Happy New Year to all my family and friends. I often wonder when it is acceptable to greet new people and wish them A Happy New Year. A week or a month? I would say a week though others think a month. It has been a while since I have uploaded a post so I take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy New Year! I am uploading this because many people who attended my dad’s funeral suggested I should upload my tribute about my experience with my dad. I aim to do a blog about my personal experience in sport, my deafness, lifestyle and travelling experiences which are all personal to me. In terms of what I said in my tribute, I want other people to read it in the hope they will feel motivated to do better, be better and strive to achieve whatever it is they want to achieve in life.
My best friend, my teacher, my role model, my adviser and most importantly my father. My father gave me life to show the world that I have a purpose to be here. He never allowed my deafness to prevent me from doing things such as being able to talk, hear, work and to live. He sacrificed his life in Montserrat to be in England to support me because he wanted me to have a good life just like my brothers and sisters. He did not want any of his children to go through a difficult period because he started from nothing. I remember when my dad said to me that people were saying that I cannot hear or speak and he was furious with them. He would shut them down and still given me the freedom to be able to understand what is happening in the real world. I went to school and I was home-schooled but I have never gone to speech and language therapy. He did not want the professionals to teach me how to talk, or to hear things. It is because they do not know me more than he does. He would send me to music class because he knew that, with music, I would be able to identify the sounds. He went to buy books to make sure that I was able to read and understand what I was being taught at school.
Do you know what he said to me before I went to school and university? He said, “A fool asks many questions to become wise.” He encouraged me not to be afraid to ask questions. I was afraid to ask questions and now I am not afraid. Could you even imagine a person like me going to school, graduated from secondary school, achieved my degree and completed my masters? The lord kept him alive so he could encourage me and my siblings to dream it, believe it and achieve it. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it was not for him. I was the last person whose hand he held onto when he was feeling the pain before he passed. I genuinely thought he would be back in one piece. I was only 11 when he got his first cancer, and younger than that when he had a heart problem and only months ago recently when he was diagnosed with breast cancer. I wanted to give up things just to be there with him, but he refused adamantly. And I quote his exact words “I want my children to live and have a life. “I do not want them to feel my pain. Let the pain be my only issue, no one else.” I did not like that but he was so positive. If I wanted to say one negative thing, he would completely shut me down. If I asked him how he was feeling he would just smile and said let’s go somewhere for a walk and then we would go to a restaurant to sit down, eat and talk.
We all know he was a very sick person but he never looked like a sick person and he never complained about how he was feeling. Whatever the doctors said he needed to do he just did it. He never questioned them. He said they are the expert and God knows me better than the doctors. God’s plan is always the best. A key for every problem, a light for every shadow, a relief for every sorrow and a plan for every tomorrow. My dad achieved his goal, he wanted me to be a teacher but instead, I will be a guest lecturer because of him. For that, he said I am better than him. All he wanted me to do is to prove to the world that just because someone tells you cannot do something: Just smile, laugh and prove them wrong. I suggest all of you do the same.
Before I conclude, I want to leave my favourite quotes from my father, “Knowledge is power!” that was his school motto. “Always have faith in who you are if there’s a problem, fix it, don’t argue or rush things. If you have a plan, don’t work for it, work towards it. Focus on what you can do today and let the future work out itself.”
Dad, you are gone but will never be forgotten. You will always hold a special place in my heart and my memory.
Let’s make 2019 a positive year, God Bless.