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.