A Letter To My Parents



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Dear Pops & Mumsy,

A few months ago, as you know, I celebrated my 31st Birthday. (Yes, I capitalise Birthday) While I enjoy making the day all about me, the day is really a celebration and reflection on the impact you have made on my life.

Now, you guys probably know me better than most anyone else on this planet and know that I love making my Birthday a big deal because, well, it is a big deal! Birthdays are the days we get to reflect on who we are, the family and friends that surround us, and another year past and recorded down in the books.

But here’s the deal: I want to honor you. 31 years ago, you may have been where I have found myself many times as a young lady. Scared, lost, uncertain, unsure, stressed out, struggling emotionally from time to time, the list really could go on…That’s because as a parent (I am assuming), you never really know if you are doing a good job or not. What really is the metric?

Let me just state for the record: You guys did a great job. I hope you take some pride in that.

I’m not even referring to how you put shoes on my feet, food in my belly, and clothes on my back. That was just what you had to do…as my parents. That’s permission to play in the parenting game if you ask me. You did what you had to do to provide and for that I am eternally grateful. That’s all listed in the job requirements. What isn’t listed, but should be, is the emotional support, encouragement, and unrelenting love you have shown me to help me become the girl I am today.

So today, I want to say thank you. THANK YOU for who you are, what you’ve been to me in my life and all the things you’ve sacrificed over the years to raise me. It takes more than clothing, food, and a home to sleep in to be a good parent. And while you succeeded in those areas in meeting my needs, you truly excelled in the other areas.

I have never felt a day where I was not loved by you. I have never lost sleep over wondering if you cared about me. I have never had a fleeting thought that you wouldn’t support me in my decisions, because you always tend to help me make them. I value your opinions, I respect your place in my life, and I thank you for all of it. Thirty-one years have past since you first heard my cry and I know you still hear it in your sleep sometimes because a good parent always hears their children’s cries in the night.

Your hearts ache when mine does. Your smiles cover your faces when mine covers mine. Joy fills your hearts when you see that mine is full. You cry when I cry. You celebrate when I celebrate. THAT is what makes you GREAT, world-class parents.

You made mistakes along the way and that’s okay. You’re still only human. But quite frankly, you’re some of the best damn humans I’ve had the opportunity and privilege to know. I thank God you were selected and chosen to be my parents because you’ve made some amazing ones.

I’m not trying to say you’ve raised the perfect lady and I probably haven’t always been the best daughter, but I want to just say thank you.

Thank you for all you’ve done. I simply cannot find enough words to say it.

“Thank you.”


Your Girl … Becky

How many other things do we miss?


A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that 1,100 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by, and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace, and stopped for a few seconds, and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping, and continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried, but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally, the mother pushed hard, and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money, but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the most talented musicians in the world. He had just played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste, and priorities of people. 

The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?”

Sites to help with donations to feed and care for Somalian children. The pictures are going to shock you.


Staring into the innocent and tear filled eyes of her 2 month old baby, to weak and tired to utter the beautiful cry of a newborn child, a mother weeps as the emaciated frame in her arms takes his last breathe. Never to take his first step or utter his first words. Wracked with sobs, guilt and pain this mother has now lost her last child and in time her body too will give up  – to a starvation caused by drought and a lack of food in a country where food is not a necessity but a luxury nobody can afford.

On a freezing cold Monday afternoon in Johannesburg, South Africa, I casually go to the refrigerator and decide what might fill the gap since my last meal at 8a.m. this morning. After all hunger pains have set in and as it goes it is lunchtime and I need to eat.

It suddenly dawns on me how fortunate and blessed I am …. and I realise that saying this and doing nothing to help that mother in a world so far from my own is injustice and selfishness at it’s finest.

The Human body can survive for up to 4 weeks without food. Fact! However when you think of  one day without even a snack to fill the gap, the hunger pains feel as though they are ripping through your entire body.

So it is not just the loss of up to 1000 children daily claimed by starvation in Somalia but the thought and horror of what those tiny bodies must go through before death takes them. The physical agony of malnourishment must be unbearable, the mental trauma for their parents and caregivers, a tragedy in itself.

Realising and reading the facts, I type in “Help Somalia” into Google and the results returned are staggering. Countless Organisations and Individuals have put their thoughts and ideas into action and are doing their utmost to help people who need it most.

So  I donate my portion as much as I am able too and pass this on to those of you who read my post as a way of saying ” Help out”, “Pay your luxuries forward into someone else’s necessities” … if you are reading this empathise with that mother and then click on one of the links below and help feed even one child and allow them what they are owed. The chance to grow up and be somebody instead of one of a thousand bodies.

