This past year has been nothing short of a small miracle for me. I don't know about the rest of you but if you have had a daughter they can wrap you around their finger. That's the way I felt the first time I saw her as the nurse carefully wrapped her in her warming blanket. She always had a special place in my heart as she grew into a beautiful woman.
We have been separated for months at a time because I had schools for the Army that took we from my family. When she went off to college she said that she needed to get away; it's quite the distance from South Georgia to Waltham, Mass., where she attended school. When we said our good-byes for our reason, I would miss her, but I knew she would be coming back so there wasn't really a need to tears.
Our relationship crumbled when I started to seriously transition while she was away at college and her brothers were out of the house and my wife was involved with taking care of her mother for weeks at a time. My wife divorced me during my daughter's senior year so she didn't see Sarah but I have learned that other people saw me and told her about my adventures.
This past year has been a watershed summer for both of us. She has accepted my transition and has made a commitment to get to know me as Sarah. She wanted to make new memories with Sarah. And we have really bonded again as parent and my daughter, the woman she has become. We knew that her time with us would not last as she would have to leave again to be with her fiance so that he can start a new career. They were suppose to leave a week ago but she got sick and they couldn't pack the way they wanted.
Anyway, we had our last lunch with them, our special time. And it was another great afternoon for bonding. Several months ago she took my photo album of when I was growing up and my picture from Vietnam to make copies for herself. She meant to bring it when we had lunch, but she forgot which meant another time to see each other.
In all the years that she has been my daughter, I have never really cried when I said my good-byes to her, until Friday night. I can't explain the overwhelming emotional outpouring of tears, we both clutched each other and cried. We wept. I cried the rest of the evening; I know we will see each other again, probable sooner than later and she expects us to be very involved with any children.
My daughter stole my heart again and I know now how much I love her and how much she is a part of me as Sarah. I will always be her father, she has shown me what the power of real love can do. She has lifted me out of my pain and into her light.