My Lyfestyle Through Lyrics
This week’s guest blogger is a beautiful young polynesian teine by the name of Cynthia Stevenson.
I follow her on twitter (@Teinetoa4lyphe) and a few days ago something inside of me told me to ask her to be a guest blogger. Like most days, Cyn had tweeted something profound that day, of which I retweeted. In that tweet something moved me. I’m extremely grateful God spoke to me to reach out to her because this song has a special place in my heart. I’m honored, humbled and blessed that she opened up about this particular life experience.
I love you Cyn! Thank you for sharing a piece of your life with me and my readers. I’m sending you hugs, kisses and love your way sis!
Dance With My Father
Music has been and will always be an integral part of my life. Music for me really does make my world go round. Whatever emotion I am feeling can be expressed through a talented artist’s lyrics and melody. I love that a song I hear today can so easily transport me back to a time when something happened in my life whether it was a major or minor event. Music inspires me. Music moves me. Music is a part of who I am. Music makes me feel. But most importantly, Music reminds me of my dad who I love and miss.
Recently I lost my dad, and music, among other things, is what brought my family comfort during this time. I loved his final services both family/funeral services because of the music that was sung. We sang many songs that were some of his favorites. One song we sang was a song that my dad learned while in college when he was part of a group that celebrated Native American, Polynesian, and Latin American music and dance. The song is titled “Go My son.” Dad loved this song and made us sing it often while growing up to remind us of the value of getting an education. Some of the words from that song are:
“Go, my son, go and climb the ladder.
Go, my son, go and earn your feather.
Go, my son, make your people proud of you.
Work, my son, get an education.
Work, my son, learn a good vocation and
Climb, my son. Go and take a lofty view.
From on the ladder of an education,
You can see to help your Indian (Samoan) Nation,
And reach, my son, and lift your people up with you.”
My dad loved music in all forms whether it was singing, dancing, playing an instrument, etc. He especially loved to dance and sing whenever he had a chance to do so. He was a natural performer and was never afraid to stand up and perform when called upon to do so. I have many fond memories of him dancing with my mom in the living room as he taught her to how to rock n’ roll. Then onto the dance floor and oh, how I loved to watch my parents dance together. I hope someday to have that type of relationship where they seemed to move and flow so smoothly together as dance partners on the dance floor and in life.
Whatever church dance we attended in my youth years, my dad’s rule was if you just sit and don’t dance, then we’re going home. So of course, my siblings and I took every opportunity to get on the dance floor or we’d get a head nod from Dad that it was time to go.
My dad was an athlete and loved all types of sports and could play them well. He loved playing basketball, rugby, boxing, and wrestling. In fact, when he and my mom were planning a family he told my mom that he wanted all boys to have his own basketball team. Yes, he wanted 10 kids-average Polynesian family right? Unfortunately, mom gave birth to four girls first before his first boy so we made up his team and my parents only had 9 kids but we still had enough eventually for 2 teams.
I can remember many early Saturday mornings being woken up by my dad to run basketball drills. My dad was always on the go with his job, and fulfilling his religious responsibilities. At end of 2008, however, Dad had a stroke and he was never quite the same after that. Things that used to come easily to him were now a struggle. It was hard for him and for us to see him get frustrated easily with his body’s limitations to do things. However, he would still light up when it was time to sing, dance, watch sports, or spend time with his grandkids.
Last Christmas was the last time I saw my dad alive. He and my mom traveled to where the majority of us lived to spend Christmas with us. We had gone to a Christmas party for our church and it was a dinner/dance activity. Dad, however, didn’t want to eat. He wanted to dance. The DJ was playing songs during dinner and Dad stood up and said he was ready to dance. We told him it was not time to dance and he said, “Who said? If I want to dance, I’m going to dance. I want to rock n’ roll.” But we (my mom, siblings, and I) all insisted he sit down and eat. Then when it was time to dance we would dance. Well, Dad was not happy with that. He got upset and then said to take him home. Nothing we could say could persuade him to change his mind to stay.
My heart breaks whenever I hear the song, Dance with My Father, by Luther Vandross, because I know that I won’t get an opportunity in this life to dance one more time with my Dad. I have many happy memories of dancing with him but I wish I could get another chance to “dance with my Father again.”
Oh how I wish I could turn back the hands of time if I had known that night would be the last time I would get a chance to dance with him in this life. I would have jumped up and said, “yes, daddy, let’s go dance.” Who cares if everyone was still eating dinner, why couldn’t we have danced? This is my one regret that I didn’t have that chance to have one last dance with my Father. Daddy, I love you!
Music gives me hope. Music encourages me to keep moving and progressing. Music reminds me to treasure the things that truly matter in life. Don’t take for granted what truly matters like family or life. I miss you Daddy! I know we will be reunited someday. I know you are looking down on us too and watching over us now! Families are Forever!
Dance with my Father – Lyrics by Luther Vandross
Back when I was a child Before life removed all the innocence
My father would lift me high And dance with my mother and me and then
Spin me around till I fell asleep Then up the stairs he would carry me
And I knew for sure I was loved
If I could get another chance Another walk, another dance with him
I’d play a song that would never, ever end
How I’d love, love, love to dance with my father again
When I and my mother would disagree To get my way I would run from her to him
He’d make me laugh just to comfort me, yeah, yeah Then finally make me do just what my mama said
Later that night when I was asleep He left a dollar under my sheet
Never dreamed that he Would be gone from me
If I could steal one final glance One final step, one final dance with him
I’d play a song that would never, ever end
‘Cause I’d love, love, love to dance with my father again
Sometimes I’d listen outside her door And I’d hear her, mama cryin’ for him
I pray for her even more than me I pray for her even more than me
I know I’m prayin’ for much too much
But could You send back the only man she loved
I know You don’t do it usually
But Lord, she’s dyin’ to dance with my father again
Every night I fall asleep
And this is all I ever dream
Until Next time,