Wednesday, 3 August 2016

For them. . .

This post is dedicated to anybody who loves their parents, whether they are in this world or the next

I've had some friends and family who have lost their parents or no longer live with their parents because they are overseas with families of their own, or they have grown apart.  I am in a very privileged position where my duty is to take care of my parents, while still trying to have some kind of semblance of making a contribution to the world through work and postgraduate study.  I distinctly remember as a younger woman how I thought it was unfair to expect me to do this duty, considering my brothers were allowed to roam free and live their own lives, make their own choices, to do whatever they pleased.  The irony of the situation now - I feel that even though I am with my parents, doing this duty, it has definitely been a duty of love, rather than a tour of duty because I have come to appreciate their wisdom, insight and wicked sense of humour.  My life is further enriched because of them.  My life would not be what it is now if not for them.

Lead me to water
Songs of my father
Show me the rhythm
Records in the kitchen
I'll get along, playing my father's songs

When my father speaks, he tells a story.  He has a way of explaining things that confirms and affirms our two main family professions: minister and teacher.  I guess it's safe to say that all the females who have the gift of the gab in our family, become teachers, while the males who possess the same gift, become ministers (or politicians, diplomats or academics).  If I think about what my father's songs will be, it will actually be all of his words that he has shared with me - both in song form and in speech; his rhetoric is unsurpassed in my mind and I must express my gratitude in being my father's daughter, my paternal grandmother's granddaughter - there are so many connections, hidden links and reason beyond about why and how I have ended up here.

Lead me to shelter
Songs of my mother
Show me the meaning
Music and wonder

It's my birthday here in NZ. I guess reflection arrives on the scene and you take stock of what you achieve year in and year out.  What can I say about my mother's songs?  She has so many and I love her ability to speak her mind and having no filter that makes me smile incessantly.  Even when she is in full matriarch mode - I can't help but smile at her because I admire the strength of a woman who has suffered and sacrificed much for me to be here.  She fasted for me, prayed to her god, the god of her ancestors to bring a daughter to her home.  And I showed up.  As you grow in such a staunch family you start to wonder about whether you are fulfilling what prophecies have been laid without your knowledge, but which you come to know when you are meant to know.  I have so much meaning shown to me through music and wonder.  There is nothing I don't love more than this.

I want my mother, I want my mother to be happy
I want my mother to be happy, and I'll be

The pride and happiness of my parents are very important to me.
You get to a certain age where you get to fulfill all of their wishes and dreams because they placed so much hope in you.  This is probably why I think of myself as Hope personified in my family - because I don't believe that there is any other way for me to be.  Even if I tried to deviate from my path, I couldn't.  I am meant to do things, see people. make things happen that will constantly put me in situations where I am attached, but I relish it.  I was born to do this.  I was born to do things. I was born because I want my mother to be happy, and I'll be. . . 

I want my father, I want my father to be happy
I want my father to be happy, and I'll be

Gaining my father's love and pride has never been hard.  I guess you could say I am daddy's girl, because I am the only daughter.  There is a Samoan saying e tasi ae afe - one but a thousand. My father uses this phrase often and I have heard it growing up.  He taught me to believe that even though I may only be one, I need to act like I am a thousand.  That even though I am only one, I am like a thousand girls, an army of women who can mobilise and do anything, achieve anything and be whoever I want to be.  This is exactly how you build self confidence and a respect for a bond between father and daughter.  There is so much that I love about my relationship about my father. and also with equal amounts of challenges - but I wouldn't have it any other way.  Expect nothing, accept everything.  I don't sweat the small stuff, I don't think about what I don't have.  This is probably why I smile so much - because when I look at my parents, I can't help but smile.

In light from the dark, there came a spark
Carried me down with a loving heart 
Where do we end
Love never far
Home is all I wanted
Never do we part

As much as you try to run away from home, to escape the roles and responsibilities that you have but I am a strong believer in  saying that - you can't go and help others when you don't start at home.  It's not even about the fact that charity begins at home, but that in order to be able to help others in the outside world. you need a bit of practice.  Wouldn't you practice and perfect something as much as possible, to hone your craft so that you produce high quality, stellar work that people value, speak highly about and come to trust and rely on you for these very attributes?

I have held this song as a draft post for a very long time in my folder but have never felt strong about it enough to publish until I was able to feel how the song moved me.  When I think about my birthday - I think about how much I have gained not in material possessions or anything like that, but just the moments, that when strung together feel like memories that create a life that I can be grateful for and think about how much I have lost, how much I have grown and who I find myself surrounded by.  It is increasingly becoming more about the people that are on the same mission as you.  Stay with those people.  Those people are your home. They will be all you have ever wanted :-)  

I want my father, I want my father ooh ooh ohh. . .