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.
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.