I am a great fan of Dr. Wayne Dwyer and have read all of his books. I love reading anything inspirational. Most recently I read his book, Inspiration. One phrase caught my attention and has resonated in my mind: “Don’t die wondering.”
I just celebrated my sixty-first birthday and I never thought I would spend the day in such a stupor. It seemed that I should have stayed in bed until the day after my birthday. My birthday is never a big deal to me. It is just another year that has passed by with the reminder that I have not yet done some things that I promised myself I would do before I die. So as I read the words’ “Don’t die wondering” inevitably I began to wonder about the future and my mortality.
This particular birthday reminded me of my dad; he died at fifty-four. His dreams were not completely fulfilled and he spent all of his life working so hard to make sure that we would not suffer economically. He never missed a day’s work until he became terminally ill. He did not last two months. So in comparison, I outlived his longevity by seven years and after working very hard all my life, unlike my dad, I was able to retire. The question is for what? I definitely have a bucket list. But I wonder if there is still a special calling for me. And I also think about my contributions to life up until now. What did I really
What I now know is that my dad did so many things that were gutsy, adventurous, risky, inspirational, and people loved him for his generosity, humanity, ingenuity, great smile, hardy chuckle, and love for nature. He built a house from scratch during his vacations, days off, and birthdays. He shared George Washington’s Birthday on February 22, which was celebrated on the actual day and was a true holiday. He always got that day off to celebrate: the company he worked for had a policy that provided its employees with birthdays off. He was always kidding; he told people he had an extra day off because he knew the President and that he too was an important person.
I reminisced about all these things and asked myself the dreaded question; what have I accomplished in my sixty-one years of life? Then, I for a minute I thought I had heard his distinctive tenor type voice warning me to not die wondering and to live the now. I was shaken and brought to tears. I sobbed and started feeling sorry for myself. Then suddenly,
I snapped out of it.
I remembered all the reasons why I should be thankful. I have great children: they are accomplished and successful. I can’t stop smiling when I see my new grandson’s adorable chubby face. I just received a letter from my other grandson in his own cursive handwriting. The oldest is almost a man and is the tallest one in the family. They make me so proud. I have a husband who loves me and gets me at least four our very sentimental birthday cards that always say how much my life means to him and others. I have my older sister who has been my rock and like a parent to me but also a best friend. I have my parents’ in-law who I have adopted as my very own parents. They are always there for guidance, support, and inspiration. My family is unique and all of them inspire me one way or another. My mother taught me very important life lessons and her strength and
perseverance have been a source of inspiration my whole life. She also worked hard all her life. She adored her family and for her family came first, second, and third.
I looked out the window and saw the most glorious deep blue sky. Images floated in my mind as once again I heard the words, “Don’t die wondering.” I yelled out, “I won’t!”
I made a new list of the things I would do because I do not want to have any regrets. They are not the frivolous things I had written before like learn how to drive a race car. I do not want to wonder about the possibilities anymore and later perhaps even blame others because I did not get to do the things I proposed. I know now that nothing can stop me. I just have to get up earlier and just start.
The next time I write on this topic I will give you an update of what I have accomplished. I will probably surprise a lot of people I know. Most of all, I hope that I surprise myself. I hope I will have inspired someone to do the same. Surprise yourself and “make of yourself a masterpiece.” It would be sad to die wondering.
Does a poem need to rhyme?
A poem does not have to rhyme
a practice I employ all the time
although i may make an exception sometime
i always hope the poem is sublime
otherwise for me it won’t be worth a dime
By Melba Christie
A Tribute to the Fearless Father of Freedom
There was a time when his people weren’t allowed to say his name
Today they all sing and praise him in a glorious refrain
In every church, synagogue and mosque
His beloved people sing and call out
For all the world to hear
Madiba! Tata! 446664!
He was born to lead
From the moment of his birth
in the village of Qunu
somehow he knew
he would have to fight
for what was right
but he was a man
with little airs and graces
yet the hope he spread
shined from his people’s faces
and the rainbow he so longed to see
was realized on the day he set future generations free.
His English name was chosen by his teacher
Little did she know
he would be the most devoted preacher
To rid the demon of Apartheid
From the second largest continent
Did she realize at the time
His name would almost rhyme
With a word that signifies
“A symbol in a dream
and represents the dreamer’s search
completeness and self unity”
A vowel change is the only difference
Mandala and Mandela
Ironically he is the center now.
446664 was his number as a prisoner
Faded out but not forgotten
Tata and Madiba
Will live forever in his people’s hearts
Because he too
“took history in his hands,
and bent the arc
of the moral universe toward justice.”
Rest in Peace!
