One of my most vivid memories, one that makes me tear up every time, is the day you were born. You see, we bonded from that very moment you opened your eyes, you took my breath away and locked onto my heart forever. I smiled and held your hand, and a nurse looked at me and said, "Oh my, she's definitely a Daddy's Girl." She was right.
We've shared laughs and we've shared tears, happy times, sad times, and differences of opinions. Through it all, I've given you space to grow, to learn, to struggle, to fail. But, no matter what, you've always known that I'm here for you. Here to listen, here for a hug, here for a shoulder to cry on, here to give you advice, and if you need it, here for shelter, to reset, to focus again on those days of happiness that you know are there, at your fingertips.
I know that you never want more than happiness and perhaps that's because I've preached for years that happiness is all that matters. When you are happy, I see your heart shine, I feel it. I've always seen that beacon in you, casting light in the night, protecting those you love, yet not always thinking about the light that should shine on you. I raised you not to be selfish, to share happiness and love, to give more than you take. You have always done exactly that.
Now that I have more experience as a Dad since that morning you were born, and you have grown to be a beautiful lady, adulting, giving your life every effort to be happy, I want you to be selfish for just a little while. I want you to look in the mirror and smile. I want you to wear that smile, to share it, to be contagious, to spread the joy of life. I want you to live your dreams and to be loved by those of us that share your dreams.
I want you to laugh and sing like we did that one summer afternoon on the way to the beach. Man, we nailed it that day! I want you to experience the freedom you felt when I pushed you on a swing and you dropped your head back and your blonde haired flowed in the wind. I want you to walk tall with pride like I saw you do each and every time you took to the mats in cheerleading and shout to the world that you are confident and that there's no challenge that can stop you.
Most of all, I just want to continue to share the relationship we have, the one where you can call me and we can talk about anything, or nothing, but I'll be happy to hear from you and you from me. I want to continue that relationship where I miss you every day and I think about the next time we'll get a chance to share a meal, or sit on the couch and binge watch some show I have no interest in, but because you are next to me, I'll be happy because you'll be happy, or we get back in that car for an encore performance to the beach.
You see my daughter, life is about singing and listening to the music the world has to offer. It's our life song and it plays now and it plays forever. Each day, we must dance to this song, and if you get tired, know that you can always dance on my toes, and I'll carry us both to the melody that hasn't stopped since the day that you came into my world as my baby girl.
They were on a collision course, neither aware of their surroundings, only the distraction in their hands. He was peddling feverishly on his bike, down a narrow street, talking on his phone. She was juggling books in her arms while trying to read emails on her smartphone. As they approached the intersection, a four-way stop for vehicles, only the screeching of tires and blaring of horns caught their attention before colliding.
They both lied motionless in the middle of the street, books scattered about and gawkers taking photos of the scene with phones. Traffic came to a standstill as drivers of two of the vehicles went to aid each of them. Miraculously, they were both stunned, yet uninjured in the collision.
He rose to his feet and said, “What the hell happened?”
“I’ll tell you what happened,” she roared as she brushed herself off and started at him with a raised hand.
“You weren’t paying attention and almost killed me!”
He was speechless with a smile, ear to ear.
“Are you laughing at me?” she snared.
“I, I, I’m sorry,” he stuttered out. “No, I’m not laughing.”
She continued with her rant, “What’s with the smile? Do you think this is funny?”
Still smiling, he gently whispered, “You’re so beautiful.”
Shocked, she poked his chest and said, “You better get your head checked!”
He started to apologize, “I’m sorry that I ran into you and I’ll replace any of your books that might be damaged, but I’m not sorry that you’re the most beautiful woman that I’ve ever seen.”
She was speechless. Her anger began to subside and her face became flush as a smile appeared.
They were distracted momentarily as a police officer demanded they gather up the books and bike and move their conversation to the sidewalk.
He refused to allow her to gather her books and suggested she have a seat on a bench while he collected things. After giving her the books, he asked if he could get her a cup of coffee while she checked for damage. She stated that she was on her way to the coffee shop when they collided.
As they began to walk, he asked, “What’s your name?”
“Julie. And, yours?”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you Julie. I’m Jeff.”
Jeff purchased two coffees while Julie inspected her books for damage.
“As I said, I’ll replace anything that’s damaged.”
“They’re fine. Don’t worry about it,” smiling at Jeff.
They continued to chat when the conversation led back to the accident.
Julie asked, “How did we happen to meet this way?”
“Well let’s see. I was riding down Duval, talking to my buddy.”
“I’ll admit it. I was on my phone too,” said Julie.
Then they both paused, distracted as they felt their pockets.
“Our phones!” they shouted as they darted to the intersection that brought them together.
Step delicately into the path of love,
Understanding that your heart can break,
Your feelings may be hurt,
And, you risk emptiness.
Love will catch you off guard.
It’ll embrace your heart with warmth,
Run through your veins and cloud your mind,
Leading you to act giddy.
You’ve been warned.
Love is a delicate adventure
Along a rocky road, on the edge of a cliff,
An adrenaline rush into a void that exists
Until that fraction of a second when you lose control.
A fool will love
Again, again, and again.
Not because it’s love,
Not because he cares.
A fool will love
Because she says
She’s the one.
No, I’m the one.
No, I’m the one.
An expert in love,
I knew it at first sight.
A natural born talent,
Finely tuned daily.
Love is like medicine,
Practiced, never mastered.
Failed experiments occur,
Trials in human nature.
Observe and listen,
Take mental notes.
Discuss and share,
Learn how to complement each other.
Develop bonding ties,
Tackle each day, hand in hand.
With love is the answer,
How do marriages succeed is the question.
They met, purely by chance,
Two men, sharing the same glance.
One, a free spirited gypsy,
The other, from Poughkeepsie.
They shared the love of a blonde,
Though neither had made a bond.
Whether she was drinking hot coffee,
Or eating a chewy piece of toffee,
The men knew just one thing,
Neither had seen her King.
No man to hold her hand,
On her finger, no wedding band.
She was happy as could be,
This they could clearly see.
She walked with intention and pride,
Their paths were about to collide.
On a bench they all sat,
Only a hello in their chat.
They both admired her scent,
As if it had blown from a vent.
She started to get a little nervous.
All she wanted was the bus service.
After a moment or two passed,
The bus arrived at last.
She leaped from her seat,
Carrying her favorite sweet.
Still in a trance from her aroma,
The men had missed the bus to Tacoma.
She was gone from their lives forever,
Two men, without nerve to be clever.
Love whispers you asleep,
Daily, without a sweet treat.
You are embraced deeply,
Daily, without a greeting card.
Your smile is adored,
Daily, without a bouquet.
It’s Valentine Day,
Today is the same,
Daily, I love you.
Writer and photographer.