To My Darling Daughter on Her 17th Birthday

Dear ___

I want this birthday message to be the type of letter you read then immediately want to re read. I want it to touch your heart. I want you to know as soon as you have read it that you will always treasure its words – always keep it safe regardless of years passing, places lived and people entering and leaving your life. A letter you will secretly file away knowing its something very dear to you.

I want you to clutch it tightly whenever you read it and be flooded with the pure love you once had for your Dad, love that I felt from you in every breath, every touch, every question, every cheeky grin. I want you to miss me when you read it, but with a longing memory in your heart that glows with lightness and happiness – no guilt, no regret, just pure happiness.

But try as I might, I cannot be sure the words I write of love and joy and happiness and heartache and hope are the exact message you want to hear from me at this moment. I cannot be sure they are the precise words you need to hear from me at this moment. I have used the right words at the wrong time before and I have also sometimes chosen the wrong words to try to reach you before. I’m sorry if my efforts to reach you been poorly expressed or badly timed. Sometimes it is only when we have the opportunity to look back that messages reveal their truth and intent.

So please close your beautiful blue eyes and know that the following space is left blank for you to insert with your imagination and your heart the most inspiring loving message from me that you would like to receive. That is the exact letter I am writing to my precious daughter. Whatever you want it to say – that is my wish for you.

____     __________    ___________    ___________    ___________       ___________

Soon you will receive another letter that I will try my best to get right. But I don’t want to risk spoiling this wish for you by including a single word that might somehow take away the burning desire I have to give my daughter exactly what she wants and deserves – because the love flowing from me to you is rich, unstoppable and totally unique. You are always receiving it.

Do you remember your first day in Paris with me? You were 7. We traveled far and wide all over Paris seeing the sites and visiting parks and museums. I remember your amazement when I showed you the Impressionist paintings up close and then from the other side of the room. On the way home you fell asleep in my arms on the Metro. By then it was peak hour and all the workers were pouring onto the trains. It was noisy and very cramped but nothing could wake you.

After changing lines once or twice I eventually carried you off the train in the throngs of the crowd. I fumbled carefully in my pocket to get our orange tickets to exit (I still have them), not wanting to wake you or put you down. I carried you in my arms up the metro stairs and along 3 or 4 blocks to Isabelle’s house, then into that tiny lift to finally get you in the door and place you carefully onto the couch. You were heavy. I was exhausted and my arms and back were aching. But I didn’t mind a bit. I had my daughter in my arms again. And although you were asleep the whole time, it remains one of the happiest and most powerful memories of my life.

No matter what
No matter where
No matter when
You will always have my love and devotion
Love Dad



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s