The relationship between a daughter and her father is as deep a connection as I have ever seen based on my recent experiences. Being a father of two daughters (and 2 sons), this brings to the surface an awareness and a pause to reflect on my own life.
Over the past couple years I observed a young woman and the toll her father's death took on her. Two years later, she uses his picture as her facebook profile. Her thoughts, her emotions, and her written thoughts reach out to him so frequently that it catches me. I would think time would heal the open wound of losing a loved one faster but never completely. However, it seems his passing festers so much that it bubbles to the top and drives her to openly express how much she misses him.
I only had one interaction with the man, her father. I was in my kitchen and saw a vehicle drive out our service road to the Villa and I dropped everything and took my truck out to see who it was. It is not uncommon for people to "tour" our property missing numerous "Private Property" and No Trespassing" signs, a gate, a small house, and several other indicators you are not on a public road. One is the fact that it barely one lane wide and goes through a wooded area. However, I have had explanations of I wanted to see what was out her, I was looking for burn barrels, and I was told there is a winery out here. None the less, once I have my Ford F-150 between you and the only road out, we are going to talk and you will fully realize you are on private property and I don't appreciate it. So I walk up to the van and her father rolls down the window. he has a big smile on his face which is disarming and a van full of people. I explain he is trespassing and he begins laughing which begins to fuel my fire when I look at faces and in the very back is Christy who says I told dad not to come back here without calling you. So we ended up drinking beer in our kitchen with 7 people I never met and a daughter shacking her head at her crazy dad.
A second interaction revealing the power between a father and daughter was a few weeks back in Weaton, IL at my brother-in-laws house. Having coffee and bagels one morning at their dining room harvest table, Doug asked me if I believed in medium. I began as no that it is too close to average for my taste but he caught me saying so - as in spiritual medium. He asked Karen to relate a story surrounding a trip to Galena where she met a woman who connected her with her father that had passed three years earlier.
I am a pretty stout "that is bullshit" kind of guy but I have a soft spot in my heart for my Jewish sister-in-law so I listen intensely. She said going in, she was a disbeliever. She related that there were several points that no one who know unless they were extremely close to her. The fact her dad called her his favorite and that he would ask regularly if she got her MBA because all the other kids had earned it. Seems this woman said there is someone who is stepping forward from the shadows and wants to talk to you. He says he wants to talk to his favorite. Karen said a tear rolled down her face. The woman continued with questions and feelings from this man about her family, where they were, their ages, (funny note here - that last comma was put there due to my daughter, the school teacher who goes on about people not ever putting comas before the and in a list) and other things she would discuss with her dad. As this woman went through her 30 minute and 50 dollar session, the question came out if she has earned her MBA yet. At the ned of her time, the woman said the man had two last things he wanted to leave with Karen. Tell your mom to spend my money and secondly, she still has the greatest legs I have ever seen. Her dad always commented about how great of legs his wife owned.
Yesterday was the 7th anniversary of the father of a friend of mine and it shook her to the core. She struggled through the day and related to me what he meant to her and how he touched every corner of her life. She described herself as unstable when I asked how she was not knowing what was driving the feelings. I was unaware of the anniversary but we had discussed her dad many times before. I checked in on her several times yesterday just to make sure she was okay and make sure she knew that I was thinking about her. To my relief, she spent the evening with her mother and daughter and they relived old times and laughed instead of cried.
As I write this, a link pops up that leads me to read the story of the daughter who was thought to make it through the Boston Marathon bombing while her friend died only to find out they had mistakenly switched their identities. The father stated when it hit him he nearly passed out at learning the news.
My daughters mean the world to me. Each of them is so unique and each can bring me to laughter of drop me to tears in a moments notice. They have a power over me like no woman on earth and I would die for either of them. The now deeper understanding of what impact I make/made on their lives takes me back. I raised them I was young and dumb(er). I made so many mistakes yet they fought through and are both successful and beautiful people. I carry the weight of knowing how our lessons of life are burned into them in a way no one else on this earth could do. I will tell them how proud I am of them and how much they mean to me. Lesson learned.