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“For all sad words of tongue and pen,
The saddest are these, ‘It might have been’.”

— John Greenleaf Whittier

 

I wonder if you remember going to Howe Caverns in New York with me way back in 2003? Legend has it that if you stand on this spot, you will return one day. I hope we can return to this place together.

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You are always in my heart, now and forever!

Love always,

Daddy ❤

Dear Lili,

What can a father who can’t see his daughter give to that daughter for Christmas? How can a father reach across the distance that lies between him and his daughter and somehow manage to give her something of value, something that someday she can cherish and hold dear to her heart? This is the question the left-behind father asks himself every birthday, every Christmas, every moment he wishes he could just pick up the phone and say hello, yet knows he cannot.

My gift to you is the knowledge you will come to understand someday that I fought to be a part of your life. I fought in the courts. I fought at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. I literally fought in the streets in the form of peaceful protests against the system that kept us apart. The pics below are from a protest march at Christmas time back in 2010 in Shibuya.

And I did help change something. In part, due to my efforts and that of many other fathers, Japan signed an international treaty known as the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. And just this week, I read that Japan is finally considering guaranteed visitation rights for parents following divorce, a basic human right that was not available in our case.

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So I guess I changed the world a little bit in this small corner of it, and I did it for you. This is my gift to you. Someday, you will come to understand things on your own, and this is the first thing you need to know — I never gave up on you, and I have always been here for you.

Merry Christmas, Lili.

You are always in my <3.

Love,

Dad XXXOOO

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“I found of picture of you…”

Dear Lili,

Someday, I hope you will come to understand that this long separation from you was not my choice. I tried for years to be a part of your life, but I guess you’ll have to take my word for that now. There are many things that you don’t know, and once you start to search for answers to what happened to us, I will be happy to tell you my side of the story. Until then, I’ll wait, as I always have, for your telephone call, your email or your knock on my door. My heart and my arms will always be open for you.

Love always,

Daddy ❤

 

 

Back on the Chain Gang, by The Pretenders

I found a picture of you, oh oh oh oh
What hijacked my world that night
To a place in the past
We’ve been cast out of? Oh oh oh oh
Now we’re back in the fight
We’re back on the train
Oh, back on the chain gang

A circumstance beyond our control, Oh oh oh oh
The phone, the TV and the news of the world
Got in the house like a pigeon from hell, oh oh oh oh
Threw sand in our eyes and descended like flies
Put us back on the train
Oh, back on the chain gang

The powers that be
That force us to live like we do
Bring me to my knees
When I see what they’ve done to you
But I’ll die as I stand here today
Knowing that deep in my heart
They’ll fall to ruin one day
For making us part

I found a picture of you, oh oh oh oh
Those were the happiest days of my life
Like a break in the battle was your part, oh oh oh oh
In the wretched life of a lonely heart
Now we’re back on the train
Oh, back on the chain gang

.

 

Wild World

Dear Lili,

I never stopped worrying about you, and I guess I never will. I hope you are taking good care of yourself. Because I’ll always remember you like a child, girl.

Love always and forever,

Daddy ❤

Wild World
by Cat Stevens

Now that I’ve lost everything to you
You say you wanna start something new
And it’s breakin’ my heart you’re leavin’
Baby, I’m grievin’
But if you wanna leave, take good care
I hope you have a lot of nice things to wear
But then a lot of nice things turn bad out there

Oh, baby, baby, it’s a wild world
It’s hard to get by just upon a smile
Oh, baby, baby, it’s a wild world
I’ll always remember you like a child, girl

You know I’ve seen a lot of what the world can do
And it’s breakin’ my heart in two
Because I never wanna see you a sad girl
Don’t be a bad girl
But if you wanna leave, take good care
I hope you make a lot of nice friends out there
But just remember there’s a lot of bad and beware

Oh, baby, baby, it’s a wild world
It’s hard to get by just upon a smile
Oh, baby, baby, it’s a wild world
I’ll always remember you like a child, girl

Baby, I love you
But if you wanna leave, take good care
I hope you make a lot of nice friends out there
But just remember there’s a lot of bad and beware

Oh, baby, baby, it’s a wild world
It’s hard to get by just upon a smile
Oh, baby, baby, it’s a wild world
I’ll always remember you like a child, girl

.

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Dear Lili,

I wonder if you remember taking a boat ride around Manhattan Island in New York and seeing the Statue of Liberty? I sure do!

Love always,

Daddy ❤