 World Food Proramme

Help Save Lives in Drought-Stricken East Africa click here  https://wfp.org/donate/hornofafrica?gclid=CJeO76yU0aoCFcEKtAodM1h41A

How you can help Somalia click here http://www.ksdk.com/news/article/270492/193/How-you-can-help-Somalia

Click on any blue Link Below to help out ……

  • CARE
    The organization says it is providing food, water and primary education in the Dadaab refugee camps. Call 1-800-521-2273 or donate online.
  • Mercy Corps
    The global humanitarian agency is responding to the drought in the Horn of Africa with emergency operations in northeastern Kenya, and plans to build on existing work in hard-hit Ethiopia and Somalia. We will focus our efforts on the most vulnerable people in villages and towns.Mercy Corps is currently helping 150,000 people through programs like emergency food distributions, clean water delivery and cash-for-work activities in this area.Want to help? Click here to donate.
    UNICEF, the UN’s children’s organization, and its partners need more money to aid children in the Horn of Africa in the coming months. Immediate measures include child immunization campaigns and water and sanitation services to ward off disease.Text FOOD to UNICEF (864233) to donate $10, enough to feed a child for 10 days or provide 321 sachets of nutrient powder to boost infant survival and development, the aid group says.
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
    Red Cross has launched the East Africa Drought Appeal 2011 to provide emergency relief, including food, water and health assistance.Make donations online at www.redcross.org.au or by calling 1-800-HELPNOW.
  • Edesia Global Nutrition Solutions
    Executive Director Navyn Salem says, “You can very simply save a child’s life or change the course of a family’s life. It makes everything seem worthwhile and absolutely possible.” The organization has a special focus on the crisis in Somalia and is using Plumpy’nut® to “make a lasting impact and save lives.” Make donations online.
  • Doctors Without Borders
    In Dadaab, Kenya, Doctors Without Borders says it is treating more than 2,400 children in its ambulatory therapeutic feeding program and 130 children in its inpatient therapeutic feeding center. An additional 5,047 children with moderate acute malnutrition are enrolled in a supplementary feeding program. There are now around 10,000 people in the organization’s feeding program in the Dadaab camp.Donate here or by calling 1-888-392-0392.
  • Save the Children 
    Save the Children has launched an effort in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia to feed underweight children, provide medical treatment and get clean water to remote communities. Click here for ways to give.
  • The World Food Programme
    The World Food Programme said it is reaching 1.5 million people in Somalia now, and is scaling up to reach 2.2 million more in the previously inaccessible south of the country. It says airlifts to Mogadishu will start within a few days to bring in special nutritious foods for malnourished children.Donate $10 by texting the word AID to 27722 or make a donation online
  • World Vision
    World Vision says it has been fighting hunger in the Horn of Africa for years and will continue to provide food, clean water, agricultural support, health care and other vital assistance to children and families. Donate online.
  • The International Rescue Committee
    In drought-wracked central Somalia, the International Rescue Committee is giving cash and other assistance to households whose livestock, pastures and farmland have been destroyed. In Kenya’s refugee camps, the organization says, it is providing medical screenings and referrals for new arrivals at reception centers where they also receive food and basic supplies. Donate online.
  • Oxfam International
    Oxfam said it is responding to the crisis by providing water, sanitation services, food and cash. The aim is to reach at least 3 million people, including 700,000 in Ethiopia, 1.3 million in Kenya, and 500,000 in Somalia. Donate online.
  • International Medical Corps
    International Medical Corps teams have been delivering health care services to people in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya since 1991 and are working rapidly to provide humanitarian relief to victims of drought and famine in the region. Donate online.
  • AmeriCares
    AmeriCares said it is preparing to send medical aid to areas of East Africa experiencing one of the worst droughts in decades. The organization has also established an Africa Disaster Relief Fund to help direct critical resources to the region. Donate online.
  • Action Against Hunger
    The organization said it’s providing support for displaced and at-risk populations, treating acute malnutrition, and ensuring emergency access to clean water, improved sanitation, and hygiene programs for thousands of children and adults. Donate online or call 877-777-1420.
  • ActionAid
    ActionAid said it has already reached more than 200,000 people with emergency food supplies, water and livelihood support. In the next few months, the organization aims to reach an additional 120,000 people with much-need food and water. Donate online.
  • Adventist Development and Relief Agency
    According to the organization, the aid it’s providing includes emergency water trucking, distribution of shelter materials, repair and construction of boreholes, distribution of food rations, and in Kenya special rations to 300 pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Donate online.
  • American Friends Service Committee 
    The organization says it is working in the Dadaab refugee camp on the Somalia-Kenya border and with local partners inside Somalia to support lasting peace efforts. Donate online. 
  • American Jewish World Service
    The organization says it will be partnering with other organizations to ensure that aid is distributed to those who are most in need. Over the long term, AJWS will be working with its partners to address the underlying systemic causes of this crisis. Donate online.
  • American Refugee Committee
    The organization says it’s working closely to provide life-saving relief to those in need, providing food aid and non-food items such as bedding, utensils and soap to more than 400 families. Donate online.
  • Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team (AMURT)
    AMURT says it is performing assessments in Northern Kenya to better serve the affected communities. Call 301-738-7122 for donations.
  • Baptist World Alliance
    The organization says it’s working with its members in Ethiopia and Kenya to formulate an adequate drought response. Donate online.
  • Catholic Relief Services
    CRS says it is increasing its food distributionsfrom 400,000 people to 1 million people in Ethiopia. The organization also says it has an assessment team in the Dadaab refugee camps in Kenya and is preparing 9,500 kits with plastic sheeting & jerry cans for immediate distribution. Call 1-800-736-3467 or donateonline.
  • CHF International
    CHF says it is responding to the crisis in the Horn of Africa through its country offices in Ethiopia and Kenya by providing continued emergency water support and other forms of aid. Donate online.
  • ChildFund International
    ChildFund says it is targeting its drought-relief efforts on children five and younger and their mothers, who are most at risk for nutritional deficiencies. The organization has partnerships with the World Food Programme and UNICEF. Donate online.
  • Christian Reformed World Relief Committee
    The organization says it is providing $7 million in emergency food supplies, water and fodder for livestock in five high-risk locations in Kenya and in southern Ethiopia. Donate online.
  • Church World Service
    CWS says it is working on a response centered on the Mwingi and Kibwezi areas of Kenya by providing emergency food relief, water tankering and long-term disaster risk reduction programs. Donate online.
  • CONCERN Worldwide
    Concern says it is reaching 400,000 in the affected regions with clean water, food and nutritional care. In Somalia, the organization says it’s reaching more than 100,000 people. Donate online.
  • Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED)
    From Uganda to Southern Somalia, through Kenya, ACTED says its teams are operating every day to ensure access to potable water and sanitation in order to improve the vulnerable populations’ food security. Donate online.
  • HelpAge USA
    HelpAge says it’s distributing food, water and healthcare to older people and their families, as well as water, animal feed and veterinary care for livestock. Donate online.
  • Helping Hand for Relief and Development
    The organization says it has planned sending emergency aid, which includes providing basic sanitation and providing camps for internally displaced persons. Donate online.
  • International Orthodox Christian Charities
    Through its emergency healthcare partners, IOCC says it’s putting nursing and public healthcare specialists into action to aid victims of the massive humanitarian crisis. The organization is also delivering financial assistance to provide critically needed healthcare support for millions of people. Donate online.
  • International Relief & Development
    IRD says its staff is working to design an emergency response focused on supplemental feedings. Donateonline.
  • Islamic Relief USA
    The organization says it has launched a humanitarian assistance program to aid the civilian population affected by famine. Donate online.
  • Life for Relief and Development
    The organization says it is responding by providing funds to buy emergency food and it has also commissioned the digging of water wells. Donate online.
  • Lutheran World Relief
    LWR says it has committed an initial $500,000 to its partners operating in the Dadaab camps to assist new arrivals. Donate online.
  • Medical Emergency Relief International (Merlin)
    Merlin says it is providing nutrition and health services to those affected. Donate online.
  • The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)
    UNHCR is already scaling up work on the ground, providing medical care and food. Donate online.

