I can finally read this without bawling my eyes out...
,,,and thus, I'm able to type it, and share it with you.
At least I hope I can.
It's been a month to the day since my daughter got married. One of the unexpected effects was the lingering amount of high and readily dispensed emotion welling so close to the surface. I knew the big day--and those immediately around it--would bring plenty of smiles, lots of laughs and a goodly amount of tears. I didn't expect that to last as long as it did.
Which brings me to this: it's one of the best things that happened to me as a parent. It came at the rehearsal dinner the night before, when Alyssa and her soon-to-be husband were dishing up gifts to the bridal party. Then, they came to my wife and I, my daughter saying something about us having taught her the value of words and that the best gift she could give would be just that--her feelings about us, in her own words.
Inside a framed diorama, surrounded by photos of her and me, is the following poem. I post it with pride, humility and great honor. You fellow moms and dads know the feeling that comes when your kids say "thanks". My wife and I needed none, but are flattered by what she did and blown away at how she said it.
They say to be a parent is a beautiful thing,
a relationship unlike any other.
From the other side of that bond, being a child has a fascinating view all it's own.
They say as children we see our parents as infallible,
and lose the rose-colored glasses as we grow,
when we really start to see them as the heroes they truly are.
They say different people fulfill different roles in your life,
but never will you meet someone who plays every part as well as a parent.
They say a good parent is not their child's friend, when in fact they are the truest.
They say a child loathes the day of recognizing a parent in themselves, when in fact is is an honor
to reflect the wisdom of those responsible for our lives.
They say as children grow, they don't need their parents,
but the older we get, the more we want to be with them.
They say once you become a parent it charges you with unconditional love.
I believe it, but to experience the devotion of two incredible parents inspires yet another
to love unconditionally.
Thank you for all of the wisdom you have imparted upon me, but most of all,
thank you for showing me how to love.
Couldn't make it, even a month later. Where's that box of Kleenex?