Memory. It's an interesting thing. This morning I remembered a memory from Halloween, 1968. Our family had come to the United States because Papa got very sick. I had just turned 4. My mom and I were staying at Queeny tower which was attached to Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, MO. The doctors were doing everything they could to save my father after doctors in Thailand said there was nothing they could do. My uncle Rey (my mom's brother) recommended Barnes Hospital in St. Louis so we traveled across the world. I spent my days at the hospital with my mom because I was too young to be in school. On Halloween, 1968 I remember going trick or treating with my siblings and cousins in Alton, IL. I don't remember much of the details other than I could only go so far with the 'big kids' and then I had to go home. Back home in Thailand I remember not being able to play with the 'big kids'. I remember crying and feeling left out. I would run to Papa and he would pick me up and carry me, and then all would be well heart emoticon. That Halloween I didn't have Papa to carry me or to make me feel okay.
The holidays are always bittersweet for me. I love Christmas music but the Christmas carol, 'Little Drummer boy' always takes me back to the months I spent as a 4 year old at Barnes Hospital ... in so many ways I was too young to really understand what was going on. On December 20, 1968, Papa was called to be with God, with Creator. Memories of that moment are forever etched in the mind and heart of a 4 year old who has spent a life time searching to understand, to be okay ... the last chorus of Little Drummer's Boy is: "Don't let them tell you you're not good enough, Don't let them tell you you're not strong enough, Me and my drum we're gonna change the world" .... for as long as I can remember, i have been so drawn to the sound of the drums. The heartbeat ... drumming moves me to tears; maybe it's because the beat of the drums is not only my heart beating, but it is Papa's heart beating .. it is Papa guiding me through spirits like Ahnung to do what I can to be of service ... I miss you Papa. Tonight, we'll go trick or treating together, with Ahnung, and no one can tell me I can't hang out with the big kids!!
|'Heartbeat' print - artist: Sharon Nordrum|