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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

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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❤

 

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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!
.

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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

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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.