Archive for the ‘Songs for Lili’ Category


June 30, 2015

Dear Lili-chan,

It really struck me today when I thought about the fact that it was 17 years ago that I was waiting at the hospital for you to come into this world. I couldn’t get my mind around the idea because for me, in many ways, time has stood still. I don’t know you now. All I know is the loving kid you used to be, and how close you and I once were. Six-year old Lili is the last face-to-face image I have of you in my mind.

And I’m still here, in the place that is left behind, nurturing the memories of the only daughter I know — that beautiful little girl who loved her Daddy so much, and who was and is loved by her Daddy back.

You are taking your first cautious steps across the floor where I sit as I write this. You are playing on the swings, lighting sparklers, and building sand castles in the neighborhood park. I can hear you running to the door to greet me after you hear my footsteps on the outside stairs. You are nestled in bed, asking me to sing “Rock-a-My-Baby” (your cute title) “one hundred thousand hundred million billion times more.” And I roll my eyes and say in a funny voice, “Dat’s too much!” And we laugh and laugh! 😂😂😂

So I don’t know what or if you think about your Dad too much, but I know I not only think of you — your presence is aways felt around these parts.

This song, by The Chi-Lites, captures much of the feelings I had after you stopped coming by Higashi-Nakano to visit. I still feel like someday I may bump into you around town, so I guess I’m always looking out for you in a way.

Memories are all I can give you now. That and a father’s love, which I hope you someday come to realize.

You are always in my heart! 💘💘💘

Love always,

Dad 💓😍💓

Have You Seen Her?

by The Chi-Lites

One month ago today
I was happy as a lark
But now I go for walks
To the movies – maybe to the park
And have a seat on the same old bench
To watch the children play (huh)
You know, tomorrow is their future
But to me, just another day
They all gather around me
They seem to know my name
We laugh, tell a few jokes
But it still doesn’t ease my pain

I know I can’t hide from a memory

Though day after day I’ve tried

I keep sayin’ she’ll be back
But today again I lied

Oh, I see her face everywhere I go
On the street, and even at the pictureshow
Have you seen her?
Tell me, have you seen her?
Oh, I hear her voice as the cold winds blow
In the sweet music on my radio
Have you seen her?
Tell me, have you seen her?

Why, oh, why
Did she have to leave and go away (oh, yeah)
Oh-oh-oh, I’ve been used to havin’ someone to lean on
And I’m lost
Baby, I’m lost (Oh)

Oh, she left her kiss upon my lips
But left that break within my heart
Have you seen her?
Tell me, have you seen her?
Oh, I see her hand reaching out to me
Only she can set me free
Have you seen her?
Tell me, have you seen her?

As another day comes to an end
I’m lookin’ for a letter or somethin’
Anything that she would send
With all the people I know
I’m still a lonely man
You know, it’s funny
I thought I had her in the palm of my hand

[Repeat to fade:]
Have you seen her
Tell me, have you seen her (tell me, have you seen her?)


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Ashokan Farewell:



Dear Lili,

This is kind of a sad song, I guess. It makes me think of the last time I saw your face nearly ten years ago now. Your grandmother had just passed away, and I was allowed 30 minutes in the train station in the coffee shop to tell you the news. As you walked away, I never realized at the time that it would be the last I’d see you for all these many years. What might I have said to you had I known, I cannot say.

Anyway, here is the song called Ashokan Farewell, performed by Jay Unger and the Molly Mason Family Band.

Missing you always.

Love forever,

Daddy ❤ ❤ ❤

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Dear Lili,

Here’s another song for you called Crow Dog’s Paradise. It is on that CD we bought when we visited Niagara Falls together in August of 2003.

DSCN1381 copy

We listened to this CD — Hearts, Hands & Hides — a lot in the car, and you liked it as much as I did. 


And the songs will always remind me of that last vacation you and I took together. It never fails to make me cry a little bit for all the good times we could have had together, but couldn’t. Know always that I wanted to be there for you, but, well, “things” got in the way.

Love always,

Your Dad

Here’s the song. No English words, but it still says so many things to me.



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Dear Lili,

Sometimes I just can’t find the words to say to tell you how much I miss you. Just the other day was the tenth “anniversary” of the last time we spent a weekend together, visiting Kasai Rinkai Koen.


I just don’t know where the time has gone. So many of the other left-behind parents I know have now reconnected with their kid(s), but for us, I guess our time just hasn’t come yet. I want to reach out to you, but I’m afraid that doing so would drive you even further away, so I wait. I wait for you to come back to me, as I have been these long years.

Here’s a song that was really famous when I was a kid about a man who, like me, never thought the person they loved would be lost to him. It’s called “Fire and Rain” by James Taylor, and it says what I feel sometimes when I think of you and me and all the happy times we once spent together. I miss you more than words can say, and I just want you to know that I’ll always be here for you should you ever want to be a part of my life again.

Until then, as I’ve said many times before, “You are always in my heart.”

Love forever,


James Taylor Fire and Rain

Fire and Rain, by James Taylor


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Sweet Sixteen Cake

June 30, 2014

Dear Lili,

Happy Sweet Sixteenth Birthday, Sweetheart. As always, I wish I were there to share your birthday with you! I can only imagine what a lovely young lady you have become. I can hardly believe you’re 16 years old already. Where has all the time gone? It seems like only yesterday when I held you in my arms at Keio University Hospital way back in 1998 and welcomed you into the world as your Daddy.

No matter how many years pass, though, my Daddy’s love for you will never change. You will always be my darling princess, and now, I guess, my teenage queen.

I’d love to send you a present for your birthday, but since I can’t do that, I’ll have to give you a present this way. Here’s a really old Rock ‘n’ Roll song that you might like that celebrates this very special day for you. It’s called “Sixteen Candles” by The Crests.




“Sixteen Candles”

 by Luther Dixon and Allyson Khen

Happy birthday, happy birthday, baby

Oh, I love you so

Sixteen candles make a lovely light

But not as bright as your eyes tonight

(As your eyes tonight, oh)

Blow out the candles

Make your wish come true

For I’ll be wishing that you love me, too

(That you love me, too)

You’re only sixteen (sixteen)

But you’re my teenage queen

(You’re my queen)

You’re the prettiest

Loveliest girl I’ve ever seen

(I’ve ever seen, oh)

Sixteen candles in my heart will glow

For ever and ever for I love you so

(For I love you so)

You’re only sixteen (sixteen)

But you’re my teenage queen

(You’re my queen)

Oh, you’re the prettiest

Loveliest girl I’ve ever seen

(I’ve ever seen, oh)

Sixteen candles in my heart will glow

For ever and ever for I love you so

(For I love you so)

For I love you so.


Anyway, I hope you like it. It’s not much, i know, but it’s all I have to give you now.

My door is always open for you. You don’t have to call or write — just knock on my door and come back to your first home and spend some time with you Dad if you want to. Anytime.

You are always in my heart.

Happy Birthday, Bubby.

Love and Kisses,


Daddy   🙂 ❤









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