Posts Tagged ‘weddings’

A little over a week ago, our only daughter, Delanie, got married. it was a really good day full of love and laughter and a few tears. on her wedding day I gave her a letter. I tried to capture some of the love, pride and hope that I feel for her. now that the confetti has settled, with her permission, I share my feelings…

Sweet child of mine…

My Dearest Delanie,


Today I will walk you down an aisle and give your hand to a tall bass player.

I remember the first time I ever saw that hand. It was in a hospital in Tulsa.

Time stood still as I counted your perfect little fingers.

I instantly loved you.

But time never stands still for long…

On this very special day, I think back to so many other special days…

Memories flood my soul like vividly colored snapshots…

I might be a bit biased, but I’m pretty sure you were the cutest baby ever born (you can thank your mom for that!)

you had super chunky little arms with folds perfect for hiding Cheerios. (you can thank me for that)

We were shocked to learn that you didn’t come with an instruction manual. We had no idea what we were doing. When we first brought you home we were so afraid we were going to break you. We checked constantly to make sure you were still breathing. We kept calling Nanny and Poppy and they were always there to help us and to snuggle with you.

From the beginning you liked to dance to your own beat. Before you could even walk, We would crank up “baby likes to rock it ” by the Tractors ( it was your jam) you would start shaking and bopping in your yellow little tykes boat.

I remember the first day of kindergarten, you bravely marched up the sidewalk carrying a power puff girl backpack full of dreams, a big box of crayons and a slim jim (which was the only thing you would eat for lunch). We let go of your hand and watched you walk away…and we bawled like preschoolers.

I remember our daily daddy-daughter trips to 7-11 to get Slurpees. Red slurpees were the perfect remedy for a hard day.

Instead of butterfly kisses I got Slurpee smooches that left my cheek sticky and stained.

I remember spending summers at Camp Whispering Oaks. You got the run of the snack shack and hung out with the interns. I remember one day when we were driving around in a golf cart, i took a corner a little too fast and you went flying. I still feel bad about that. I watched your little body propel out of a golf cart and roll down a red dirt hill. I instantly thought “OH MAN! Diana is gonna kill me!” Fortunately You were fine, just a little twitchy. I bribed you with candy to never mention it to anyone. But, you ran straight to Fran Westbrook (my boss) and blurted out “MY DAD ALMOST KILLED ME!”

I remember Horse camp and watching you ride around on the final night. I couldn’t help but think that your great grandpa would be really proud. I also remember the second year of horse camp. I missed the final night, because some mean church elders insisted on having a meeting and I caved in. I later watched the video of you riding out, looking around and asking “where’s Daddy?” It broke my heart that I wasn’t there for you. That is one of my greatest regrets as a parent, I swore I would never do that again.

I remember driving around together in a little red truck singing along as loud as we could to country music.

I remember the Daddy – Daughter dances where I would take your hand and we would dance to Disney channel hits. Then you would get bored and run off with the Walshes. I would stand on the sidelines and watch you laugh and your laughter was the sweetest song.

I remember a refrigerator door full of art made from macaroni, glitter, sand and shaving cream. (Thank you Miss Cassandra and Ms. Kimberly!)

I remember when you were 4 years old and you gave us a glimpse into your future when cut your own hair. You wanted to look like a Dixie Chick.the results were…interesting. You looked more like Bjork than Natalie Maines.

We spent countless, priceless hours at Six Flags and Sea World. The smell of freshly paved asphalt still takes me back to Looney Toon Land. We rode rides and pet dolphins. I remember you being really upset because of the stupid “you must be this tall to ride this” sign. It kept you from riding the steel eel. I felt your pain! We went to Wal-Mart and bought you some wedge sandals and suddenly you were tall enough. you rode it the next day. I loved that you loved roller coasters.

I remember sitting in unbelievably uncomfortable metal bleachers and watching you play softball. You were a beast. You were a seriously amazing catcher. You were ticked if you didn’t get to play the whole game. You played so hard and gave it your all. I’ve never been a super competitive dude but I really can’t explain the crazy competitive feelings I had when I watched you play. It ignited something in me.

I wanted you to win and sometimes you did.

I also watched as sometimes you didn’t.

You learned that sometimes you lose and character is the most important trophy.

I remember Oklahoma, and Indiana, and Oklahoma again, and Texas, and finally…North Carolina.

AHHHH…North Carolina…a magical place where you met a boy from Georgia.

Tomorrow you wake up with two names that people pronounce wrong…good luck with that.

I really couldn’t be more proud of you.

I’m so glad that you didn’t allow others to define you.

You have always been an incredible combination of independent spunk and sweet vulnerability.

You didn’t let anybody clip your wings and now you get to fly.

I’m so proud of the lady, artist, and friend that you have become.

You are an incredible, interesting individual.

You are passionate about what you believe and who you love.

You are a woman of God and you inspire me.

I believe in you.

You are Beautiful inside and out.

You are courageous!

YOU are the greatest art I ever made.

Go live some big dreams baby!

It won’t be easy, but you have a very good man standing beside you.

Cover each other. Be a safe place for one another.

love without expectation and forgive without limit.

Laugh every chance you get because joy is one of the greatest weapons ever.

Make Jesus the center of everything.

Together, you two are going to do great things.

When things get crazy, slow down and have a red slurpee.

And please know that you are forever beloved.

I love you,