As your father I am going to watch as your go through some pretty terrible and hard things. I am going to ache for you and cry for you. Not only that if you let me I’ll do it with you. But I do believe no young woman wants her Daddy sitting at the end of the bed crying out a broken heart with them. But I swear on all things blessed and good. I’ll set myself right there beside you, right through the night until and on into dawn, if you need me to. I’ll wait out any darkness and be as solid as a mountain in any storm.
Though I think much of your growing and strengthening will come from you finding your way, much as I did. But you know baby I pray every day that you find it in a kinder way. The world was hard for me. It tore pieces out of me I’ll never find again. But maybe like some lovely glass it may temper and shape you into something wonderful, full of light and grace.
Here’s the thing, I don’t know that a person really ever becomes whole and knows the truth depth of their being until they’ve had their heart-broken and their ass kicked a bit. I don’t think the secret knowledge all humans have inside but few really see, gets known until you’ve walked in darkness and the only light you have is a flickering dim flame buried somewhere deep in your soul. Threatening to extinguish ad turn to ash. Until that terrifying and disorienting moment when your heart cries out “I WILL NOT FALL!” and a flame of life and wisdom and understanding lights you and drives you. Aching and sad, broken and beaten. Still it pushes you. Till you find that cool rest, that green valley where you lay soft in the grass and heal your wounds and contemplate the journey. And meditate on the truth, you have not won. You have survived. And somehow that is more. It has gained you far more than any win or victory. Because the victorious often walk off the field filled with pride and a sense of immortality. But in surviving you know the frailty of living and the gift of life.
Boy don’t that all sound poetic.
Truth is my dear. I didn’t get this perspective in a calm rational manner. I have dragged myself and dug through the deepest pits and worst pain. I mean I have crawled across rooms on my knees begging gods, trinkets and idols to ease my hurt. I have screamed curses at the moon and swore to the earth I’d burn it down just for some relief. And that was when relief never came. Instead I burned hotter, I ached harder and cried a thousand more tears.
You will grow and maybe see me as a somewhat sad, quiet and grumpy man. I’ll be soft for you always and love you always and you will always know. But I am stoic now. And what you may see as solid and still well the truth is that it will be resignation. That the world, God and the ways of the heart are greater than any one soul.
It’s a long trip my baby. A long walk between that first breath and the last. No matter how you go. And I can’t lie to you and tell you it’s going to be easy. Or that it will be wonderful…not always. It may not even feel worth the effort sometimes. But if you move forward, just an inch a day sometimes. Just one breath, breathe in, breathe out. There will always be something wondrous for you. You’re my girl, my blood, my soul, we are the same thing. And I see the joy and wonder when you look at the sky and the taking in of the silent mystery. We’re special. We’re rare. I know it is tougher for us. That’s why I stay so close. Because you need me there, to give you my hand when no one else knows you need to be pulled through. That’s my job. To see what no one else does and get you through.
And on the heartache thing. If I lay a couple fellas low when they show up at the door. Just understand….I’m a tough old dog. And it’s always my yard. I know a sniffin’ hound when I see it.
You’re beautiful my girl. More beautiful than I could have made you if I assembled your parts myself. And that beauty will grow and bloom. It will be breath-taking to behold.
And I am going to have to figure out how to not pull all my hair out trying to keep it safe.
I am always your Daddy after all.