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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen...

Sixteen years ago I became a dad.
I guess maybe, in my heart, I was always a dad. But sixteen years ago it became tangible. At exactly 10PM on May 7th, My wonderful daughter Morgan –my precious Daisy- silently entered this world. She never cried. Not even once. She was a quiet new life as she is even today. Quiet. Thoughtful. Introspective. Always churning over the fertile ground of her heart, and her surroundings.
She’s had a tough road these last 6 years as my life unraveled. I won’t go into details because they aren’t necessary here. Let’s just say she has dealt with more than any little girl should have to as she transitioned into adulthood.
But here she is...sixteen. She’s more adult now than child, and I am proud of her.
I’ve done my best to “train her up in the way she should go...” an oft-misquoted Bible reference that speaks of really knowing your child and the way their heart is “bent” and what it is they were put here to do.
I’ve done what I could do toward that end. She loves art. She lives and breathes music. Great music too...not the Justin Beiber, GaGa, nonsense that the brainless horde clings to. She listens to stuff that I end up loving. She reads great books and loves great art. She has talent. Real, honest-to-goodness talent, not just what a blinded-by-pride dad claims is great.
She has a loving, caring, compassionate soul, and people like that are often bruised by a world that is exactly opposite of those qualities. She loves and loves and loves. She has character and principles and integrity and her soul is not for sale. She knows who she is and what she believes. To say I am proud of her is like saying the Mona Lisa is a “pretty good picture.” I am bursting. I am amazed. I thank God every single day that she has become what she is in the face of circumstances that surely could have made her turn to drugs, or drink, or behavior, to dull the pain she has felt.
She has wounds. She has things that hurt her that I am trying to fix, and damage I am trying to repair. But through it all she remains grounded.
Sixteen years ago, life really began for me. Before her arrival, love was something I had locked away in my soul, showing it only to a chosen few, in measured doses. But when she came into this world that Thursday night in 1998, the door to that part of my soul was torn from it’s hinges. The limits were removed. I have never loved anyone as I love my daughter.
I have two years left until she goes off to college and out into the world to find the target she was created to hit. Two years to finish the job, shape this arrow into the perfect instrument of flight and then –on that great and terrible day when I hear God whisper in my ear: “That’s her target...let her fly...”-  I will pull my bow with shaking hands, line my sights through tears, and send her on her way. That day will be here too quickly. Like these first sixteen years have come and gone too quickly.
Daisy...I love you. You are the one thing I look to in my life with pride and happiness. You are what every dad hopes he has in a daughter. I would breathe my final breath to you and consider it a privilege. I would set my own dreams on fire to light the way for yours to come true.
Your is the world, and everything in it. Your future is in your heart, and together, we’ll mine it from it’s depths and plant it in a fertile field and watch it bloom.
Oh...the places you’ll go.
I love words. Love them like an artist loves oils. I love the best written words and the best spoken words and the ones that others miss.
The best words I’ve ever said are “I love you” when I said them to my daughter.

Happy Birthday from your dad.

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