Today my father would have reached his 80th birthday. Unfortunately, emphysema took his life eight years ago and now he is but a faded picture in the memory of his grandchildren. I think of my father often especially on days like today. Days when it seems as if the world has fallen upon my shoulders, and all I want is to crawl up into that old brown rocking chair and curl up in daddy’s arms. Those were the days before we had a television so during the evenings we would listen to Jackie Gleason on the record player. Dad would sing to me “Daddy’s Little Girl” and I would fall fast to dreamland safe in his arms.

I’m a big girl now Dad, with a daughter of my own to sing to and son to dance with – moments that are my greatest riches. But I miss just being your little girl Dad. I long to hear you sing that ol’ Finlander song as you would bounce me on your leg. I want to hold your hand again as we stroll through the shopping mall waiting for mom to finish work. I wish you could be here to see how completely amazing your grandchildren are, to listen to your granddaughter play the piano as I once did, and watch your grandson sway to Dean Martin on the dance floor – gosh you would love that! Most of all dad, I want you to know that I’m okay. That in spite of all the challenges that time weighs upon me, and the darkness that smothers the light, I’m okay.

I love you Dad!