I wrote this in honor of my father. Enjoy!
It’s 5:00 PM…I arrive at the venue; my nerves are racing through my whole body, but only show in the flipping of my foot. Up, down. Up, down. Up, down. I peer out of the tinted windows of the limo to the guests gathering on the lawn, craning their necks to peer in and see if it’s me, the bride. My bridesmaids are lining up, and fixing their hair and makeup one last time. The guitarist is playing the medley he promised would be beautiful and it is. The big day is here. My heart can hardly believe it. My mother and brother are arm in arm looking more beautiful and handsome than ever. The only person missing is my dad. I don’t see him anywhere. I bite the tip of one of my press-on fingernails. Some of the glue is stuck to the bottom of my thumb. As I peel the glue off my eyes search nervously for my dad.
My photographer is with me in the limo snapping shots here and there. I hear a door handle click, my head whips around, and there he is! My daddy! The man who got me to where I am today…this is the last time he’ll speak to me as his little girl and my stomach starts to get butterflies. I hope he’s proud of me. I hope he believes I’m making the right decision for myself. I hope he knows how much all of this means to me. He slides in the seat next to me and gives me the biggest smile. I know the smile well. He approves.
The limo drives slowly around Stanley Park. Daddy and I have small talk and joke about whether or not I will fall down the aisle. He promises, of course, to hold me up but will also laugh if that happens. I turn my head for a moment to peer out the window to the view of the ocean shimmering like the promise on my left hand. Sunlight is beaming through the Evergreens, the breeze gently moving the branches and water. Calmness takes my body; I breathe, and then turn to my father. Tears are welling up in his eyes…his mouth is pressed closed, his eyes searching for where to start. My face blushes as tears roll down my face. He doesn’t need to say anything. We’re connected. Father and Daughter. Daddy and Dolly. He says finally, “It’s a good hurt. It’s a good hurt.” And we start laughing hysterically not knowing what else to do.
Daddy then describes who I was as a little girl. He says that when he came home from work a glow would light up in my face. I would rush to him, hug him and he knew I loved him with my whole heart. He tells me that he knows the man I’ve chosen is the right person because as the glow in my face faded from him it came back to me when Christopher called or visited or hugged me. I rushed to hug Christopher after work like I had my father years before and my face still lights up when we see each other. My father knows it’s the end of a closeness he had with me but continues to say “It’s a good hurt.”
The limo pulls up to the ceremony again. The last bridesmaid heads down the hill into the sunlight toward the reverend; now it’s my turn. I look at my father and smile as he jumps out of the limo and heads toward my door to open it. I step out of the limo, one foot at a time to steady myself. The concrete is firm beneath my 3 inch heels. My father gives me his arm and helps me stand straight. All the way down the hill I can feel my Daddy’s strength and know he is and was and will always be there for me. He kisses my cheek and tells me he loves me and I know he means it and then he gives me away…to the man of my dreams. My heart is full; I feel blessed and know my life would be different without the two men who mean the most to me. I could never thank my father enough for showing me how to be strong, compassionate and happy in my life. He’s given me the best gift of all and I am forever grateful.
I LOVE YOU DAD!
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!