Friday, December 23, 2011

'A Guest At God's Table': My Father's Gift

On this day, 7 years ago exactly. I tragically and unexpectedly lost my father.
He genuinely was one of the kindest, most generous and loving beings that has ever graced our planet.

A talented artist and musician, my father taught me to search for, and appreciate beauty in all things.

His philosophies were simple. Do Good. Be Good. Help those who need it. Reach out to, learn from and appreciate other cultures. Most of all he dreamed of a Peaceful, Loving world for it's children to grow up in.

On this day 7 years ago I was in shock as the paramedics wheeled his lifeless body away and struggled to come to terms with a new reality: Life Without Dad.

In a blur of tears I made my way to his little artists studio out the back of our house. I wanted to feel his energy. His little studio was his creative haven. It's walls were lined with shelves displaying his treasured collection of books on art, music, architecture, spirituality, greek literature and hundreds of cd's and vintage vinyl recordings. His collection of guitars were propped all around, welcoming me with their comforting, woody smell. His desk was filled with notes and diaries, Christmas cards he'd received, Christmas cards he'd been writing.
At the very top of the many piles lay a lone sheet with a few lines in his distinct, arty penmanship.

I picked up the paper and read:

A Guest At God's Table

We are all visitors here, on Planet Earth
All guests at God's Table
We have to ask ourselves,
what have we brought to the table to share
what are the many gifts given to us
and what will we leave behind, in gratitude
for the hospitality,
and for the guests that follow us

December 2004

This was likely the last thing he had ever composed.

My father was now a Guest at God's Table.

What a beautiful gift.

It was like it was meant for me to find it, right there, right then. It warmed my heart and soul like a loving, comforting embrace.
Dad's message to me. Dad's message to us all. Our presence here on this lovely planet of ours is transient, we are not here forever, we are merely guests. The gifts given to us are our talents and our strenghts. My father's gifts were his kindness and his musical talent, and that is what he is most remembered for.

We all have gifts, we all have talents. What we need to do is be brave enough to open our hearts to them, accept them, use them and share them. 

What are your special gifts? Have you acknowledged them? Are you using them? Everybody has something special and unique about them, and that includes you, yes, YOU! Are you creative? A good listener? A nurturing cook? A loyal friend? An inspiring teacher? Do you express yourself through the written word? Do you move people with your music? Does your beautiful smile make someone's day? Your gifts and talents have a flow-on effect which in turn touches many lives, more than you'd realize.

So go on, Live your life doing what you Love. Make it count. Life is precious.

*This is a song my father composed when I was a young girl. Moved by scenes of famine and war in the Middle East, he felt compelled to write a song dedicated to the world's children, instead of asking for toys at Christmas, to wish for a Peaceful Earth. It is sung in Greek, but as music is a Universal Language, the sentiment is there.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dream Big, Little Ones

Some kids at school made me cry today.
They were not my darling twins who were singing and dancing on stage about 'Celebrating Friends' (although I was an extremely proud Mamma, gleefully recording them on my phone).
I shed a tear when the next group of children came out to share their Philosophy class project.
Each child was asked to think about a dream or goal they would like to achieve, and to think about what steps they needed to take to achieve them.

Inspired by a visit from inspirational sportsman and footballer, Jim Stynes, who is currently battling cancer, he asked the children to go home and make a poster of their dream, and to stick it up somewhere where they could see it everyday, reminding them that they have something to strive for in life.

The children came out on stage with their dreams in their hands. Bright, sparkly, glittery, shimmery dreams, decorated with pictures, photos, ribbons and drawings, held out proudly for all the teachers, parents and carers to see. Boys and girls with Hope in their hands, the Future in front of them. I scanned the placards: dreams of being a fisherman, a kennel keeper, a fashion designer, a teacher, to travel to Paris, to climb mountains, to build a house, to open a restaurant to feed hungry people, to discover treasure, to kick winning goals.

My heart swelled with admiration for these little beings, and a tear escaped from behind my big, black Oroton sunglasses and trickled down my cheek. It made me think of my own dreams. Have I achieved them all? No. But there's still time to turn my Dreaming into Doing.

I wish, hope and pray that all those children, and my children, and your children, and every child on this planet achieves their little dream, whatever that may be. Who are we to judge, or tell them it can't be done?

If there's anything that I really want to instill in my girls, it is To Believe in Themselves, and To Believe That They Can.

In the famous word's of Audrey Hepburn:

"Nothing is Impossible. The word itself says I'm Possible"

Are you living your Dream? 
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