The topic of this month’s newsletter came about as a result of my father’s recent declining health, having suffered a stroke 4 years ago. He was the one person who could always reignite my smile when my tiny slice of the world was seemingly falling apart. And now his immense inner light is all but extinguished as his physical body is preparing to go back Home to God. To see my once strong hero, now frail, weak and dependent on others hurts my heart more than I can describe in mere words. My Dad was and is a self-professed Peter Pan, saying that he never grew up, as he seemed to live in the world but was not of it. His inner child was larger than life and he never lost the forest for the trees; always knowing what was most important in life. He never gave any importance to the amount of money he accumulated and rarely did he speak about his successes in business. But what he did often speak was his amazing wife, our mother, and how he would be nothing without her. (They have been married 64 years.) He spoke about his four children with so much love and pride and he glowed when he spoke about our achievements. Rather than getting his sense of identity from his business accomplishments, he found joy in channeling the voice of God through his remarkable poetry and the stories that he wrote for us as children and for his grandchildren.
My Dad was and is so deeply aligned with the beauty and grandeur of Mother Nature, that the themes of his poems were so often about returning to the wisdom that is found in God’s handiwork and how each one of us also has that inner guidance system in the wisdom God placed in our soul. My Dad was and is a man of vision and showed us by his example that if you give fuel and nourishment to your dreams anything is possible. Perhaps because he was a poor child of the depression, he grew up with a hunger and a burning desire to discover the world and see beyond the streets of the South Bronx, which was his childhood neighborhood in New York City. He kept his vision alive by giving focus and fuel to his desires of one day owning ocean front property. And it was his heartfelt desires that lead him to synchronistic connections in the 60’s to fulfilling that dream in Western Australia.
I remember when I was a young girl, sitting with my Dad on our front porch and he took it upon himself to try and tutor me in math in order to improve my failing grades. (I still think that I simply was not born with the math gene.) Creating many innovative ways to try and get me to understand math, his patience was wearing very thin and out of frustration I began to cry and called myself a failure. Closing the school book, he put his arm around my shoulder and just hugged me until I stopped sobbing. It was then that he said, “You know Candy, none of this really matters. In years to come, you will go on to be a grown woman and it won’t matter if you get geometry or not. What matters most is what you think about yourself and if you are happy. I would much prefer if you did not know math and that you were happy.
Delicious moments of joy mattered to my Dad, and he went out of his way for his children to really experience the many flavors of life. I remember when I was in the 3rd grade and my Dad asked to have a meeting with my school teacher. He told her that he would be taking his children out of school to live overseas for three months and that to please give him all their school work as he would tutor us when we were away. When the teacher said that he simply could not do this, as I would miss out on too much school work, my Dad calmly explained that my horizons would be much more expanded on our travels, rather than by sitting in her classroom for those three months.
My Dad was and is a rebel and never wished to follow the conformity of life for he knew how very special that he was and to never give up his individuality and his uniqueness. This was evident from a very young age when he allowed himself to be a channel and touched by the voice of God when he wrote this amazing insightful poem at the tender age of 11.
The Angel Poem
An Angel once drew near to me And said in heavenly voice, I will give you but one wish Pray what will be your choice? I said “My Godly messenger I’ve traveled far and wide, I’ve had the best of teachers You see I’m not untried. And if I must but make one wish My mind is clear and free, For rather than own all the world, Let me but myself be. Leonard Milgraum
My Dad was and is a compassionate father. I remember when I was 15 years old being forced to go on a summer camping holiday overseas with my family, leaving behind my beloved boyfriend. Grumpy and bad tempered, I helped set up camp when we arrived at a new campground. It was then that my Dad grabbed the Frisbee and suggested we throw it back and forth for awhile. Now, I must brag that my Dad was an amazing athlete, so when he kept throwing it over my head and it kept landing near the neighbor’s campsite, I had to run and fetch it. Next to us was a family with teenage sons and every time I would retrieve the Frisbee, we would smile at each other. After awhile we struck up a conversation and suddenly the camping holiday was not as much a ‘hardship’ as I thought it would be. My Dad is very clever.
My father is a man who always danced to the beat of his own drum and created a wonderland of remarkable memories that will always stay with me. When I turned 12, I remember that my Dad planned a treasure hunt for myself and my girlfriends to follow at my birthday party. All the clues lead to more clues and then to finding presents. When I think back for the life of me, I cannot remember what those presents were. But I remember my fathers beaming face and his laughter as he watched a dozen pre-pubescent girls running all over the place, trying to figure out clues. I remember my Dad’s laugh, and his zest for life.
It is with so much love and gratitude that I say thank you to my magical Dad for giving me the most wonderful present of all. Is is the invaluable gift of yourself, your time, your care and your love, for it is these presents that have enriched my life and will continue to give me great joy throughout eternity. You have been and are an invaluable treasure in my life. I love you Dad. Love and Angel Blessings, Candy