Dear Lili,

Thinking of you as always on Valentine’s Day. There is no greater love than that of a father for his daughter. Know that, no matter what happens, I will always be there for you. You are my special princess, and 

You are always in my heart!

Love always,


<3 <3 <3


Christmas 2014

Dear Lili,

Merry Christmas, Sweetheart! I hope you’re having a happy time.

I think about you a lot at Christmas time. Every year I put up prints of the drawings you made, and it make me feel a little bit like you’re here. Of course, you’re always with me in my heart. 



I put up the Christmas tree every year. I bought some new LED lights and it looks really beautiful this year. I hope you come to see it one day and spend a few days at Christmastime with your Dad like we used to do. It was always a special time of year for us.


I often think of the happy times we shared, like how you used to ride on my shoulders, which you called “ride on top.”

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Missing you most at Christmas, and hoping for the day when we no longer have to be separated at this time of year…

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Love always and forever,

Your Loving Dad <3 <3 <3

Ashokan Farewell


Ashokan Farewell:



Dear Lili,

This is kind of a sad song, I guess. It makes me think of the last time I saw your face nearly ten years ago now. Your grandmother had just passed away, and I was allowed 30 minutes in the train station in the coffee shop to tell you the news. As you walked away, I never realized at the time that it would be the last I’d see you for all these many years. What might I have said to you had I known, I cannot say.

Anyway, here is the song called Ashokan Farewell, performed by Jay Unger and the Molly Mason Family Band.

Missing you always.

Love forever,

Daddy <3 <3 <3

Dear Lili,

Here’s another song for you called Crow Dog’s Paradise. It is on that CD we bought when we visited Niagara Falls together in August of 2003.

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We listened to this CD — Hearts, Hands & Hides — a lot in the car, and you liked it as much as I did. 


And the songs will always remind me of that last vacation you and I took together. It never fails to make me cry a little bit for all the good times we could have had together, but couldn’t. Know always that I wanted to be there for you, but, well, “things” got in the way.

Love always,

Your Dad

Here’s the song. No English words, but it still says so many things to me.




Fire and Rain

Dear Lili,

Sometimes I just can’t find the words to say to tell you how much I miss you. Just the other day was the tenth “anniversary” of the last time we spent a weekend together, visiting Kasai Rinkai Koen.


I just don’t know where the time has gone. So many of the other left-behind parents I know have now reconnected with their kid(s), but for us, I guess our time just hasn’t come yet. I want to reach out to you, but I’m afraid that doing so would drive you even further away, so I wait. I wait for you to come back to me, as I have been these long years.

Here’s a song that was really famous when I was a kid about a man who, like me, never thought the person they loved would be lost to him. It’s called “Fire and Rain” by James Taylor, and it says what I feel sometimes when I think of you and me and all the happy times we once spent together. I miss you more than words can say, and I just want you to know that I’ll always be here for you should you ever want to be a part of my life again.

Until then, as I’ve said many times before, “You are always in my heart.”

Love forever,


James Taylor Fire and Rain

Fire and Rain, by James Taylor



Sweet Sixteen Cake

June 30, 2014

Dear Lili,

Happy Sweet Sixteenth Birthday, Sweetheart. As always, I wish I were there to share your birthday with you! I can only imagine what a lovely young lady you have become. I can hardly believe you’re 16 years old already. Where has all the time gone? It seems like only yesterday when I held you in my arms at Keio University Hospital way back in 1998 and welcomed you into the world as your Daddy.

No matter how many years pass, though, my Daddy’s love for you will never change. You will always be my darling princess, and now, I guess, my teenage queen.

I’d love to send you a present for your birthday, but since I can’t do that, I’ll have to give you a present this way. Here’s a really old Rock ‘n’ Roll song that you might like that celebrates this very special day for you. It’s called “Sixteen Candles” by The Crests.




“Sixteen Candles”

 by Luther Dixon and Allyson Khen

Happy birthday, happy birthday, baby

Oh, I love you so

Sixteen candles make a lovely light

But not as bright as your eyes tonight

(As your eyes tonight, oh)

Blow out the candles

Make your wish come true

For I’ll be wishing that you love me, too

(That you love me, too)

You’re only sixteen (sixteen)

But you’re my teenage queen

(You’re my queen)

You’re the prettiest

Loveliest girl I’ve ever seen

(I’ve ever seen, oh)

Sixteen candles in my heart will glow

For ever and ever for I love you so

(For I love you so)

You’re only sixteen (sixteen)

But you’re my teenage queen

(You’re my queen)

Oh, you’re the prettiest

Loveliest girl I’ve ever seen

(I’ve ever seen, oh)

Sixteen candles in my heart will glow

For ever and ever for I love you so

(For I love you so)

For I love you so.


Anyway, I hope you like it. It’s not much, i know, but it’s all I have to give you now.

My door is always open for you. You don’t have to call or write — just knock on my door and come back to your first home and spend some time with you Dad if you want to. Anytime.

You are always in my heart.

Happy Birthday, Bubby.

Love and Kisses,


Daddy   :) <3










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