Passion does his dance.
Joy with her contagious laugh.
I cry. I dance. I scream. I laugh.
I awoke this morning to sunny skies. They have replaced the mist-filled valley. For now. Our special home is perched on a small rise. Near the hill’s brow. Below are many farms. A small eucalyptus plantation. Bananas. A swamp.
The kids skip and run down the hill to school. Then comes Isaac, a little slower with his arthritis. Last is my sweet Balikuddembe. Very weak. But eager.
On his way.
People are starting to ask me, “Which of the children is your favorite?”
My gut would say, “I love them all the same.” But then my conscience challenges the response. My heart moves through a slideshow of their faces. “What about Ojos?” I’m asked. She was my baby. My baby girl. For so long. “Or Abraham?” My baby now. “Or Janat?” The youngest girl. “Or Patrick?” My oldest.
One by one, I see their faces. I hear their giggles, laughs and sweet voices. My mind’s eye zooms in to their little smiles.
“Each is my favorite,” I decide.
Again, I am challenged to truth. “Surely one must stand out?”
Milo does. Did. He’s gone now. He was my favorite.
Then Ivan was.
All have passed through my arms.
“Whoever is weakest,” I admit, “is my favorite.“
Not because they are pitiful and sad. Not because of despair and its call for sympathy.
But because of this great sense that they are superior beings who are carefully treading through that gloriously arduous zone of passage.
To the Divine.
To what’s next.
I want to be close to them. To listen for a whisper. Search for a sign. Catch a glimpse.
And they seem to need courage. A courage we can give. By kissing their forehead at night. Singing a lullaby. Greeting with a smile. Patting a shoulder. Or by holding a hand.
The thought answers the question.
This is the hand of my celebrity. My encounter with Greatness.
This is my favorite.