right. At the dawn of summer days, sunlight filters through the window and wakes me. On crisp September mornings, I hear the rustle of leaves carried by the wind.

At night, it appears as though the cars zooming back and forth are rushing to or returning from another day of toil. Another day of making things come together for complete strangers.

When I get out of bed early enough, I brew a cuppa tea and see schoolchildren as they chatter and queue up. The jolly little fellows await the bus eagerly.Continue reading “Roused by the Sounds of Morning”

To My Mother, With Love

There was a thing about her, an aura if you like. When she smiled her deep, dark eyes twinkled. Her shoulders jerked up and down with every bellow of laughter. She was quick to plant kisses on my forehead and grab me fondly by the cheek. She was soft and her arms jiggled like jelly when she motioned. When she spoke her mind, never was she without kindness and grace. Her full hips swayed from side to side when she planted one foot in front of another. Her mind was set on who she was and I loved watching her.

Behind the twinkle in her eyes was the look of someone who knew life. She had endured heart-wrenching pain and knew numbing loss. She had been cherished and betrayed and knew the intricacies of living with and without.

She was my mother. She still is.

Continue reading “To My Mother, With Love”