Dear Paul,

I was reflecting on how I’ve now walked both my daughters down the aisle in the past 2 years. They were amazing weddings, weren’t they! Eric and John are great young men, now sons in our family. Wonderful additions to our crew!

It is a rich blessing to now know and be growing in relationship with the guys that were only imagined all those years before, as we’d pray for Ashley and Katelyn and their Prince Charming’s who would eventually come.

I don’t know about you but, for me, the idea of them getting married to a real someone was hard to imagine. I simply knew my deep love and commitment to my little girls, and held out hope that someone out there was willing to step up to my level of giving it all for each of them. I trusted my daughters so I wasn’t (hopefully) too overbearing on them during their dating years. If I was a little strict in some areas, I consider that one my finer accomplishments as a father. I make no apology.

Our good friend, Rob, walked the aisle with his two girls this past year as well. Last weekend was Whitney’s turn. He had a lump in his throat the size of a golf ball. We talked and texted about it beforehand and then before he went up to give the toast. He is so proud of his sons in law yet there’s just something about giving your little girl away…it hurts in a way that is so hard to describe.

Last night we had dinner with some other friends (the Smith’s). Their daughter’s wedding was this past August. We laughed and reminisced about stories and our new awareness of life after the dust settles.

It struck me recently that you went through this about 30 years ago when Steve & I came along, two dudes for whom Prince Charming would be such a very far stretch, and we asked for the hands of your two little girls. Steve and I both agree that we each pulled off the deal of the century, marrying well above our station in life. You raised amazing and lovely women.

You have treated me so very well, Paul. You have shown me trust and respect when I had yet to prove I was worthy of either. You have encouraged a spirit of confidence and faith that I could do it – I could learn to love your daughter the way you did, and still do – with a love that would give its last breath to protect, love and care for a woman.

I am thankful to know that I was not the object of your faith – that the only thing I really had going for me was that I was committed to God and committed to your daughter. I know I’ve made some mistakes along the way but I’m thankful for your faith and your steadfast commitment to believing that God would help us all. He has. You have blessed me well in this.

I have a great marriage and deep love for your little girl, Paul. I love her fiercely, now 33 years later.

I know that I am the second man to love her that deeply, with a take a bullet for you kind of love. I thank you for teaching me what it means.

I am also thankful and blessed to know the honor of sharing that now with Eric & John, as they launch their life of love with Ashley and Katelyn. I love these new sons of mine with a faith that you modelled well for me. I hope I do as well for them as you have done for me.

You, sir, are unquestionably my hero in this area of loving your little girl with an unstoppable and unbroken love and in loving your new son in law with an open and faith-filled heart. I am deeply grateful to and for you.

 

|| The above photo: Paul dancing with his daughter (my beautiful wife)- Kandice Halferty Photography ||

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