Today something new happened.
I was sitting in the living room reading "A Dance With Dragons" by George R. R. Martin, my oldest daughter was sitting nearby watching television and my wife was embroidering a small pillow when the phone rang. I looked at the TV screen because it displays the number of the incoming call and it was Nick, my other daughters boyfriend. My wife answers it because he rarely calls during the work day so we figured it must be important.
She says hello, gets an odd look on her face and says, "wait, don't say anything, he is right here" and she hands me the phone.
After I said "hello" Nick says, "Lee, I tried to talk to you when we were over Sunday but Jackie (daughter and girlfriend) kept coming in the room and yesterday I worked a double and there wasn't time but I need to ask you something."
All of a sudden I couldn't hear the TV anymore and the traffic noise from the street outside was gone. It was completely silent except for the phone in my hand.
Nick says, "Lee, you know I love your daughter and I would like to ask your permission to marry her and love her for the rest of my life."
I couldn't speak, all I could do was think of the times she sat on my lap and we read the Sunday funnies or a new Shel Siverstein book. All the times I came home from work tired, beat, and depressed and then opened my front door to hear feet pounding down the hall and rounding the corner to see me and throw herself into the air for me to catch her. All of the times I'd be working outside and there she would be, right beside me, asking questions and trying to help. The time she bought two tickets to a Colts game and we went together, and she wanted to spent the day with her dad.
And now there was someone else she loved.
All of this crossed my mind and finally I said the only thing I could that would make my daughter happy, I said, "you have my blessing, it is my fondest wish that she would marry you."
It was hard to talk, I had to keep clearing my throat until finally I say "Melanie (my wife) wants to talk again" and I hand her the phone.
She also was asked the same question I had answered, then she handed the phone to our oldest daughter who has Prader-Willi Syndrome and will always live with us. Laurens eyes lit up and she said "I would love to have you as my brother" and once again my vision blurred, must be my allergies acting up again. Real inconvenient because my throat was tight again, must be corn pollen or something.
Finally the phone call ended and it was a while before I could talk again. I'm not much of a talker anyway, I just like to read and write so my wife wasn't bothered by my silence, she knew I'd say something soon enough which I did.
But first I had to reminisce about the first 24 years of my daughter Jackies life, the victories in her childhood, the pain of her teen years, the joy when she became a mother, and now the happiness that she found someone to share her life with. Then my wife and I talked and made plans after which she started burning up the phone lines to all her friends....I didn't need to talk anymore.
Anyway, it was a different kind of day because I experienced something new. I learned how to give away part of my heart so that someone else could be happy for a long, long time.
It's been a big day so I'm gonna sign off now,
goodnight friends, I'm a happy father.