A Father’s Day letter to the Buffalo Soldier

buffalo soldier image
buffalo soldier image
buffalo soldier image
buffalo soldier image

Sunday, June 19 – Father’s Day 2016

A Father’s Day letter to  the Buffalo Soldier

Stolen from Africa

Fighting on arrival

Fighting for survival

Fighting in a strange land

Fighting to build the East India Company

Fighting to build and secure the British White Town

Fighting in the heart of Calcutta, Bombay, Chittagong

Fighting and trudging the rains of the Cherrapunji

They stole a boy from Africa and you survived rain, mosquitoes, heat, and came back to raise a family from nothing- I am proud

 

Sacrifice: The sacrifices you made for me as a young man. For your country, you were marching with your military badges and pride on those hot sunny days.  Your reminded me to believe in my country and to give back to our country. You never felt like you were the “Man of the house” and that you owned anything. The little slices of fish you gave me from your plate and were always asking what did the kids eat before you ate? Thank you Dad.

 

Stability: You stood like a man in the face of being drafted to go fight a war for the British. Dad, you came back and made a home despite being left with nothing. You were able to start from scratch as a young man and take care of your family.

 

Soundness: I thank you for the sense of soundness and making sound decisions for your family despite the difficult times you were encountering. You always told me to do what is right and taught me that there will be days when my sound decision will be challenged but I needed to stand firm.

 

Strength: A man of strength is what I remember dad for he was a strong man and could split wood like no one else could. Despite the dull axe, despite the toughness of the wood, you knew how to make a wedge between the wood and split it for dinner. Mom knew there was no shortage of firewood in the house.

 

Wherever you are today with Mom and little sis Emilia? I miss you three so much.  I want to say thank you, knowing that you were here fighting the war for peace. A peace that you never really enjoyed except for those moments when we climbed the high hills of Victoria (today known as Limbe) to fetch for wood.

 

But Dad, you were the perfect dad in my eyes and the only Dad I knew who could make something out of nothing. The only Dad I knew who always light up the room when he walked in a room despite having nothing. The only Dad I knew who could dance and smile to his grave. There was not a song that could keep you on a seat. The only Dad I knew who had a nickname “Jungle” that was known by all people of all nationalities, age, gender, and tribe. You fought in the jungles of India to save the world.

Dad, you know I remember you as a happy man. How could you smile every day for the many years you lived?  I never saw you grumble or hold grudges against anyone. You knew more people than even our creator.

 

You kept the ex-servicemen flame burning and you were very proud of your accomplishments despite the fact that your country did not acknowledge your victory and triumphant return to your homeland. You endured wounds, hunger, dangerous creatures, bullets from the enemies and you kept smiling. I know you mad friends with those your encountered.

 

My Dad, I will always remember the little tough questions you always asked me and they came loaded with subtle messages and made me a disciplined man today: Go to school; Help your mother;  Go help your uncle;  If you don’t do it, who will;  Why do I have to tell you twice;  What is wrong with you; Are you asking me a question?; What do you want; You can ask, but you will not get it, you can always move next door, if I catch you over there one more time…: how is soccer going to feed this house? How is soccer going to do dishes; who do you think cooks in the house, are you Caesar’s son; are you Caesar himself; and finally the big  “No” because I said so…

 

On this Father’s Day, I say Thank you Papa for being the source of strength, sound decisions, sacrifice, and stability in our family. RIP