Finding solace in children

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ATTENDING a Port Alfred Pre-primary concert on the evening of the day I received word that my close friend Derek Victor had died, turned out be a comforting experience.

I would have said oddly comforting, but then, no, why should it be odd?

Watching the little ones singing and dancing on stage in their gorgeous, colourful costumes, enjoying their innocence, joy and enthusiasm, brought peace and comfort to my spirit in the midst of grief.

I felt the same way last year when my mother died, and I was also blessed to attend the Happy Hours and Port Alfred Pre-primary concerts, which are always a lavish, well-choreographed and humorous affair. Teachers, parents, costume designers, make-up artists, musical directors and sound and lighting volunteers must all be commended for how much effort they put into those little productions.

Also, the children, for how well they learn their lines and songs, and play their parts with such exuberance. One would never think there was a shy one among them!

Watching those children, I am reminded that life goes on, and a new generation rises to take the place of those who have passed on. I also remembered how much my mother had loved attending those concerts with me, because she loved little children. And so, when I see little children, I think of my dear mother.

Not being a parent myself, I imagine this is how parents and grandparents must feel about their children and grandchildren – finding joy and taking comfort in the offspring that are their legacy.

We will all pass from this world, and though we may not often think about it, will want to be remembered. And unless we become famous, the people who will remember us the most are our own families – those still living when we die, and the generations that come after them, as stories are passed down from parent to child.

May we all aspire to be remembered for the good and worthwhile things we do, as I am certain we all would prefer the bad to be forgotten.

And yet our sins and misdeeds are part of our legacy, because we are human.

I am so grateful that each newborn is innocent, and that it lasts for a brief while before they too become a part of this fallen world with all its suffering and heartache.

And while we may have different beliefs, I hope we all long for a new world beyond our present reality.

– Jon Houzet

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