I am but a child,

I know of my mother,

The stranger comes, and goes,

He works far far away,

In the big city,

He is my father,

He sits alone when he is around,

In the big house, at that table, at that seat,

His voice booms but once,

Sends scurrying scared small one to her feet,

I am but a child,

But not a child anymore,

He retired,

Now I see him often,

Now I know him more,

He speaks wisdom,

He encourages,

He seeks opportunities,

He admonishes,

He has moments,

Some are embarrassing,

Some make him proud,

See, all is part of this journey,

The journey of being a parent.

He takes me to school,

A form one,

Scared as I am,

He leaves me,

In a school so huge,

I feel negligible,


But I must make my mark.

I get my first D, in SEE…

His voice is encouraging,

See child,

When you fail,

You get another chance,

To work harder,

And be better,

So I work harder.

I am better.

School is over,

Results are out,

He calls the school,

I told you my child,

If you work harder,

You become better.

You excelled.

You should be a doctor,

But I do not want to,

What do you want child

I want to be an engineer,

We shall change the courses,

I get the first selection,

You get the second,

A stranger gets the third,


Good deal!

He brings me to the big city,

The city with many cars and lots of people,

And we change courses,

And on our way home,

We bet,

Something to do with the direction of the sun,

He wins,

I owe him fifty shillings,

I never got to pay,

I still owe him.

The stranger won.

Architecture begins,

And he is there with me,

Always present,

Always encouraging.

Its a tough journey,

Lots of work,

Lots of time,

Lots of expenses,

Some moments are worse than others,

And it ends,

And we celebrate,

It was a big day,

Bigger than I imagined it could be.

I start work and he cheers me on,

Work hard,

Be kind to those you encounter,

Be diligent,

Integrity my child,

And when you get the chance, go back to school.

I go on.

I work.

I study.

I graduate again.

Its my wedding day.

He still shows up.

He walks me down the isle

To the next important man of my life.

Even with reservations,

On some of the decisions I make, he still shows up.

And he blesses my journeys.

Now he is sick,

Pancreatic cancer,

My friend tells me,

And true it is,

Its hospital,

And surgery,

And more hospital and more surgery, 4 of them.

Eventually, he couldn’t take it any more,

He calls us home,

It is a moment of closure,

And I miss it.

I miss the closure,

And in a few weeks,

He is gone.

Just like that.

The phone call came very early,

Last evening, dad left us,

The caller said,

He just closed his eyes,

And never opened them again.

They rushed him to hospital.

He did not make it.

I do not remember weeping.

The days that follow,

Are hazy.

My friends visit.

Another accompanies me home,

I cry a bit when I get there,

Then its planning and planning,

And then we lay him to rest,

And on this rainy day,

As he was covered with dirt,

I lay my head on a priests shoulder,

Fr. Richard is his name,

And I cry and cry.

And then its back to normal.

What is normal.

It was just the beginning,

Of a long slippery slope!!!