You Have Chosen Well

I am your father. It is a truth that cannot be changed by the time or the distance or the emotion that might lie between us. It is one sure truth.
I love you. That is another truth. My surity in this is absolute. It is not just the basic love a parent feels for the child, but it is a deeper love built upon that foundation and fashioned from the added pride of a father seeing his child grow and take on the world on her own.
I believe that, on balance, I was a good parent also. Mistakes were made, there is no doubt. The child, especially the first, comes with no owner’s manual, no instruction booklet, and the parent is ill-prepared, not having passed that way before. There was no experience to call upon; no pattern to follow.
I make no excuses. Many actions left a powerful regret. My sorrow is deep for the flare of anger, the moments of lost patience, the times of mistrust. But compared to the whole, and the good it also embraces, these were fewer and farther between than memory might first attest.
I know we had difficult times. But equally — no, much more than equally — there were wonderful times. Together, we explored and we learned. Experience was gained from the world around us and from each other. Did you ever understand that it was never the facts that were important, but the concepts? We both became more than the sum of our individual parts, our individual knowledge, our individual experience. We grew together and yes, unfortunately, we grew apart.
I think that our success together was greater than any failure. That is, perhaps, the best one can hope for. You question. You reason. You explore. And most importantly, you choose. All free-thinking people fear failure and often suffer grave doubts, but that is not the greatest problem in life. It is the failure to make a choice, any choice, that limits each of us the most. You have that precious ability to choose. It sets you apart, sets you free, from the group. It allows you to move forward on your own. You are truly an individual spirit.
I fostered that ability within you from the earliest age. When you fear an outcome, look deep inside yourself and know that you have this ability. Then choose; for it is in making the choice that you move forward. The beauty, the simplicity, of it all is if you choose wrong you can choose again.
I have chosen many times in my life. Sometimes there has been trepidation. Often there has been much thought — an in-depth analysis of the pros and cons. When going back over the choices of my life, in light of their outcomes, there is no doubt that, in the aggregate, good choices were mostly made. My life has progressed as it should and there is equally no doubt that the Universe has guided me in the way that was intended for me. Was there a better choice here or a more suitable choice there? Perhaps. But there is no sorrow, no disappointment, in this. The choices made, and the path on which those choices led me, was the best that could be done.
I understand that you have also chosen in your life the way you always felt is good for you. It is impossible for me to disagree with your choices since the ability to chose is, for me, the most important tool provided in your up-bringing. You have chosen not to have me in your life of late, but of course we are still in each other’s lives, if by nothing else than the virtue of living on this small planet together.
I grow older now, with a certain rapidity that slips quietly into the second half, indeed the latter part, of one’s life. I have already lived many more years than I have yet to live. It is felt in the pains that weren’t there before. It is noticed in the quickening pace of the passage of days, as seasons seem to shorten. Perhaps a wisdom comes somewhere out of the twilight, or with dawn, from somewhere my father seemed to know, and that eludes me yet.
I follow your progress now as best I can. You are active in so many things. Details are sketchy for me but your travels are wonderful. Your commitment to sharing with others is admirable. Your experience is thrilling and each new chapter of your life speaks of your growth as a grown woman and a truly individual person.
I think of you often. I miss you dearly. But I am confident the Universe will treat us each as it should. And, in the end, what matters so much more than that you were is that you did. And, from my distant view, it appears to these aging eyes you have chosen well my daughter.

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