As I watch her, my thoughts went back to our journey – a journey that started with a stare from her mother and an enchanting smile to follow. That sealed my direction. The years which followed, the highs of our love bond and lows of expectations that bore no fruit, came to a blessed conclusion on a night that I cradled my love as we slept. We were awakened by the warm fluids that kept her safe for nine months, and the baton was passed.
Wow! I am now a father – a father who will have no boundaries to protect and care for life. My thoughts deepen into a trance, as I think about her arrival into this land, where her future is decided not only by her behavior, but the choices she will make in her life. Did I give her all the skills needed to exist in this cruel place? Did my behavior around her influence the choice she made in her husband? Does he understand what it took to get her at this point of her life? Diapers changed, years of listening to her crying, sometimes comforting her when mysterious sounds were heard by her alone? All these sacrifices were made to fulfill an unending need to be part of God’s master plan called the cycle of life.
My thoughts are interrupted by her innocent gaze…a gaze ripe with enthusiasm and distant concern. I manage a quick wink, hoping not to allow the tears that have welled in my eyes to flow. As she turns away, I thought of grabbing her husband-to-be by the collar and saying to him: “Hey bwoy… if you ever tes’ me baby I will kill u!”
However, my upbringing and trust in her choice would have none of that. I stand firm as I am asked if I was the father giving the bride away. I step up with pride as I present my princess to the man she deemed worthy of her space and time. The respectful cheers confirm my inner feelings, and I am swept away by the confidence I first had… thoughts that should never have made me so sad. I release her hand and take my rightful place – my place beside my wife…my companion who started this journey with me. Her warm comforting smile allows me to accept my relinquished role, and, emboldened by the presence of our families, my weight of concern was made lighter knowing that I did the best that any father could.