My youngest daughter got married last Saturday. It was a very beautiful event. Most of it seemed to just fly by. I guess being the father of the bride gave me so much to think about that it was hard to take it all in. My baby actually becoming a wife, the expense (I’ll be paying for this for years to come. Or at least it feels that way), seeing two very dear family members that live on the other side of the country…
But there is one thing I remember every little detail about. The Father-Daughter Dance. Sure, I knew it would be very special. I’m an emotional guy when it comes to my family. Saying Grace at a holiday meal chokes me up ever since my own dad died. So I was ready for the watery eyes. My oldest daughter whispered to me that her sister had a surprise for me. I had no idea what she meant.
The dance was announced, and I got to my feet and walked the few steps to the dance floor as my daughter walked around the bridal table to meet me. I took her hand and she said, “Daddy, the version of this song is a bit peppy, but it was the best one I could find.” Still no clue.
Then the music started playing. The crowd was applauding so it was hard to hear the music. I finally picked up a few bars. It was Ray Charles singing “You Are My Sunshine”. So what’s the big surprise, you ask. That was the song I sang to my daughter when she was a little baby. When she got old enough she would sing it with me.
The tears started flowing just like the wine was. My heart was filled with love so much that it ached. The lyrics really aren’t what you would expect for a father-daughter dance. They are actually rather sad. If you are not familiar with the song, I’ll sum it up by saying it is sung by a person who has been separated from his loved one. He dreams of her but awakes to see she is not there, and he cries.
Now that I think of it, maybe it is more appropriate than I figured. My responsibility to take care of her, protect her, shelter her will never totally end, but now it is her husband’s duty.
It’s a tough thing for me to realize.