She Will Never Know

Curacao



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Some guys are married, and some guys are married. I am the second kind.

Not only have I been fortunate to enjoy a great relationship with my spouse, I have four children that are such a big part of my life that in their absence, the void hits me pretty hard. Over the years, I thought of little else besides caring for my family. What I want out of life is exactly what I have.
 
My oldest daughter is returning today from a vacation in Curacao (pictured above). Although she hasn’t been gone that long, the last few weeks have been especially tough for me. She has not been just a daughter. She has been my daughter. From the day she was born, my life has been enhanced exponentially.

As a child, Meredith afforded me a pride I cannot explain. She played sports and was especially adept at running. In high school, she went to the state championship and won the mile in track and field, but sustained a couple of stress fractures in the process. Against my advice and over my objections, she ran the two-mile event an hour later – and won that as well.

At age 12, my daughter took a wilderness excursion with me to the Pacific Northwest, where we hiked 257 miles through the Cascades into Canada. We lived off the land for nearly a month, carrying only some powdered food and relying on our ability to catch fish in mountain lakes and streams. We saw elk, mule deer, marmots, black bears, and eagles in the wild. On one occasion, I awoke at dawn in a panic as Meredith was not in the tent. I found her about a hundred feet away, feeding wild apples to white-tailed deer that obviously had never seen humans before. I took one step forward and the deer scrambled. She told me she had been with them for about 20 minutes before one of them approached. I never had that experience, but I lived it through my daughter.

I always wanted my children to be independent, and well-traveled, and I am reaping what I have sewn. I failed to realize that sometimes as I grew older it would be painful to remain home awaiting their return. My place is with them, protecting them, but I realize that is impractical. Besides, Meredith spent time as a competitive martial artist and doesn't need me anymore. 

Today, my daughter enjoys a happy marriage to a great guy, and they have two absolutely beautiful daughters of their own. She remains adventurous. Her family mountain bikes in remote places, and kayaks in areas of Florida and Georgia I wish they didn’t. I taught her to respect and appreciate Nature, and now I am paying for it.
 
Nevertheless, I continue to be thankful for being blessed with the most wonderful child a man could ever love, but I miss her when she is gone. How much she will never know.

. . .

Comments

  1. Trust me, she knows. No one can be loved that much and not know it. Beautiful. YOU struck the mother lode, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan: Thank you. I sure did.

      Delete
  2. A successful parent is one who's children leave him...and come back to visit of their own volition.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. joeh: This Fathers' Day, they all came back to visit!

      Delete
  3. Got me right in the heart with this one.

    I agree with Susan... she knows. And she loves you just as much right back!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robin: Thank you. I am sure you are right.

      Delete
  4. Beautiful post, JJ. It makes me think of my own father. He may be feeling the same way...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julia: I understand. I feel the same way about my father too, even though I lost him years ago..

      Delete
  5. Although your children might never know how fortunate they are to have you, but then again they might- as you are such a fine example for them. I'm sure what makes you such a good person can't help but find its way into them. I hope the world increases with people of your kind.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I know exactly how you feel! Both my kids are grown, my daughter is married, but they'll always be my babies and I miss them when I'm away from them. Always will.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jennifer: I agree. I never realized I would feel the same when they grew up.

      Delete
  7. Aloha JJ,

    Loved your D-Day post by the way and how awesome is it that you have such a great pic of your Dad in a quiet moment.

    Speaking of Dads, may I wish you a very happy Father's Day. It definitely appears that you and Mrs. JJ have raised four wonderful children and I can only aspire to do all the outdoor stuff you've done with your daughter(s).

    Have a great weekend :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mark: Thank you. Spend that time with them!

      Delete
  8. I'm with JJ... we can't assume that our children miss us... I am confident that I was the best Father I could have been for my kids. At times, I wonder... they have taken a path in Life that scares "me."

    Of course, as JJ so eloquently put it, we do raise them to grow up and ste out on their own.

    I tend to second-guess many of my choices on Father's Day... could I have done more?

    Who knows...

    ~shoes~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shoes: I never got out of the second-guessing stage.

      Delete
  9. It sounds like you've raised a wonderful daughter who is caring and adventurous like her dad. It's amazing how you both spent almost a month together in the wilderness, and how Meredith befriended the deer. I'm sure you had a fabulous Father's Day with your family, and you have every right to be proud. Judging by the amazing woman that Meredith has become, she undoubtedly is proud of you too JJ!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julie: I can thank my wife for so much of that.

      Delete
  10. Hi JJ .. beautiful post - and not many children will have had that love afforded to them .. so you both are lucky .. and she will realise and appreciate you more and more over the years ... and treat her children the way you brought her up.

    You're lucky - and you realise it .. enjoy the fact she's around and I'm sure always in touch ... cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hilary: Thank you so much. I am very fortunate.

      Delete
  11. What a great post! She sounds amazing and wonderful. I know just what you mean about grown up kids who have turned into great people. You are proud of them, glad they are happy, glad they are doing well. But oh, sometimes it would be nice if they were little again....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jenny: Yes. She is still my little girl.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Other Works by JJ Botta

My books are available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and numerous Bookstores. Amazon.com AND Barnes and Noble