The other day someone asked me how I was, and I replied that I was ok…just taking one day at a time…
And then I froze. I don’t actually remember which kind soul I was speaking to. What they said afterwards. What I said to them. My body was still but my mind was racing back years and years and years at lightning speed. You often see people having flashbacks in films and I’m finding that the older I’m getting, the more I experience them. Someone says or does something – and I’m immediately taken back to an event or a time hidden away in the tiny recesses of my memories, reminding me of something in the long, forgotten past.
My dad was a funny soul. Although we’re Hindus and he was devoutly religious, he would respect all faiths. We would drive past a religious building belonging to a different faith and he would honour them all with a thought to God. You see, many people pay lip service to the fact that no matter which religion you belong to, God (if you believe), is the same creator for all. Many people SAY that. Few people actually believe this. My parents did – so as a result I do too. Faith is what saw me through some of the toughest moments in my life. I know that I’ve said this before in a previous post, but when my father died, I remember being so incredibly angry with God. Who snatches a father away from their children like that? Where is the mercy? Where is the benevolence? It was my grandfather who steered me back and said that everyone has to die at some point – it was your father’s time…doesn’t mean that God wanted anything bad for you. You’re lucky that your father loved you when he was alive, and his soul still loves you….
I won’t pretend that his words made me any less angry. But I’m glad that he said what he did because I kept the faith.
So I was lucky. Both my mum and dad brought me up to respect all faiths and cultures. After all, there are many ways to get to the same destination aren’t there?
But when the words ‘one day at a time’, escaped from my lips, I was reminded of a line that my dad used to sing when things were tough. Funnily enough, after he died, I never gave the song a second thought…it was ‘One day at a time, sweet Jesus’. He never sang anymore than that. Just that line. I always thought that it was funny that a Hindu man was singing about Jesus, but he never sang it with disrespect, I knew that when he sang that refrain, he was feeling fed up about something.
Today I looked it up on Google. No sooner had I typed ‘one day at……’, it immediately gave me the option ‘One day at a time sweet Jesus lyrics’. So I clicked on it. More than anything, I was desperate to find out what the rest of the lyrics were! As I read them, my eyes were stinging with tears. Painful tears. You know when you want to hold those tears back, but they hurt so, so much? These were the lyrics that I saw:
I’m only human I’m just a man
Help me to believe in what I could be and all that I am
Show me the stairway that I have to climb
Lord for my sake teach me to take one day at a time
One day at a time sweet Jesus that’s all I’m asking from you
Give me the strength to do everyday what I have to do
Yesterday’s gone sweet Jesus and tomorrow may never be mine
So for my sake teach me to take one day at a time
These words! These lyrics! I know that this was a song from a different generation, written in different circumstances – but how these lyrics transcend gender, transcend faith, transcend race – transcend time!
There’s no such thing as coincidence – there is a master plan for everything; I truly believe that. Had my dad not sung that refrain every time circumstances got tough; had some one not asked how I was at that particular moment – and if not for the magic of blooming Google – the significance of that song would have disappeared into the ether for me forever. What a tragic loss….
It makes me believe even more so, that your loved ones who’s souls leave their bodies, remain with you forever. Forever trying to guide and look after you. And I will listen to the words that I feel that my dad wants me to take on board for now….and I will take each day as it comes, pray for strength…and take one day at a time.