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Dear Lili,

I hardly know what to say to you anymore sometimes. It’s been over eight and a half years since I started this blog for you, hoping that one day you would become old enough to understand on your own that the special love a father has for his daughter can never be broken, and that no matter what happens, no matter how many years pass by, those feelings remain, and will remain, until my very last days.

Christmas was always a special time for us. I don’t know what you remember about those times, but I remember everything. I pray with all my heart that you too will remember the happy times we shared, not only at Christmas time but every day that we spent together.

I don’t know why you haven’t contacted me yet. I put up this blog hoping one day you would stumble across it and reach out to me. But of course you must have seen it by now. How could you have not found this or my Facebook page by now? And yet, we remain apart.

Yes, I could have contacted you before now. I know more about you than you might imagine. And yet I have refrained out of respect for your privacy, and for other, more legal reasons that prevent me from doing so. Again, you may understand those reasons as well someday.

And so, another year passes, and another Christmas “letter in a  bottle.” Merry Christmas, my daughter.

You are always in my heart.

Your Dad ❤

Dear Lili,

So many years have passed since you last saw your Texas cousins in August 2003. Of course, they’re all young adults now like you. They all miss you and hope that they can see you again someday.

I thought you might like seeing what they look like now. You never met your youngest cousin Manon, who you’ll see on the bottom left.

Here are the “Then and Now” pictures. I hope you enjoy them!

 

Sarah Douglass, Dante, Athene, Lili, and Ariel
doing ballet at Uncle Peter’s house in Houston
August 2003

Ariel, Sarah Douglass, Dante (standing)
Manon, Athene (front)
Thanksgiving 2019

 

Love always,

Dad ❤ 

 

Dear Lili,

Today is Veterans Day. Both of your grandparents proudly served their country during World War II.

Love,

Daddy ❤

Lieutenant Gertrude Maire Kotz and Major Philip Del Vecchio,
stationed England during the war


Major Philip Del Vecchio (right) with brothers Dick and Val


Your grandparents on their wedding day


Your Nonnie, Lt. Gertrude Marie Kotz,
one of the first enlistees in the new Women’s Army Corps

 

Poppie (bottom right) with his crew

The Art of Life

 

“One side of the story is not the whole story. In fact, it’s rarely even half of the story.”

— Tony Del Vecchio

Brokedown Palace (Grateful Dead)

Fare you well my honey
Fare you well my only true one
All the birds that were singing
Have flown except you alone

Going to leave this broke-down palace
On my hands and my knees I will roll, roll, roll
Make myself a bed by the waterside
In my time, in my time, I will roll, roll, roll

In a bed, in a bed
By the waterside I will lay my head
Listen to the river sing sweet songs
To rock my soul

River gonna take me
Sing me sweet and sleepy
Sing me sweet and sleepy
All the way back back home
It’s a far gone lullaby
Sung many years ago
Mama, mama, many worlds I’ve come
Since I first left home

Going home, going home
By the waterside I will rest my bones
Listen to the river sing sweet songs
To rock my soul

Going to plant a weeping willow
On the banks green edge it will grow, grow, grow
Sing a lullaby beside the water
Lovers come and go, the river roll, roll, roll

Fare you well, fare you well
I love you more than words can tell
Listen to the river sing sweet songs
To rock my soul

Hi Lili,

I thought you might like to see these pics from some of the different places we’ve been to.

Love always,

Daddy

Disneyworld March 2003

Howe Caverns August 2003


Toshimaen April 2004


Kasai Rinkai Koen September 2004

 

Dear Lili,

Happy 21st birthday, sweetheart. As always, I wish I could be there to spend it with you, but that’s not possible now. Someday, I hope, you’ll understand why. Just know that my choice was always to have been a part of your life. If you can just believe that, somehow, someway, that would be the answer to my prayers.

Twenty-one years ago today you came into my life, and I’ll always remember that as the happiest day of my life. And although I can’t give you any gifts today in person, I’ll do the best I can and give you the gift of memories. Here are a bunch of pics from when you born and from shortly after returning from the hospital. I hope you enjoy them.

So until I see you again, you have to know:

You are ALWAYS in my heart.

Love you more than words can say,

Daddy ❤ ❤ ❤

 

Kid

My only kid.

 

 

Miss you every day of my life, Lili. 

You are always in my heart.

Love,

Daddy ❤