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The Father Daughter Dance Debacle

Lately Facebook has given me a peek into something I do not know. Friends often post pictures with their father, a birthday dinner or some other family occasion, but this post from a friend was a little different. It was a paper with a whole page of songs that her father had written down, name and artist, to choose from for their father daughter dance. A dance I do not think they shared, as he passed away. Witnessing the thought, diligence, and care put into this list brings tears to my eyes. Seeing the amount of love this man has for his daughter is incredible. The songs he chose were absolutely beautiful, and truly showed that he saw her as a precious gift from God that he was delighted to dance with. It moves me.

I will most likely walk down my own aisle alone, and I have learned to be content with that should the time ever come. I will not dance, but I will gratefully invite my, currently pretend, husband to please share a dance with his mother, to laugh, whisper memories, and the profound disbelief that she is giving her little boy to this woman because they both deserve it. We all deserve that dance. For some of us, it won’t happen. We may not have a father to do this for us. We may not even know what it is like to dance with our father. We may be strong in that moment knowing that we have done all we can for our highest good, and that dance, that walk, and that love simply were not meant for us. We may not be cherished by them, but we have learned to cherish ourselves. We have learned to accept the love we deserve, and we do our best to patch up the hole left behind.

I was afraid of that hole. I was willing to give up committing to a partner for life because I was afraid, not of marriage, but of disappointment. What if he didn’t show up? What if he doesn’t want to? What if she doesn’t want him to? What if it’s awkward? Should someone who doesn’t even know you give you away? What are they giving then? What do you say to each other while you’re dancing? All of these thoughts have absolutely nothing to do with choosing to love one person unconditionally for the rest of your life, but they clouded my view. Thankfully, knowing that there are such great men, such great fathers, gives me hope. My father has done many things for people. He is a helping hand to a lot of people. It has taken me a long time to realize, there is nothing I can do to make him choose to give me his time. He gives abundantly to whom he believes in, and that is to be respected. I respect him. I have just also learned to respect myself. I cannot expect someone who knows nothing about me to write a whole page of songs to dance with me, but that doesn’t make either one of us a lesser person. It is simply the life we are leading. I would be lying if I said it was not an almost daily decision not to cry or be angry about it anymore, to fully let it go, but I had two choices. I could spend the rest of my life reaching out to someone who doesn’t reach back or I could learn to patch up the hole.

I choose to cry happy tears when I see fathers and daughters happy and loving together. I choose to hope the heart of my lovely friend heals from losing the physical love of her lost parent. I choose to let the fact that this love exists, even if not for me, fill the hole. It is an unconditional and undying love. It is a gift. I hope you all cherish each moment with these men who see only love when they look at you. You are blessed more than I hope you ever know or find out.

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The Fremont Street Experience

I did my best to close out the feelings before I could express them…isn’t that the way? Otherwise, I will have to walk fully through it. I had nightmares about this exact type of man, or more accurately men, my whole life. I was always running from a man attacking me in my dreams….running running running yet finding no destination. No place to call home because i have been running from my own immortal soul. Tonight when these men became a reality I have seen be immensely shattering, I knew this was the moment I broke the cycle. I would not be intimidated, I would say NO, I would not like you three “gentleman” to run a train on me. Thank God for security, fast feet, and bravery. Thank God for releasing me from my mental slavery. Tonight has been the biggest surprise I have had in a long time. I read aloud to strangers my own internal rhyme. I released my rhythm, released my flow. Let go of some fear so I can start to grow. I cried as I read my words…Thankfully, with grace. Because I knew I was showing more than my face. I was showing my heart, my soul, on a sidewalk in front of people I don’t even know, and even as the tears fell I could feel my heart swell because HERE I AM….me queen of stage fright releasing one of my most intimate poems. Freeing myself in the process. I went to downtown Las Vegas tonight and had….sparkling water! I will tell you though, it is like I knew. As I walked back from my Fremont Street experience, I could feel the awareness of being an unarmed woman, walking alone, and being vulnerable. PLUS, wearing flip flops (shin splints…ow.) However, I felt peace of mind. I knew I could be aware and keep going. So, as I neared the end of my “lonely” pilgrimage, I was feeling braver than ever. I knew well enough after they asked me if I was interested in a train, they probably were not really interested in my answer. My no, received a lower offer, and I stopped to quickly alert the lovely security officer nonchalantly. He did his best to hold them up, and I, keys in hand, heard the continuous whistles coming closer. As I got to my car, I didn’t even stop to breathe, straight into reverse. I am unwilling to be a victim. I am fiery. I have fight in me, a right to live, and dignity. So, the only trains I will be seeing are much larger and more suited for traveling. Someone called me brave last week at Mary Jane Falls. After tonight, I have to say I believe them.