As I celebrated another year of a beautiful life and moved a year ahead in wisdom 😉, I realized that no matter how old I be, my daddy never forgets to remind me that I am my daddy’s little girl. This time he wrote the following email which made me overwhelmed and speechless.
I have tried and failed no less than a dozen times this week to write down how I feel about you my daughter. This is what I finally have to say:
Today is your birthday and of course, I am in shock at how fast the time has gone. You have grown up to be a wonderful young lady and I cherish each moment I get to spend time with you and be your DADDY.
Birthdays of your children also push you into a state of reflection because right after you see how much time has gone by and how quickly it evaporated-you began to question the results of your parenting and evaluate how you can do better.
It is hard to describe how much you love someone when you first look at them. Now it’s hard to describe how I feel about you growing up so quickly.
Every child’s birthday causes parents to pause and remember. I’m certainly no different. I can still clearly remember the day you came into this world.
You’ll always be my first-born baby!
Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids all the same. If you’re a parent you get it. When your first born comes along you wonder how you could ever love anything as much as you do her but when the 2nd comes along you get it. You fall in love all over again.
I can’t adequately express to you how very grateful I am for your birth and your life. I thank you for the delightful day we spent together as we celebrated your birth. The almighty sent me a gift. A gift, that filled my existence with love, joy and happiness. That gift was everything. That gift was you.
Before I ever laid eyes on your tiny face or watched you breathe deeply your first breath, I was being changed forever. Awareness of being given a great trust and the privilege of influencing a tiny eternal little soul can do that to a father.
When Mom and I brought you home, we had no clue what to do and we were terribly afraid we would mess up. I have so many great memories as you have grown up. So many times as parents, we make the mistake of pushing our children into an assumed state and hope that they assume we love them because of the things we do, the things we allow, and the things we buy.
Today, I did not want YOU to assume – I want you to know just how much I love you and how much you mean to me.
I wish for you the stars. I wish for you everything and then add to that infinity. I wish great love for you, wherever you find it. I wish that your dreams, whatever they may be, come true and if they don’t, that you make them happen. I wish for you all of the beauty of the world, but the sadness too, because sadness makes you stronger and sadness makes the happy moments seem even more joyful.
You have made the darkness in my heart light up brighter than I ever thought possible. You give me a reason to live and try each and every day. I cannot thank our Almighty enough for blessing me with you. And as blessings come, so do disappointments. There are trials and rewards throughout everyone’s life. You have helped me through the most difficult times of my life. I can only pray you will allow me to be there for yours.
Years have passed and you’ve grown and become a lovely woman. A very forgiving and gracious woman. You know me. You know my weaknesses. Yet you love me. deeply.
Above all, I want you to know how much DADDY loves you with all of my heart!
I’m so grateful that God gave me such a wonderful gift and that he trusted me to raise you. I am sorry for my shortcomings and the things I have not done well as a parent. I would ask that you forgive me for any times you have felt unloved, undervalued or not appreciated. Parents make mistakes just like kids you know and I can say I’m sorry when I’ve done those things.
There are some moments I am proud of and there are some wasted opportunities as well. You only get one shot at parenting and you never get a guide-book on what to do and what not to do. It is truly one of those experiences that are trial and error and you learn every child is different and that every experience is unique. I know it is not healthy to wallow in the past in a state of “If only I had, I wish I had..”. But as I look back over the many years, I definitely have some completed statements to those. I cannot change the past, but I can change the present and make it a better future. Today, I am extremely grateful to have you as my daughter and that you’re in good health.
Every parent wishes and hope their children will do well in life and much better than them and I know you will become anything you want and you will be the best at it. You’re the pride that I feel when I know you have done what’s right. You’re that warm feeling I get, when I remember tucking you in at night.
I am sure that your MOM is as proud of you as I am as you celebrate another birthday and shares with me the joy of having brought you into the world.
I will always cherish the wonderful times we spend together and those to come. The best part of my life is being your Daddy.
Wishing you the very best birthday ever.