Yesterday we were at our last festival… the last before we leave for our next trip…
the one that will bring me back to my parents’ arms after an entire year of absence.
Yesterday at the festival we saw the son of a friend. His name is Ascanio. He is 30 something. He is the middle child of 4 other brothers and sisters (the last of which suffers from severe autism). Yesterday we spoke with Ascanio about his mother, our dear friend, Fausta. Fausta passed away last November. She was a mother of 5 children. A pastor. A basket weaver. She was an icon, a diva of Nature and all its beauty. Fausta was tough and rough around the edges. She was one of those rare human beings that emanate greatness. Underneath her raggedy clothes and overworked skin she glowed of elegance and wisdom. She was real. Ascanio spoke, and with an unexplainable love in his eyes… with pride and devotion… joy and strength, he told us about his mother and all that she had left her children… and how on one Saturday evening in November she floated away in his arms. We spoke about what Fausta left every single person she touched, including us. This morning, as many times before, I meditated and felt Fausta all around me… telling me about my fears and defects. Reminding me what kind of mother I am and want to be…. what I want to leave my children… an unexplainable love, pride and devotion, joy and strength. I only saw Fausta a dozen or so times, yet I feel her because she is forever in me.
I am sharing this story to my fathers (I am lucky enough to have all three still) and the father of my daughters for Father’s Day. I am sharing it with my brother, David, an incredibly loving father… And, I am sharing it to all of you that no longer have your parents physically with you… these people pass away and it is up to us (those remaining) to keep them alive. I believe that there is an infinite number of souls out there… but they only exist if we allow them to.
I am also sharing this poem (sent to me by my first daddy)… hope you enjoy it and enjoy the day.
LOVE TO ALL,
Her hair was up in a pony tail,
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 impatiently,
anxious in their seat.
One by one the teacher called
on a 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,
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 offend 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 there 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 a 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 is an American Soldier
and he died just this past year, ,
when a roadside bomb hit his convoy
and taught Americans to fear.
But sometimes when I close my eyes,
it’s like he never went away.”
And then she closed 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 saw before them;
who knows what they felt inside.
Perhaps for merely a second,
they saw him at her side.