    $7: provides ready-to-use therapeutic food for a malnourished refugee child
    $50: therapeutic feeding kits – each one helps feed five children$100: survival kits – each has a blanket, mattress, kitchen set, stove and soap$450: all-weather tent to shelter a refugee family

    $5,500: nutrition survey kit, includes weighing scales (x5), height measuring board, hammock machine and accessories (micro-cuvettes, lancet, etc.), and mid upper arm circumference tape.

  • Global Enrichment Foundation
    The Global Enrichment Foundation, Hope for the Nations, and The African Future say they delivered the first convoy of emergency food aid on Aug. 4, 2011 in Dhoobley, Somalia, feeding 14,000. The food baskets distributed fed a family of five for two weeks. A second convoy is being organized for late August. Donateonline.
  • Samaritan’s Purse
    The organization says it sent a team that includes relief and nutrition specialists to northeast Kenya to lead the emergency response. SP has also set up a base of operations in Garissa, Kenya, along the Kenya/Somalia border, and have begun distributing tons of maize, beans, and cooking oil. Donate online.
  • Medical Teams International
    The organization says it will be deploying medical volunteers, medicines and medical supplies to the Horn of Africa. Donate online.
  • Mercy Corps
    The organization says its teams in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya are responding to the crisis by distributing food and water and expanding relief efforts. Mercy Corps says it is on the ground helping more than one million people in the region survive. Donate online.
  • Mercy-USA For Aid and Development
    The organization says it has been working in the Horn of Africa since 1993. Its projects focus on nutrition, primary healthcare and promotion, controlling infectious diseases and improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene. Donate online.
  • Operation USA
    The organization says it is currently focusing on providing safe water to the camp in Dadaab, Kenya. Donate online.
  • Plan International USA
    The organization’s response to the crisis includes trucking in water, medicine, and delivering therapeutic feeding programmes, supplementary feeding at schools, shelter and hygiene promotion. Donate online.
  • Relief International
    The organization says it is rehabilitating primary health care facilities, training health care professionals, providing essential nutrition services, distributing food to families and providing nutrition services for the malnourished. Donate online.
  • WellShare International
    WellShare International says it operates maternal and newborn care programs in East Africa. Donateonline.
  • World Concern
    World Concern says it has worked in Eastern Kenya and Somalia for many years. It is responding to this crisis with life saving aid – water, food, emergency supplies and more. Donate online.