Friday, October 14, 2011

Thanksgiving Month, Day 14: To the Father of the Bride

It's her birthday today. Doesn't seem like it was too many years ago that she was a tiny girl with enormous butterscotch eyes and freckles painted artfully on her nose, does it? You managed to make your way through the first years of her life, growing up yourself alongside of her.

Over the years she has grown from that innocent little girl into a stunningly beautiful, intelligent, funny, capable woman.  

How your parents, Dick and Thelma, loved her! My parents love/d her too, first because of their friends and then, when they got to know her, because of her own self. She is able to draw people of all ages to her because of her willingness to be vulnerable, to be herself.
I remember, when she and I were in Africa together, how both children and the women we partnered with loved being around her. Some of the most memorable health lessons were designed and presented by your daughter, who was well out of her comfort zone but who saw a need and stepped in to fill it, whatever the demands of the moment might be. 

I've enjoyed immensely the times the two of you have joined me for tea and a chat in the TH. You've each had to make your way through life more separately than together, so there's been lots of eye-rolling, lots of getting reacquainted, but also lots of understated love.   Not to mention really good tea ...

Fast forward four more years - where did they go?! - and this summer you walked on one side of her, with her step dad on the other side, as she made her way down the aisle to the man she would promise to love and to cherish.
"Someone to watch over me ..."

That evening, as the two of you made your way through the father-daughter dance - Somewhere Over the Rainbow -  I marvelled at the ties you have managed to forge despite time, despite distance, despite philosophical differences, despite any number of things that could have split you apart. You share a deep affection and a history that belongs to the two of you alone. To the two of you together.

You've handed her over to a kind man who loves her.

But as she celebrates her birthday and ponders the legacy that she is part of, the legacy she in turn will pass on, you'll always hold the place of honour in her heart as the very first man she ever loved.

(Some pictures taken from Alana's FB page; Africa picture by CGI)


  1. Thanks, Karyn, well written, well thought out, and very true

  2. Thanks Karyn! This is such a precious Birthday present!! I love it! Love,Alana

  3. Wonderfully done! Such a special tribute!


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