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The Letter

A Father’s Reminders for His Daughter

Dearest Princess,

By now, you are used to these letters. I must admit that I am not. Even though it is how we must communicate now, I struggle. With every word I write the desire to see your life unfold becomes stronger, and ridden with a passion I have never known. Its as if I can see the years playing out before me, shrouded in a foggy haze. It's like looking at brief glimpses of a clear picture as you turn the dial on a faulty TV set. The picture is static amid clarity; I know what lies ahead for you, but I am unable to see the final act. There are so many things your life is about to hand you. Difficult, beautiful, hard, simplistic, unreasonable, wild, passionate, calm, and wonderful adventures that will amaze you. I can't even begin to tell you how much life is meant to be enjoyed. I have a feeling you will complete the task effortlessly.

Its understood I am partial, but you hold such a beauty to you. Its in your very soul, and it has been from a young age. You have the ability to lead others to calm, and people seek you out. Without knowing, you bring such happiness to so many, and your sincere love for this world and the people in it, is incredible. I wish I had half of the energy and light that you let shine forth daily. I treasure your kind heart, and if i have only one request, let it be that you always let innocence rest there.

You sat on the edge of my bed tonight, and you thought I was sleeping. I heard every "I love you," and every "it's going to be ok." I felt every embrace, every touch of your hand. Even though I know that you don't feel it for yourself, know that you are bringing me peace, and love, and I promise in return that everything really will be alright. I can see the storm behind your eyes, refusing to break. My heart is breaking now. It lays shattered in a million pieces knowing that your first real broken heart will not come from the world most teenagers your age are living in. The first tears you shed over love, will not be the doing of an awkward boy who is careless with your heart. The blood of that experience is on my hands. If I weren't dying already, the thought alone would be enough to kill me. Your innocence is about to be rapidly taken from you, and even though when you read this it will be years later, I want you to know, I am guilt ridden and sorry. Forgive me. If I could make this all go away I would.

Knowing how things are going to end, it fills me with a kind of panic. Not because my life is over, but because there are still so many things I have yet to tell you. So many things I want you to know. Time and wariness, and lousy night nurses demanding that I sleep, will not permit me to tell you all I ache to. I know I will leave a world of things for you to wander through on your own, without my advice, but let me now share with you what I can; experiences from my past; things I have learned and would like for you to keep close in your mind and heart.

Never wish for a time machine. Looking to far ahead is confusing, and looking back can be a waste of precious time. Don't misunderstand my meaning... memories are the glue that holds us together, but to dwell in the past when it cannot be changed is not productive. I have never believed in wasting your todays in anticipation of some grand tomorrow. You and I are dreamers, but to sit idle and wait for dreams to come only slows the axis on which we spin. Remember your past, be excited for your future, but live your todays. Now is all you have. And its all that counts.

Be grateful for and always respect the love that comes into your life. This world can be a very dark and mean place. True love is rare... but when it lands on your heart... even if to only dance upon the edge for a brief amount of time consider it a gift. Remember that sometimes it will be confusing, sometimes it will be a force you can't stop, others it will be lighthearted and musical, and sometimes it will hurt. Trust your own heart when it tells you "this is worth it" and even if it leaves you sad, know that you were blessed to have held it close to you. Keep your heart free from bitterness. I already know that this will be an easy task for you.

Trust your instincts. That voice deep down in your soul. You know the one. It will never point you down an unintended path. If it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. Fun, tempting... maybe, but not right. Keep your hands clean. I mean this both literally and figuratively. It will save you a lot of regrets later in life. Remember you cant change the past so, try your best to think before you leap. But also remember your humanity and forgive yourself your mistakes. We learn through doing. And sometimes we don't always do whats best. Learn from it, and move on. Guilt will turn your life upside down and your heart and soul to stone. There are enough people walking thru life with guilt. The world does not need another.

Remember your manners. Even when you are angry. Words can wound as deeply as knives, and their scars can span a lifetime. Choose your battles wisely. Know that you cannot change someone into who you want them to be. Learn to respect differences in the people around you. Let them color your life. Even the dark ones have something they can teach you. whether it be something about themselves directly or about you... walk away a better person. Take the lesson from the war, so to speak.

My sweet little girl... your kind heart is going to get you into trouble. I'm sure by now, you have a few experiences under your belt to reference. I have never met anyone filled with such hope. Even in the face of despair, I have seen you hold on to hope blatantly, and fiercely. You only see the good, and its left to others to show you the bad. Knowing you, even when shown how others can be filled with ugliness, you will still choose to see the beauty they could offer. You will never know what a gift you are; but may I caution you, that when someone revels their true colors, believe them. Take them at their word, and let it be. Let it go... even if it kills you inside. Toxic people will find you... don't let them dim your light.

I know as a woman you will be beautiful. Keep a humble heart and a sharp mind. Others will want to pull you close and hold you there. I beg you to never let them clip your wings. The only person in the world who can truly hold you back in life is you. Think about it. Never make excuses for someone else's behavior. Know that if you have stopped growing, its time to pack it in, cut your losses and forge ahead. This one will be hard for you. Take courage in knowing that even though I'm not there to offer help, somewhere, somehow, I am in your corner and pulling for you to make the decision to soldier on. You can most certainly do it. Believe in yourself. Thats all I can ask.

Always keep playing... it will keep you young, and happy, and will ensure that when we meet again, your smile will light the room exactly as it does now. Life is meant to be lived, and you cant do it if your not alive... Be alive. Every day of your life.

I pray that you find a man who loves you more than anything else in this world. My hope for your partner is that he have a poets soul, a gentle hand, the willingness and know how to give to a firm push when you need it, someone who will challenge you, make you see the other side of the coin, will gaze up at the stars in wonder with you, someone who will hold your hand even when you are 90, and someone to feed your dreams. I want this for you because I know that you will do exactly those things for whoever you choose to spend your life with. Love deeply, and you will receive the same in return. I promise. If you haven't found it already, Don't settle until you find this love... it's out there, he does exist... just be patient.

You are everything I ever could have asked for in a daughter. My life was changed the moment I first held you in my arms. I can only imagine the wonderful, beautiful life you will have. It may not always be easy, it might be impossible at times, but I know your strength, and your stubborn streak will never let a rough patch stop you from taking the path you were meant for. Keep your life drenched in as much peace and love as you can, and maybe then you will understand what you brought into mine. I love you... more than you will ever know.

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The Letter
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