As I am sitting here watching news, I don’t know but for whatever reason I suddenly missed Mom and Dad. Perhaps it’s because of the rain that I can hear from the outside. Rain can make me melancholy at times. That’s what me and my siblings call ‘the EMO- mode’.
I don’t know why I am sharing this story as it’s not mothers’ or fathers’ day yet I guess I’m on the “emo-mode” right now.
During the months of May and June, we celebrate Mother’s and Father’s Day respectively. Days that no matter how busy and in what location we are, we should always remember.
This is one thing that I firmly believe in – Honoring our self is important when we want to honor our parents.
I would like to share a very nice story. I know this had made an impact in how I see things around me. Though I don’t remember the exact version; whether I have seen this in a play somewhere or if I’ve read this as a story when I was younger, I’ll just share my own version, on a first person basis as if I was there…
It was a warm summer day, sitting at the park and enjoying a cone of ice cream, there was a child sitting beside me. She looked like a miniature Barbie doll. All dressed and dolled up with frills, complete with ribbons in her curly hair. She looked at me with awe at perhaps how I managed to eat it without spills on my crisp white linen dress. “Hey little girl, what’s your name?” She replied in a small voice, “Lejhla” (with a giggle). “I think you are about three, right?” I only got a fast nod as an answer. “Who are you with, Mommy?” She just managed a “Yup” while her eyes drool on my ice cream cone. “Mmmm?”
To gather the bits and pieces that I learned from this cute and cuddly Lejhla, she said she was with her mom whose name is Wonder Woman who looked exactly like Britney Spears. Her mom just left her at the bench to buy some food for her.
Now this small bundle of joy was completely taking over my ice cream. “Mommy nice, pretty, pretty , umm goodest?” I said, “Ah, you mean Mama is the best, ha ha”. While I was having my time and enjoying talking to this little girl, and she in return was enjoying the cone I held awhile ago, along came a very fat black lady, walking towards our bench. She looked at Lejhla and waved a hand. Well, maybe she’s their neighbour, I thought.
The lady suddenly picked up and cradled Lejhla in her big fat dangling arms, Oh! Maybe she is the house help, but what if not, I have to make sure the child is safe while her mom is away! So I stood up and said, “Excuse me Ma’am but we are waiting for her mom, kindly put her down please.” Now Lejhla seems fascinated with the “house help”, who suddenly said, “Oh thank you for looking after my daughter, I got delayed” she said. Then she took my hand and shook it.
I was still looking perplexed as she said her name was Eunika, and yes she was Lejhla’s mom. I was thinking oh no no, this must be some ploy, maybe a kidnapper or what. And it can’t be possible! The child was like an adorable cherub but..but..she was black and pardon me but she looked like she had pock marks all over her face as big as beans!
Not surprised by the way I stared, she asked me to sit down and proceeded to tell me the story, as if it has been etched on the palm of her hands. She was not surprised with my reaction, she expected it, well indeed! She said she’s used to it, she gets the stare all the time.
It appears that Lejhla’s father was European who pretended to fall in love with her and after getting the business for which he originally came for in her native Samoa, he packed bag and left, right about the time that she got pregnant. No pleas from her could make him come back, she asked for his help and all she got was ridicule, at how dumb and stupid she was to think that he will stay with her, at how ugly she was, and so forth and so on.
She then raised Lejhla on her own, with help of close family members. Eunika works in the dress making factory across the town, a difficult job but an honest means of raising this angel.
Oh how I felt suddenly so stupid, I felt like a moron! Now I understand what Lejhla sees in her that I don’t.
The promise of a bright future coupled with so much love and care. When they left, after having offered to buy her and Eunika some more ice cream, I stared after her and saw her differently.
What I saw was a woman of all means, a woman who struggled and survived, and one loving mother Lejhla can surely count and depend on, no matter what.
When things happen to us, all we see is the bleak future and all the sad things that we are experiencing. Let’s try to look at things around us, with the eyes of a child, full of expectation, hope and optimism. Some things are not always what it appears to be.