You probably never knew that, as a baby in my arms, I whispered things to you about how great I wanted your life to turn out. Or, that I sang to that small bundle of giggles in my arms. I cooed along with you as your fingers, so tiny and strong, gripped mine. And cried tears of joy when your smile revealed to me that grown-up spirit within your gaze.
Our family went to Disneyland one day. The rains came. We walked in ankle, then knee, deep in the onslaught of water rising in the parking lot. You wanted to be held along the way. Making it back to our hotel, all soaked to the bone. You thought it was a wonderful time. You laughed again, even as cold as we all were, playing in the pool there… a moment in time, so dear.
You and your brother left the courtyard as you grew. We were frantic. Even calling the police. Our children would never leave. But you were just exploring. Terror filled my soul only to discover that you were safe.
Some years later, my eyes beheld a vision of loveliness as you danced on stage. Just you. Attended by young men, enthralled as I, by your grown up loveliness. A girl turned woman — almost. Your talents, your kindness, your obvious professional qualities as if born to the stage. Bringing joy to the hearts of so many watchers. The likes of which I could match to the musicals of yesteryear. Seeing something so special, I could never properly express it to anyone. And my terror, once again, that you would soon be gone.
Perhaps my most cherished of memories is the night you sang – for me. When I came home from the Isle broken. For the terrors I could not reveal. The fear of coming back – different. On that night, I saw such goodness. Revealed to me was the face of God. He in you, and me an unworthy witness. I needed to find you after you ran from the stage. I needed to hold you. To tell you I would always be there… that I would never leave. For in that moment I needed you also. That need was never gone from me.
I have been lost for a time. Not in ways you will ever know. But now you are a mother. You now know what it is a parent would be willing to accept to keep her children from harm.
So on commemoration of your Birthday, I give you a poem. Perhaps not being able to express myself well. Never have I been able to do so on personal things.
But on your birthday, it is all I have to offer…
Though far from me you have wondered, my memory serves me well
With heavy heart I close my eyes, and hold you in my dreams
I imagine that life I shall never know, remembrances of closeness
But as I wake, late winter appears, my prayers, lost hopes…
Would I change the past? No. Nor would I renew proffered words
For now you live your life apart, and cherish other loves
Though content may never be for me, my given word to God remains
A path to live, to walk, of joy and sadness, love remembered
Truth one day shall be, by judgements from He who sits on High
Ten thousand angels bearing record, of honor, strength, fidelity
So, let not others spurn your name, or remove you from their lives
for in that hour you lose your way, and forget the test we sought
It is said, for God so loved the world, and seeks our happiness
then let not your life have sadness, for what might have been
The legacy I gave you is there, within
My daughter, I am your father. Let peace and joy be your life. I shall always love you. No matter what you say or do.
So listen to your heart, my dear daughter. Stay close to your husband. Love your children with an unconditional mind. Let that bond remain and never betrayal divide you.
For the world is what it will always be until the end. It matters not what others may say or do. Our choices cannot be hidden, for good and bad, from the face of God.
You are my princess, still.
The angel of my dreams.
All my love