Feeds:
Posts
Comments

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

.

dscn1468

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❤

 

article-1213175-0669AD43000005DC-429_468x458

 

Dearest Lili,

Happy 18th Birthday, Sweetheart! Hard to believe that you are all grown up now. In my mind, you’re still that beautiful six-year-old kid I last saw way back in January 2005.

I keep sending these messages here on this blog hoping that maybe you are reading them, or that maybe someday you will read them. Despite everything that has happened, despite the distance in time that has separated us, I still believe that somehow, someway, somewhere, we will meet again, and that the love we shared as father and daughter can be shared again between us.

There is a saying in Latin that goes “Dum sipiro spero” which means, “As I breathe, I hope.” It’s how any father would feel under the circumstances. I have to believe that one day we will be reunited, as the alternative is just too painful to contemplate.

And so I”m sending you this song from your grandparent’s day which carries my hopes, my dreams, my wishes for the future.

You are always in my heart. Now and forever.

Love always,

Your Dad❤

.

.

We’ll Meet Again, by Vera Lynn

We’ll meet again,

Don’t know where,

Don’t know when

But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day.

Keep smiling through,

Just like you always do

Till the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away.

 

So will you please say “Hello”

To the folks that I know

Tell them I won’t be long.

They’ll be happy to know

That as I saw you go

You were singing this song.

 

We’ll meet again,

Don’t know where,

Don’t know when

But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day!
.

34177_410787293443_3164205_n

.
*************************

February 14, 2016

Dear Lili,

You will always be my special Valentine! I hope someday I can tell you that again in person. I think about you every day and want you to know that your dad loves you from the bottom of his heart.

Love always,

Daddy XXX OOO

image

DSCN1513 copy

The Power of Objects

People try to imbue all sorts of objects with power. Whether it be a crucifix, a “lucky charm,” or a New Age crystal, people are generally willing to claim that objects radiate some sort of mystical or spiritual power for no other reason than because somebody else told them it was so, or because they happened to be wearing that lucky T-shirt when they won a big hand at the casino. For whatever reasons, human beings believe things can contain power, even though we have no rational basis for believing so. In a sense, we are all animists, ever willing to accept the notion that the objects that exist in our environment can affect us or alter our destinies in some way.

For the left-behind father, this is not a matter of unfounded belief. He knows in a very direct and visceral sense the power that some objects really do contain. When we look at our daughter’s baby cup, or her favorite teddy bear, or the blanket with which she was once inseparable, we know all too well the very real power that objects have to propel us into another realm — a realm in which time no longer exists, the place of our yesterdays.

Why should these simple objects evoke any more memories for the left-behind dad than they would for any other father? What makes the power these toys and kiddie books and teeny tiny shoes any stronger than it might be for the everyday dad? It is because we have lost our connection to the present. The cord which binds us to this place and time with regard to our children has been severed, and we are thus only connected to our kids through this thread which stretches back in time, to a place where a genuine, not imagined, relationship with our loved ones once existed. Although we still feel like fathers now without our kids, it is only in some vague, esoteric sense that we feel so, much the way an amputee may feel phantom pains in a limb that no longer exists. However, we know that we once were daddies for real back in that other place, and we have the pictures and Barbie dolls and Legos to prove it.

So folks can feel free to kneel before images of their gods, or leave their crystals out in the moonlight to charge, or rub their lucky coin when the dice are rolling. If people want to believe that they can see their futures by shuffling Tarot cards, that’s all right with left-behind fathers. Because we know the truth about the genuine power of objects — those imbued with memories from another place and time, those simple, everyday things that she once held in her little hand or wore on her little feet, and which can cause the strongest of men to shed tears with even the most cursory of glances.

The Lasts

702aa057fd249d380a6f143b96a109fc

Only Lasts

For the left behind parent, there are no more firsts; there are only lasts. You are not there for her first day at elementary school. You are not there for the first time she rides a two-wheeler. You are not there for the first time her heart gets broken and she needs someone there to help mend it. You are not there for any more firsts. Your entire relationship with your child consists only of lasts.

You remember the last time you went to the zoo together, and the last time you pushed her on a swing. You remember the last picture the two of you ever had taken together. You remember the last time you sang her to sleep at night, and the last time you played in the sandbox at the park together. You remember the last trip you took together, and the last time she saw her grandmother and grandfather and aunts and uncles. And you remember, of course, the last time you said good-bye to one another, and the last time you kissed her little forehead. You remember the last time you saw your child’s face as she slowly walked away from you, unaware at the time that that would indeed be the last time you would to see her.

Ours is a world populated by endings, by finalities. Ours is a universe that is not infinite, but instead undeniably finite. The only continuation of your life with your daughter occurs in your own mind, imagining what her life might be like now, but never knowing, never knowing. Part of our world – what had been the most important part – has come to an end, and we can only dream of a renaissance, of a new beginning. Ours is as a ship at sea attempting to navigate the waters by looking back toward whence we came and consulting charts of the destinations of our yesterdays.

In your home, you create shrines and photo galleries and special niches that are dedicated to the firsts, a sort of museum of your parenthood. There you are holding your daughter for the first time. There you are feeding her from a bottle for the first time. There you are feeling your world light up the first time she genuinely smiles at you. There you are celebrating your first Christmas together. This museum of your lives together you create to avoid the dreaded lasts. But the lasts always, inevitably undo the firsts, and the tears you were sure were over are the only new beginnings that exist for you now as a parent.

And you wonder, what would you have done differently had you known that that last weekend you went to the park together was going to be your last weekend period? Would you have said or done anything differently? Would you have held her a little tighter, told her a few more times how much you loved her, or asked her a few more times not to forget her old dad while you were apart? You reckon none of that would have changed a thing, that the course set by others to separate you from your child was too powerful to overcome. And yet you yearn for that one last something, that one last anything, knowing now what you did not know then — that your days of firsts had come to an end.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.