By Melba Christie
- Forever in Our Hearts – a Madiba Playlist (tosingersblog.wordpress.com)
- Goodbye Tata Madiba (kearabilwe.wordpress.com)
- Madiba: Celebs bring flowers, pay tribute (iol.co.za)
- Today We say Goodbye to a Father Our TATA Madiba (cherryheartsblog.wordpress.com)
- Tribute to Tata (creativitywithematernity.wordpress.com)
The Life of a Poem
by Melba Christie
It’s born unexpectedly
from a dormant state
and erupts like a volcano
ready to inject its new batch
of thoughts into unsuspecting minds.
It grows old slowly
to our delight
feeding the hearts of new generations
with feelings and emotions
never felt before.
It only succumbs
once it collapses
into a deep slumber
so too dies the poet
and the muse
that brought it to life.
an iron spirit
splits like an ancient
moon and yet
a miracle is declared
who know the whole
is what we are and
we fall in love
in its bright beams
we softly sigh
when it appears
majestically behind the highest mountain
Who split the moon once?
Does anyone really know?
In the meantime
is its fullness
shining on the river tonight
when I need company
Photos by Melba Christie – All Rights Reserved
- China to send its first probe to the moon (telegraph.co.uk)
- Moon over Matsushima (volkmarsferrytales.wordpress.com)
- the moon split – Miracle (islamsetyoufree.wordpress.com)
- The moon’s too bright (zestyblue.wordpress.com)
- China to send ‘jade rabbit’ to the moon (sbs.com.au)
- The Moon (dandeliongirl01.wordpress.com)
- The Moon’s Sigh (onewriterandhisblog.com)
Everyone who was old enough to remember will be able to say exactly where they were and how they reacted to the news of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
I remember that afternoon vividly. I was in the sixth grade and our teacher, Miss McCann would teach us math after recess. She was very stern but we loved her dearly. I remember her distinctive gait and posture. She was very proud of her Irish heritage and thanks to her I know a few Irish songs and blessings by heart. That tragic afternoon, she walked into the classroom at a very slow pace and she tried to hide her face. Her blue eyes were blood-shot and her hair was disheveled. Everyone looked at each other wondering was was going on. She usually walked in the room swiftly asking us if we were doing something productive. There was always a mischievous smile on her face.
Everyone was unusually quiet. There was dead silence in the room. She looked confused and bewildered. She did not say a word for a few minutes. Normally five of us would have been sent to the chalkboard to solve a math problem during the first five minutes of class.
All of a sudden she began to weep frantically. I for one cannot see anyone in tears. I get misty eyed almost immediately. She sat in her chair and just stared at us. She snapped out of her stupor when a boy in the class had the nerve to ask her what was wrong. With a huge lump in her throat and watery eyes she finally told us. “Our President is dead boys and girls, she whimpered. Some of us cried and others remained very quiet and in shock. It was not as if we had not experienced death before in our lives. We had lost a classmate earlier in the school year. He had died from Leukemia. So collectively we had suffered loss. She finally calmed down after a while and the principal came in to ask us how were coping. His eyes were a little red also.
I remember getting home and turning on the television right away. All the programming on the major networks was in reference to the president’s assassination. There were no cable channels or CNN but the reality of this national tragedy was all anyone could think and talk about. It went on for days.
It’s amazing how a tragic event makes us see things differently. You are more appreciative of the simple things. My mother hugged me extra tightly that evening. I saw my dad in tears. He had cried in my presence once before when I was very ill with a high fever and the flu. The doctor would make house calls and he must have said something to upset my dad and I heard him crying. It was not until years later that I knew why he had broken down. Apparently the doctor wanted to admit to me to the hospital because I had such a high fever. The fever subsided and I never did go to the hospital.
I watched many of the tributes today on the television and heard and read accounts of how people were affected by the untimely and tragic death of our beloved president. I remembered my teacher and my dad most especially. We were all family then. It was a time to mourn and reflect and fifty years later I suppose it still is.
- 50 Years Later: Remembering the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy (ijreview.com)
- Why is the assassination of JFK such a significant historical event? (ool.co.uk)
- Reader memories: Assassination of President John F. Kennedy (heraldnews.com)
- Reader memories: Assassination of President John F. Kennedy (tauntongazette.com)
- Photos: President John F. Kennedy honored 50 years after assassination (photos.mercurynews.com)
- Remembering John F. Kennedy, Nov. 22, 1963 (news-journalonline.com)
- Daily News readers share memories of JFK’s assassination, Part 3 (nwfdailynews.com)
- Reverent memorials to mark JFK 50th anniversary (kansascity.com)