Today a dear friend of mine sent me this poem. He is a friend made even more dear in that we recovered from 9/11 together. At the time we both worked for a company headquartered on Long Island, NY, but our mutual employer also had an office very near the World Trade Center. While neither of us was directly impacted in losing someone from our immediate family that day, we didn’t have to look far to find someone who had.
Remembering all those that gave their lives that day and in the conflict abroad since. Please take a moment to read and reflect.
“Her hair was up in a pony tail, her favorite dress tied with a bow. Today was Daddy’s Day at school, and she couldn’t wait to go. But her mommy tried to tell her, that she probably should stay home Why the kids might not understand, if she went to school alone. But she was not afraid; she knew just what to say. What to tell her classmates of why he wasn’t there today. But still her mother worried, for her to face this day alone. And that was why once again, she tried to keep her daughter home. But the little girl went to school eager to tell them all. About a dad she never sees a dad who never calls. There were daddies along the wall in back, for everyone to meet. Children squirming impatiently, anxious in their seats. One by one the teacher called a student from the class. To introduce their daddy, as seconds slowly passed. At last the teacher called her name, every child turned to stare. Each of them was searching, a man who wasn’t there. “Where’s her daddy at?” She heard a boy call out. “She probably doesn’t have one,” another student dared to shout. And from somewhere near the back, she heard a daddy say, “Looks like another deadbeat dad, too busy to waste his day.” The words did not offend her, as she smiled up at her Mom. And looked back at her teacher, who told her to go on. And with hands behind her back, slowly she began to speak. And out from the mouth of a child, came words incredibly unique. “My Daddy couldn’t be here, because he lives so far away. But I know he wishes he could be, since this is such a special day. And though you cannot meet him, I wanted you to know. All about my daddy, and how much he loves me so. He loved to tell me stories he taught me to ride my bike. He surprised me with pink roses, and taught me to fly a kite. We used to share fudge sundaes, and ice cream in a cone. And though you cannot see him. I’m not standing here alone. “Cause my daddy’s always with me, even though we are apart I know because he told me, he’ll forever be in my heart” With that, her little hand reached up, and lay across her chest. Feeling her own heartbeat, beneath her favorite dress. And from somewhere there in the crowd of dads, her mother stood in tears. Proudly watching her daughter, who was wise beyond her years. For she stood up for the love of a man not in her life. Doing what was best for her, doing what was a right. And when she dropped her hand back down, staring straight into the crowd. She finished with a voice so soft, but its message clear and loud. “I love my daddy very much, he’s my shining star. And if he could, he’d be here, but heaven’s just too far. You see he is an American Soldier and died just this past year When a roadside bomb hit his convoy and taught Americans to fear. But sometimes when I close my eyes, it’s like he never went away.” And then she closed her eyes, and saw him there that day. And to her mother’s amazement, she witnessed with surprise. A room full of daddies and children, all starting to close their eyes. Who knows what they saw before them, who knows what they felt inside. Perhaps for merely a second, they saw him at her side. “I know you’re with me Daddy,” to the silence she called out. And what happened next made believers, of those once filled with doubt. Not one in that room could explain it, for each of their eyes had been closed. But there on the desk beside her, was a fragrant long-stemmed pink rose. And a child was blessed, if only for a moment, by the love of her shining star. And given the gift of believing, that heaven is never too far. They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them.
Take the time…to live and love. Until eternity.. God Bless There must be many children in the same boat as this little girl, thanks to our servicemen and their families for the sacrifice they are making to keep our country Free. The ULTIMATE sacrifice is being left behind.”