Dear Lili,

Another year has come and gone. And here I am, instead of celebrating a birthday with my only child, sending another message in a bottle, one that I can only hope will reach you someday. And here I am again, wondering what to even say to you anymore. The years that have passed are like an ever widening gulf between us, and I just don’t know how to reach you. Still, I will never give up hoping until my dying breath that one day we will be reunited again. Dum spiro spero. (As I breathe, I hope.) Until that day comes — if ever it does — know now and forevermore that you are always in my heart. And if you can’t remmeber the love we once shared, I guess I’ll just have to remember for the both of us.

Love always,

Your Dad

I’ll remember for both of us.

You are always in my heart.

Don’t you ever ask them why.
If they told you you would cry.
So just look at them and sigh,
And know they love you.

Butts Road

When you came with me to the doctor in Florida, we would pass this road in Boca Raton. Both of us used to laugh about it. Just one of the silly things I remember about you.

Indian Summer

On the wind
Summer’s leaving
It found me grieving
Living on my own thinking of you
Thinking of you

In the sand
By Rainbow River
My love did shiver till the fire and I warmed her again
Want you again
And I need you all through the night

Ah hold back the Winter Indian Summer
I’m not sure if I can take the snow
In mid December I can’t help but wonder
How will I ever last till the coldness goes

Baby I miss you all through the day

Ah hold back the Winter Indian Summer
I’m not sure if I can take the snow
In mid December I can’t help but wonder
How will I ever last till the coldness goes

Dear Lili,

After the separation, I still believed that somehow the bond we had forged would remain strong, despite “the forces” that conspired against us. I so looked forward to the weekends we shared together, even though it broke my heart every time I had to drop you off and say good-bye. We were close, as a father and daughter should be, and I truly believed that I could watch you grow up and that I could continue to be a good dad to you. I was wrong in that dream, of course, and little by little, I watched you slip away from me. Our visits became less and less frequent, until eventually they ended altogether. Somebody asked me today what I would have done differently. What more could I have done, though, than I had? The odds were stacked against us. It does now seem like a cruel and foolish game we used to play indeed.

Love always,

Your Dad ❤

How many of my friends have fought this battle despite the insurmountable odds. We gave our all, and suffered the cost, and we would wilingly do it all over again even with the bitter outcome foretold. Because that’s just what Dads do. You burst into the burning building without a thought to get to your child trapped inside. You don’t ask “Will I get burned?”

Dear Lili,

Sometimes I just don’t know what to say anymore. I don’t know the right words to bring us together again. Maybe there are none. But I’ll never give up on you. Someday, when you are a parent, you’ll understand how I feel.

You are always in my heart. Now and forever.


Your Dad ❤

I don’t know why exactly, but this song reminds me of you and the tender moments we shared when you were young.

You are always in my heart,


From our American Adventure in August 2003.