There were actually three of us who could claim the title of Daddy's Little Girl. On any given day we were each made to feel like the "special" one. I used to joke with my husband, however, that I was actually Daddy's Little Boy. Not that there was anything masculine about me. I just spent more time with my father doing those DAD kind of things.
I was the athlete. The "jock". The one who helped Dad when he was doing home repairs or building something new in the basement or barn. At his request, I took golf lessons from the pro at his country club, even signing up for a father-daughter match together. And if I say so myself, we were pretty good! Dad would talk about me being in the women's pro circuit someday. I thought he was joking, and as a result never took it seriously enough to "go pro", and eventually ended up disliking the lessons and the game itself. I preferred the faster sports of basketball, volleyball, and lacrosse, and was thrilled the day he left work early to sit in the stands cheering for me at a high school basketball game. I was so happy and proud to see him there. Proud to be his daughter. Proud to know he was proud of me also.
After years of helping dad, my husband joining me after we were married, we began doing more FOR him and less WITH him around our home and property. It is that rite of passage, taking care of those who once cared for you as a child. Not surprisingly, my parents had to sell the farm to move to a more manageable house in a better location. It was tough saying goodbye to my childhood home, walking down the brick path for the last time that I had helped Dad build.
We had left the farm, the physical place...the stone walls, wooden beams, and acres of land. But the memories came with us, and I will always hold them dear. Home truly is where the heart is, and my heart moved with my parents to their new house. Love created a feeling of home there for all of Dad's girls...Mom included....in their new place across town.
It was on this date, now 19 years ago, that my heart shattered when my dad left us on this cold day in January. I can still feel the shock of the phone call, the bereft feeling of any child who loses a parent, and the longing for one more day...one more hour...one more chance to hold him and say I love you. Dad went so quickly I never had to chance to say goodbye. This has always left an ache in my heart, but the years have lessened the pain somewhat, and my faith has allowed me to truly know he is in a better place.
I am my father's daughter, his little girl, forever and always....no matter what.
I love you Daddy.
Your little girl,
A warm country hug to all