Then, in one fateful phone call from an unregistered number, a voice from past had provided me with what sounded like a heartfelt apology and the opportunity to rekindle what I had lost almost five years before.

I agreed to meet her again with devout trepidation, would she even remember me? Could I stand the sting if she didn't? Could I cope if she did and hated me?

The dread, the resentment, the anger, the possibilities, the confusion and turmoil that this one person had brought back to me in one awkward conversation was more than I could barely deal with as I waited for Saturday to arrive.

The festering hole in me that remained where my baby girl's love should have been was finally threatening to heal and after all the years of hope and pain and fear in the past, feelings for her washed over me with a crushing force of forgotten and locked emotions, and I slowly began to forgive and welcome my child back into my heart again.

My cell phone sang out suddenly, the alarm I had set was letting me know that it was time to go.

We had arranged to meet in the park at noon. How appropriate for a show down, I thought as a recounted my check list. Keys, wallet, phone, sunglasses, and my fly, I was ready to go.

I walked to the front door like a man headed to the guillotine, scared out on my mind and thrilled that the wait would soon be over, then for some reason I still don't completely understand I turned around and bolted up the stairs instead, needing to put on some cologne right now.

I slapped the stinging fiery liquid on my freshly shaven face and told the worried looking man staring back at me in the mirror that I could do this.

She was waiting and I couldn't let her down, not again.

I don't remember the drive to the park, I was engulfed in my imagination, she was running into my arms yelling out to me, 'Daddy' and crying with happiness to see me again and I was barely holding back the tears and my heart was smiling so hard that there was hardly room inside my chest for it.

I watched the vision of holding her again, my spirit was filling up with as much happiness as it did on the day she was born and her tiny fingers wrapped around my finger with unspoken acceptance.

I continued to see her growing, her first bath, her first tooth, her first foods, her first steps.

My memories let me hear her tiny voice call out to me in the middle of the night from a nightmare. I could see her trying not to cry as we took her for her first professional photograph. I was reliving these gentle parts of her childhood that I had played over and over in my mind a million times. Copyright 2016 - 2024