variations of the word uprooting

as a toddler these chubby
set of tiny toes were
buried in brown cake
of forest’s earth, as the
plump fingers reach out
for blood-red wild berries,

as a student these
leather-covered soles
wandered through cemented
schools, universities, as
the mind gulps data after
data, oh so, committedly,

as a two-decade lady
these desperate feet
tried (begged) to belong
in carpeted corporate
floor, as the pocket gaped
with empty plates
waiting at home.

at present, these trotters
gait with certainty from
one plane to another,
on concrete cities to
Himalayan snowed floors,
with the same soft chin
looking up to thank
Him who is above,

prayers work. prayers work.

02.26.2020
©2020 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo via Unsplash
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
For dVerse Poetics: Impermanence
…I’d like you to think about impermanence, things that are transient, or things that have passed their time. If you want to stick to the seasons, nature, or the weather, that’s fine, but I’d like to challenge you to try to come up with something different or unusual. Your poem can be in any style or form.

6 Lessons I Learned from Little Fighter, Chika Jeune (perhaps a book review)

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Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family by  Mitch Albom

Chika Jeune was born three days before the devastating earthquake that decimated Haiti in 2010. She spent her infancy in a landscape of extreme poverty, and when her mother died giving birth to a baby brother, Chika was brought to The Have Faith Haiti Orphanage that Albom operates in Port Au Prince.

With no children of their own, the forty-plus children who live, play, and go to school at the orphanage have become family to Mitch and his wife, Janine. Chika’s arrival makes a quick impression. Brave and self-assured, even as a three-year-old, she delights the other kids and teachers. But at age five, Chika is suddenly diagnosed with something a doctor there says, “No one in Haiti can help you with.”

Mitch and Janine bring Chika to Detroit, hopeful that American medical care can soon return her to her homeland. Instead, Chika becomes a permanent part of their household, and their lives, as they embark on a two-year, around-the-world journey to find a cure. As Chika’s boundless optimism and humor teach Mitch the joys of caring for a child, he learns that a relationship built on love, no matter what blows it takes, can never be lost.

Told in hindsight, and through illuminating conversations with Chika herself, this is Albom at his most poignant and vulnerable. Finding Chika is a celebration of a girl, her adoptive guardians, and the incredible bond they formed—a devastatingly beautiful portrait of what it means to be a family, regardless of how it is made.

Whenever I was asked about the book that has changed my life, my answer has always been Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. It will be followed by the story of how I have read it twice when I was 20 and jobless for almost a year despite my medals, and when I was 25 and drowning in the river called a quarter-life crisis. Both times I have discovered lessons and have found strength on Morrie and Albom’s wisdom.

Fast forward to 2019, after reading all his books in between, Mitch has announced his latest one — Finding Chika. It was launched November last year, but I did not buy it until my husband gave it to me as a surprise gift for his birthday last December. (Yes, it was his birthday and he gave me the gift. HAHA).

Almost a month after I first held this purple-coloured paperback, I found the courage to open it and finally read the story of Chika.

chika_princess_dress

(Photo from https://www.mitchalbom.com/)

I know how special Chika is for Mitch Albom as I follow him on social media (being the fangirl that I am). I have also read about this little girl’s courage and bravery fighting a cruel tumour inside her young brain. Knowing these made me doubt if my heart is ready to read the inside story of their little family. But before Chika’s birthday, which is today January 9, I finally opened its pages and allowed myself to laugh, melt, learn, and weep, for them and with them.

Instead of reviewing the book, how it was written, how the story unfolded, what language was used, I choose to share the six life lessons I have learned from Mitch’s raw and honest anecdote of him, of Chika, and of their family with Janine. I believe they will move you and stir something inside you just like how they did to me.

Before that, if you may, please purchase a copy of the book as proceeds will be for the Have Faith Haiti Mission.

Here are the six lessons from the story of the birthday girl, the little fighter, Chika:

Lesson #1: There are many kinds of selfishness in this world, but the most selfish is hoarding time, because none of us know how much we have, and it is an affront to God to assume there will be more.

Lesson #2: The most precious thing you can give someone is time, Chika, because you can never get it back. When you don’t think about getting it back, you’ve given it in love.

Lesson #3: Everything in this world is music if you can hear it.

Lesson #4: One of the best things a child can do for an adult is to draw them down, closer to the ground, for clearer reception to the voices of the earth.

Lesson #5: There is no affliction like hopelessness. I believe it is worse than anything that strikes the flesh.

Lesson #6: What we carry defines who we are. And the effort we make is our legacy.

Happy birthday, dear Chika. I may not have known you but your story have touched and inspired me. I am sure you will never ever be forgotten. ❤

 

 

 

 

 

A Look Back to Move Forward

blue wooden door

It’s almost two in the morning, I am supposed to be sleeping, probably paddling through the river of dreams this night has to offer. My eyes are sleepy, my body at less than 5% of mortal battery, still I get up, still I write.

The soul would never let this wee hours — when the road outside closed itself to the roars of the rubber tires; when even the nocturnal insects have stopped their midnight jam; when good nights were said, when the world is quiet — be wasted without spilling what’s inside it. Why?

Because today is my birthday.

The nanosecond gap in between two different years has never made me pause, reflect, and think. But my birthdays, oh they never fail.

So tonight, if you have reached this part, forgive my grammar and spelling mistakes, please bear with me as this soul speak out through the method it has always loved — writing.

Perhaps the restlessness roots from the milestones this new year has to offer for me. I am turning 27, and perhaps 2019 is my year of bravery.

This year I will move out not just from my the comfort of my house, but from the land and water territories of my motherland, The Philippines. This year, I will be doing a milestone which for others might be too soon, but for me, is it His time.

This year is the year of changes. Major ones. To say they are not scary is hypocrisy. When I have sometime to think and pause (which rarely happens nowadays), doubts creep in. Did I decide right? Can I really do it? Am I worth their trust? Did I dive too early?

Deep inside I still feel that what I am trying to do is bigger than who I am, greater than what I can, beyond what I used to do.

But that itself is the miracle of it all.

This year is the year of bravery where the old rooms of fears must be locked, securely and tightly, and the keys of them buried six feet deep.

There is no space for fear. There are a lot for faith.

And I write this to remember that yes, my old-self you were afraid. Yes, you probably will fail (both big time and small time). Yes, you probably might cry, get frustrated, reach that brink of giving up.

But you, you must remember that when you heard the first gong of this war, you already  declared bravery, you claimed declared faith.

This ocean might be too deep for someone who cannot even swim in a lake. But you are in a ship where the captain is He who made you.

“Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed. I am your God.”

Look back. But don’t forget to move forward.