#atozchallenge theme: “LETTERS TO MY DAUGHTER”
Dear Sweet Daughter,
I love you. My words to you will always start and end with I love you. It is my deeply rooted hope, that you never doubt such a powerful truth. Not ever.
You, my sweet girl, altered my world in ways impossible to imagine or dream. The biggest dreams and the most vivid imaginary are but whispering winds compared to the altering tornado, that your life brought to my world.
In life there are events that forever change us. Those winds of change can completely alter every way we thought, viewed, and interacted with the world. Your mom was the first of those winds in my life. She altered so many aspects of my life, that I hardly recognized the person I was before knowing her. She made the world beautiful in such amazing ways, and taught me more about love than I ever knew.
The second time my world was altered… reformed… made new… was the day I found out about you.
I was so scared. Terrified, in fact!
I did not react the way I always dreamed I would, or how the movies show. You see, no one on earth can prepare you for how drastically your world changes when you become a parent. This change happens instantly and without warning. Frankly, I reacted like a man with only three words in my vocabulary. Yet, in that moment not one selfish thought of a life with less responsibility would enter my reeling mind.
No, it was quite the opposite.
It might surprise you, but I have been thinking about you for as long as I can remember. I thought about you when I was just a small boy riding my bike through the neighborhood under the dry heat of the Arizona sun, adorned with a scab on my knee and no shoes. I thought of you.
You see sweetheart, I always wanted to be a dad. My desire to love, teach, and watch my child grow was so strong, that I thought of you nearly my entire life.
My thoughts did not tell me what you would look like, or when you would come, but it was you. A beautiful little girl, with wavy wild hair. I just couldn’t see your face yet.
So, when I found out your Mom was pregnant with you, my longest kept treasure, an amazing dream… was finally coming true. That dream was you.
In that moment…
My eyes changed. The colors in this world became brighter. Beauty revealed itself everywhere. I began to appreciate simple things, like the leaves of a tree rustling in the breeze. I think I began to see the world how you might see it. It was fresh and untainted. I even found beauty in the brokenness of man’s plight. A simple smile became a meaningful display of kindness. My eyes undressed the masks people used to hide pain. People were no longer divided into any societal separator. All my eyes wanted to see, was their heart. Did they love? Did they spread the amazing feeling that you gave me? Nothing opens the eyes like love. Not the sun, and certainly not hate. The world was gorgeous, and has been ever since.
I understood God with such clarity. He is my Father. The best father. The perfect father (infinitely better than I can ever be). I understood more clearly how He loved me, because it was the same way I was going to love you. Yet, His love is far greater, which boggles my mind because I don’t know how I could love you more. I understood that God would always be there for me, no matter how far I ran from Him. He’d welcome me back into His arms even after yelling at Him, or being angry at His timing. I realized that everything He does is for my good. I realized that He will not always rescue me from pain, or hardships, because there is something He wants me to learn and grow from, and it’s only for my betterment. I am sure you will think I am punishing you too harshly, unfairly, and unjustly at times in your life. Yet, every single time, it will be an act of love that is meant to only protect you, or help you grow. No, I will not protect you from all pain, or temporary hardships, because you need to learn how to handle those occurrences later in life. But, I will be nearer than you know, watching and ready to comfort you. Tell you that I understand. To cry with you, because your pains will be mine. I will always give you a hug when needed. I will always love you unconditionally, just like God.
The scariest part of my newly altered world, was me. I was not yet the man I wanted to be. Nowhere close in fact. You altered my desire to be a better man, into having to be a better man. I wanted you to be proud of your father. I wanted you to look at me and see a man who obviously loves Jesus Christ. I wanted you to see a man that absolutely adores and loves your mother the way she deserves. Like the, “ewww! Gross! Every time I come into a room, you two are kissing!” kind of love and affection. I wanted to give you security, by providing. I knew I had to work harder than I had ever worked, in all aspects of my life. These ideals were not mere fantasies; they were my obligation as your dad. I want to be great, so I can help you become greater. Every parent wants their child to have a better life than they did, and it is undeniably true. I want so much for you. I don’t want to give you the world, but I want you to work hard to achieve your dreams. I’ve worked, and still work hard to insure my greatest dream becomes more amazing than I ever thought possible. You were and are my dream.
Winslow Payton Lemon, I pray that you see yourself the way that I see you. You are incredibly beautiful (thank your mama for that). You are perfect to me in every way. You’re my amazing and astonishing daughter, my baby girl. You’ve altered my existence in such a profound way. You’ve made me grow to be a man. A man that I hope, dream, and pray is worthy to be your father. All I know to do, is what my heart tells me too, and that is to give you an abundance of love.
You amaze me.
I love you, always have and always will.
“Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed the post, feel free to hit that like button, or share. Don’t be shy 🙂
In all seriousness, if you are a parent, I would highly recommend doing something like this. Even if your not a good writer, or don’t know exactly what to say, give it a try. Go crazy and do 26 letters in a month, or take it slow and write one letter a week for a year. Your Son or Daughter would love to have your loving words to keep forever. Let’s start a movement!