There’s a cassette tape we have recording an ordinary day when we were living in PNG. You could hear Mama cooking at the background, I was a baby so there wasn’t much I was doing, and Papa had gathered my siblings around him so that they could sing a song together while he played his guitar. The song was John Denver’s Take Me Home, Country Roads, and even though the only one who sang in tune was Papa, that song automatically became our family song which we would sing during gatherings.
As we grew older, we replaced the lyrics with some words or places so that we could relate to it more (like "Popondetta" and "Goroka"), and even gave it a new title of Take Me Home, Dusty Roads because some places we lived in had really dusty and rocky roads.
When one of my brothers got married in 2005, a videoke machine was set-up at the wedding reception and our family just stood up in front and sang our song. It didn’t matter if our voices were sabog; we just sang to our heart’s content because it had been a long time since we sang that song together and it was like our tribute to Papa because he wasn’t (physically) there with us.
I admit, whenever I sing it (including that time at my brother’s wedding) or listen to it on the radio, my eyes well up with tears. I can’t help it. I’m a very sentimental person, plus I was a spoiled Papa’s girl, so you can’t blame me.
Anyway, that’s why I’m posting this video. In memory of Papa who would have celebrated his 72nd birthday last 19th of November.
And just in case you’re wondering...yes, my tears are falling now as I watch this clip...because no matter how long it has been, despite knowing that he was taken "home," I will always miss him.
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