4,929 Days and CountingFeb 14, 2021
How is it possible that I’ve known my 24-year-old daughter longer than my 27-year-old daughter?
My 27-year-old is still alive and well.
Or so I’ve been told from my younger daughter.
I am proud of and love both of my daughters.
However, August 12, 2007, was the last time I saw my oldest.
To this day, I still don’t know why.
But let me take you back.
My daughters are two of the blessings from my first marriage, which ended in divorce in 2002.
Growing up, my daughters and I were very close. I was their world.
I doted on my girls whenever I wasn’t working at one of my two jobs.
They were my world — the way any loving father would feel.
The marriage seemingly never had a chance because it was not built on a firm foundation.
Although my older daughter denies it, I remember quite vividly the day my ex-wife and I went into her and her sister’s room and told her.
She was devastated. She cried and cried. “NOOOOOOOO!”
We tried to assure her that it was going to be all right. That she and her sister would get to spend time over at my apartment.
Seeing her like this broke my heart.
It wasn’t until after we broke the news to her that I fully understood why God hates it so much. It just causes so much pain.
Especially for the kids.
In August 2002, I moved out of our rental house and into a one-bedroom apartment. The girls stayed with their mother.
Shortly afterward, I filed for divorce, which became final in November 2002.
The day I moved out, my daughters tagged along to help me set up my new apartment. They didn’t appear to show any signs that this would affect them, but what did I know?
We had a fun time setting up the new place that weekend. I let them help me decide what went where, ordered pizza, and just enjoyed being silly.
Being a great Dad
Only two people on this big, blue planet can say, “I love you, Daddy,” to me. Of course, I’m just “Dad” now. ;-)
Every time I hear those words, my heart melts.
I was always there for my girls.
Never missed a weekend. Or an event at school.
Then there’s this: my ex-wife and I only had one car. So, on my weekends, I would ride my bike over to the house, about 5 minutes away, get the girls into the car, and drive back to my place.
Despite my ex-wife’s unhappiness with me, I don’t think she thinks I was a bad father to our girls. I could be wrong.
I married my current and final wife in 2003, and we promptly moved to a bigger apartment. Women bring this stuff called furniture, and lots of it!
Still, I never missed a weekend or a Wednesday.
I loved when they shared their school work with me and what they were excited about. It was never enough.
In December 2004, we bought a house.
Still never missed a weekend or a Wednesday.
In fact, before I was fired from my corporate job in July 2005, I would leave work, pick up my wife, and then drive 45 minutes each way to pick up my girls for Wednesday visits. And then drop them off aftward. Close to 90 minutes in the car — much of it in bumper-to-bumper traffic. But I never regretted it.
My girls were worth it.
And then August 2007 happened
I had the girls for two 2-week periods every summer.
But I could tell that something was amiss in August 2007…the second 2-week visitation, with my oldest daughter.
She was very aloof toward me.
I dropped her and her sister off at their mom’s house and told them I’d see them next Friday.
But on that Friday, my ex-wife told me that my daughter wasn’t feeling well and that she would not be coming that weekend.
I picked up my younger daughter, and we had a great time.
When I dropped her off, my older daughter came out to say hi, and I prayed for her, something I did for my daughters every time I saw them and at bedtime.
On Monday, I received a phone call from my ex-wife saying that my older daughter no longer wanted to see me.
It broke my heart.
Yes, I cried.
I asked about my younger daughter and was thankful to learn that she still wanted to see me.
Knowing my younger daughter longer than my oldest
As of today, I’ve known my younger for 8,519 days. And when I say “known,” I mean I’ve had an ongoing relationship with.
My oldest daughter? Just 5,158 days.
I can’t even begin to express how much I miss my oldest daughter. I pray for the healing of our relationship nearly every day. For 4,929 days.
My older daughter is a college graduate, married (I didn’t walk her down the aisle), and a mother. My granddaughter is almost two-and-a-half years old. I look forward to the day I get to meet her.
If by miracle or divine intervention (I’m asking You, God) she should happen to read this article, know this:
I’ve never forgotten about you. Never stopped loving you. I’ve never stopped praying for you. And you are welcome back. No judgments. I love you.
My younger daughter and I have continued to have a strong relationship. Like any relationship, there is the good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s life. We’re human, and that’s what happens. We even FaceTime every Sunday now. It’s awesome.
Like any good parent, I don’t love either daughter more than the other. I love them both equally and with all my heart.
Thank you for letting me share this story with you.
I hope you enjoyed this article. Thank you for reading it.
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