For You, Dad

For You, Dad

For You, Dad

When I think about my father, I am filled with such strong emotion and deep gratitude for the relationship we have. A long-lived life can bring anyone to this place. Years of history can either push you apart, or pull you closer, and I have never felt as connected with him as I do now. I am so grateful for this season of open conversations and honest reflection. I am blessed to have a father that is able to embrace all my truths with grace and acceptance.

My father is an honorable man. Always has been, always will be. His strength and conviction are nothing short of impenetrable, and there once was a time I feared it. The past few years have shifted into a new dynamic revealing more tender moments I have longed for all my life. He has given me a gift as I grow older…

He sees me.
He values me.
He accepts me for who I am.

Isn’t that what every daughter so desperately desires from her father?

I am one of the lucky ones.

And although we are so different, carrying on in two separate lives…
I have a father that reaches toward me, and doesn’t turn away from me.

God has a way of filling our most needed needs.

A long time ago, during my tumultuous teen years…

I wrote a poem to give him.

I don’t think I ever had the strength or courage to give him this gift. I remember the drug-store bought, gold antique frame I put my poem in for him to hold. I still have it, somewhere. Packed in a storage bin, collecting dust.

What a waste.

I visualize the heart I drew and colored in red, and the typing from an actual typewriter. I re-live the memory of wanting so badly to share this part of me with him, and yet? I believe I was too afraid, bound by tightly wound circumstances and walls built too high to jump over and take the risk. I was a passionate and sensitive kid. Still am. Some things never change, really.

I’m just an old passionate and sensitive woman now.

So I think this time is the right time to share my heart with my father. For I know he will embrace this historical piece of me that still stirs. That’s the beauty of having a father that truly cares. That’s the miracle that comes out of life’s messes.

I searched all my poetry books to find the one. The one that stuck with me through the years, so much so that I remembered the words in its particular parts and still hold them deep within my young desperate lingering thirst. It’s time I filled the cup and poured it out…for the both of us to drink.

For you dad.

This one’s for you…

The Heart

Intertwines with reality and dreams
Hears all, sees all, endures all, gives all.
It stands up and fills with glory
Or hides beneath its fear.
It rises in high passion
Or sinks with a drowning tear.

The Heart is held so sacred
For it stands for each living soul.
It’s the Heart that gives us feeling
It’s the Heart that makes us whole.

It whispers sweet emotions
Or flares in flaming heart
It passes on new light
Or receives a changing beat.

It reaches in and touches
Other hearts that also dwell.
Its pulse creates such secrets
That one will never tell.

It’s the seed to which a flower
May blossom full and grow
It’s the core to who we are
It’s the base to all we know.

It aches in times of sorrow
It’s lonely when no one’s in sight.
It wonders into darkness
It searches for new light.

It guides us to tomorrow
And reminds us of yesterday
It’s full of truth and spirit
And a promise of a new day.

Its never-ending power
Has endless drawers to pack
The Heart might disappear
But it’s always coming back.

It struggles with a break
And mends through out the seams
It faces all reality
It drenches in our dreams.

A treasure some hide away
Or a gift others give.
It can harden with despise.
Or fill warmth to forgive.

It’s custom made by one
Who created it from the start
Who feeds it and nurtures it
It’s he who has the heart.

So complex, yet so simple
It’s the eyes through which we see
The Heart needs and cares
It’s the heard that is so free…

To love.

I give to you this Heart
So when you look at it you’ll see…
It speaks unspoken words
The Heart that is in me.

You have my heart, Dad.
Always have, always will.


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    • says

      I love that picture too. It was on my sister’s camera from last year’s 75th birthday celebration for my dad. I took her camera and went to get that pic developed so I could have it specifically for this tribute. I love how happy we look- laughing- such joy!!

  1. says

    Absolutely beautiful poem, Chris and must say that I feel blessed to also have a pretty good relationship with my father. We, too, have had our moments, but still my father is always there when I do need him and for that I am thankful. Thank you for sharing wishing your dad and your husband, too, a Happy Father’s Day tomorrow 🙂

  2. says

    So beautiful, Chris. Thanks for digging up this poem and sharing. You really are lucky. Father and daughter relationships can be complicated. I know from personal experience.

