Changing scenes of life
By Ricky Jordan | Mon, July 30, 2012 - 12:04 AM
LAST WEEKEND USHERED in yet another scene in my life, as most days do with each and every one of us, I suppose. It’s as if some invisible but ever-present stage manager continues to move the props and stage set without our being able to stop him, in an act that has only one beginning and one end.
Scene after scene, troublesome and joyous, is played out beyond our control, making the results either unique treasures or sources of regret, but experiences that we would not exchange for anyone else’s.
Last Saturday was the beautiful and momentous day I gave my daughter’s hand in marriage: my firstborn, the one who first made me realize over 25 years ago that life was more than my starring in my own play, more than the fun and frolic of each passing day on the beach and each night in the disco.
She dragged me kicking and screaming into the world of responsibility where I had to focus on family, career, and God – the last, though, not as devotedly as I would have liked. So last weekend was indeed memorable. I didn’t shed tears, nor did I laugh loudly but, with mixed emotions, I gave my daughter away so that her husband and my son-in-law could love her with a love that is far different from mine but no less intense.
He can be there for her in sickness and in health as I and her mother have been although, thankfully, we are still strong enough to jump right in and take care of her if the need arises.
Last weekend was also one of life’s scenes which I have now stored in my heart; just as I have kept, as fresh as yesterday, the scenes of my firstborn entering nursery school at the age of two and a half years, “graduating” from Wesley Hall Infants to junior school, entering the hallowed halls of Combermere, graduating from the University of the West Indies, entering the world of work alongside her beloved auntie, and taking the oath of Holy Baptism as a born-again Christian.
If these things are not important, then nothing is.
At times when I read about young fathers who lovingly call their daughters “daddy’s girls”, I’m aware that those two words speak volumes, and I’m proud to know that I have been there, done that and, because of God’s mercy and grace, I still feel like a special “daddy” today.
I was also, quite unexpectedly, reminded of this by a colleague recently, a man who does not profess Christianity but who told me that special moments like these, family achievements and “blessings” – his words – far outweigh the seemingly mammoth issues, work-related and otherwise, that sometimes sadden me and threaten to cast a pall over my very existence but, on reflection, are so very mundane.
Then last weekend I looked at my children, relatives and friends, and all that we’ve shared together, and saw them with new eyes; I became acutely aware of the way each of these people have made an indelible and unique impact upon my life.
And I realized that I am indeed blessed, sprinkled with the physical and mental health to fully participate and understand the depth of these wonderful moments, and showered with the spiritual health to know that I did nothing to deserve such gifts but that God gave them to me anyway.
My daughters and sons fill distinct areas of my life in wonderfully different ways and I am proud of them all; but particularly proud today that my firstborn has made someone a blessed and fortunate life partner.
My mother, impressed with the groom’s speech, said God gave him a good wife because he made it a priority to serve Him. I could not have put it better.
Other things made Saturday special: the camaraderie, bright sunshine, pleasant scenery and light showers. It was yet another one of my life’s unforgettable scenes, I thought; and while some scenes reflected pain as I leafed back through memory’s pages, I instinctively knew that life was still worth living and the One who made this wonderful gift called life is worthy of the highest praise.
Furthermore, despite the seemingly random acts we commit and experiences we go through when we’re hardly conscious of these “scenes” being played out, a moment of reflection always shows that there was an amazing pattern to all this. Congrats to Kelah and Mario!
• Ricky Jordan is an associate editor of the Nation. Email RickyJordan@nationnews.com
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