The first one, however, isn't about what I do or how I've lived.
It's for Kyla.
A long time ago, someone gave me a little black journal. She told me that I needed to write notes to Kyla so that one day she'd know what I thought about her, and how I felt knowing that for a time, she and I were going to be apart. Just for a little bit. It was a different time, and I wasn't sure how things would be now. Who ever does when you go through that sort of thing, right?
Nonetheless, I took the advice I was once given and I started to write. Now, there've been lapses. Some stuff I've edited out since, well, frankly, it's no longer relevant and as life goes, some people come and go through no choice or fault of your own or whatever, but when I pared what wasn't to last, I found some nuggets of my soul that I've decided would be good for me to compile and pass on to my little one. And, I figure that someone who might be parenting in a similar way to me might find some strength from my growth as a dad. Likewise, I hope that a daughter somewhere might find something which may heal a relationship, mend a broken bridge with a parent or might strengthen a bond between her and her father.
I can hope. Maybe I'm wrong. But what good is living life if you - like Kara DiGuardi said in her song for Platinum Weird said - don't take chances. So I decided to embrace her words which urged me to "jump off the edge..." and I started, in radio-speak - banging out my thoughts. Putting them on paper.
And so I'll share the words I added to the work here tonight. It's sort of a sneak peek, if you will, into a work which is still unfinished... even though I've given myself a deadline. LOL. We'll see how I do meeting that...
Now, know this is the rough cut, if you will. It's not been vetted by an editor. But whatever. I'll share it anyway just because I want too and I feel so inclined tonight...
Tuesday, October 6th. Four days before Meme's birthday. Three days after your uncle Todd's, Cousin Jackie's dad and my brother's - birthday.
I just wanted to tell you... that I miss you.
Now, I say that and I can see you in my mind's eye putting your hand on my heart and saying, "don't be sad, daddy, I'm right here even when I'm not here..."
... but I miss you all the same. Even though we talk on the phone all the time and your mom and I are pretty much in constant contact in different ways during the day, I still miss you when you're not here. I guess someday you'll understand words like 'presence' and 'spirit'. For now all I can do is tell you that it's like when you can hear me in a different room, or when I can know you're following behind me - or me behind you - at Target while I'm trying to avoid the toy aisle and you're looking at things with wonder wishing I would get them for you.
I can hear you telling me to make sure we get some salad stuff for Taxi, your box turtle, so I did tonight.
I can see you climbing up the stools to feed Kee Kee and Mackey, your two beta. I got them new bowls the other day and I think they're happy. I'm pretty sure they miss you, too.
Your room is clean. Don't worry, I put your toys away and didn't donate them to poor kids because you left them scattered about in such a way that you couldn't even walk into your room. And, when you get back I think you'll like some of the surprises that are in there for you.
After all, you are growing up. My baby princess is becoming a little girl princess.
But you'll always be my little baby princess.
It's quiet here tonight. Mister Darrin told me to try opening the windows to let nature's white noise - the crickets and the bugs and the sounds of the nocturnal - help lull me to sleep. It's sort of a substitute for you breathing... the breathing I can still hear from when you decide to get up from your room and run into my room because you think my bed is bigger, and better, for you and all your Care Bear babies and stuffed animals who are your students from when you play school. Remember when you made our kitchen the school bus, and you had the girl group and I had the boy group AND had to drive the bus on a field trip to the Aquarium that one night?
You remember, right? The field trip that lasted a week because I wasn't going to pick up all your kids because you had to do it yourself?
But these sounds can't drown out the soundtrack I hear as I see our lives flash back in vivid detail in my mind's eye.
You make my heart smile, Kyla. But tonight, that heart of mine is a little bit sad.
Because I miss you.
But it's just a little bit sad, because I know you are doing well, growing, learning, and experiencing new things... and spending time with your mommy who loves you as much as I do. And I know she felt the same thing while you were with me all year. Because she missed you. And your happiness - your smile - your laugh and feeling your love through the distance, bring me joy.
You... bring me joy. In fact, in my life, you are my joy. My greatest treasure. My unconditional. My someone and truly my no matter what in every true and honest sense of the word.
So just for a little bit, I'm going to miss you.
And I just wanted you to know this because I wanted you to know how much I love you.
Goodnight, munchkin. Go and dream. Because tomorrow is another day for us to make those dreams come true.
With love unconditional,