    • says

      I don’t think there is a relationship more significant than that of a father and daughter. I know the impact it can have on a daughter’s life- and that is why I consider this such a blessing. They are very complicated indeed, Jen. XOXO

  3. says

    Oh Chris! Beautiful poem, beautiful sentiments, beautiful words. I’m so happy for you that your relationship with your dad is a good one. That he sees YOU. You are both very very blessed, my wonderful friend. So blessed. Happy Father’s Day to him. And to you and your family and husband. LOVE <3

  4. says

    ***He sees me.
    He values me.
    He accepts me for who I am.***

    Beautiful. Just beautiful.

    This is my relationship w/ my daddy, too.

    Lovely Poem, dear!


    • says

      I always LOVE seeing your daddy comment on your blog… that THAT is so beautiful. I’m sure more than every, you both need each other. XOXO

  5. says

    How wonderful, Chris! You know, I think some of what I have written in my blog has broken down some barriers with my father. We have a relationship similar to what you described. It’s always been affectionate and loving but not open. He’s a committed reader of my blog so when I share on it, I am sharing with him and sometimes I get email responses. I just love that.

  6. says

    So precious! You and your dad share the same smile! I can’t imagine a better gift for him this Father’s Day than that heartfelt poem! He’s a lucky guy to have you for a daughter!

    • says

      Thanks so much my friend! He sometimes reads my posts, and I was hoping he would catch this one. HE DID! His response? “You have my heart too. Thanks for being a wonderful daughter. XXX”

      Ahhhh…so blessed!

  7. says

    Truly beautiful. I also mind that as I get older I understand more about who my dad is and his struggles. I respect him more as a father and appreciate the way he raised me. Life really does come full circle.

    • says

      AMEN to THAT Jenny! I absolutely get what you’re saying. We really start to have a much deeper understanding of our parents as we grow wiser as we age. Great point!

  8. says

    Chris, this is truly, truly one of the most beautiful tributes to a father that I’ve read. He’s a lucky man. 🙂

    Happy Father’s Day to him!

  9. says

    Digging up the poem – did you write it or did you find it in a book of poetry by someone else?
    It’s gorgeous.
    I love that you called yourself Chrissy. And I love the photo of the wide smiles. The photo speaks volumes.

    • says

      I wrote it!! When I was like 16!!! That’s why I wanted to share it here for him to read- because as I shared, I think I was a bit too afraid to give it to him back then. Things have changed, softened- or perhaps? I have. Either way… there is a softer space that fills our relationship more now than ever. For that I am so grateful. 🙂

    • says

      Gosh Ashley- reading this comment and your last one just touches me SO DEEPLY. Thank you- oh thank you so much. I’m so glad you can relate to this… I’m giving you that ‘oh yeah, don’t ya know it’ nod right now. XOXO

  10. says

    Love so much. You and your dad are so lucky to have one another, and it’s wonderful that you both know it. Hope your dad had a wonderful Father’s Day!

    • says

      I really am blessed that we have this bond. Sometimes it takes a lot of work to have something so special. I think we have both sacrificed a lot for each other through the years… in our own ways.

  11. says

    That’s so beautiful! How wonderful to have such a special relationship! Dads always seem to have such a special bond with their daughters. My husband and our daughter are so close. I’m like the third wheel. I’m glad they have that though.

    • says

      I LOVE that your hubs is so close to your daughter, Michelle!! That is SO critical! Derek is really great about Cass too- and I am so grateful he is so invested in his role as father to our daughter. I really think it has more of an impact than we even know…

    • says

      Oh Rabia- that is SO sweet of you to say. He really is an amazing man. All of us daughters have learned so many valuable lessons from him. I especially appreciate his softer side in this season of our lives. 🙂

  12. says

    Wow to both your post and that poem. Both are beautiful expressions of your love for your dad. It’s interesting how our relationships can change as we age, especially the ones with our parents. After I lost my mom last year, I could already see how my relationship with my dad was going to change for the better. I believe we need each other more, we talk more, and we see each other more. It’s all good stuff. 🙂

    • says

      I can only imagine how your relationship shifted with your father after your mom passed. I love that you both leaned IN to each other… and still do. I hate that you had to suffer such a tremendous loss at such a difficult season of your motherhood on top of it, Emily. I just can’t even imagine.

      It really is amazing how these relationships change and transform as we grow older.

  13. says

    What you write about years of history pushing you apart or pulling you together is so true. I’m so glad that history has served you well and you and your dad have a great relationship! The same thing has happened between my dad and me, and I couldn’t imagine life without him!

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