A Daughter’s Love Letter to Her Dad
(His daughter is 46 years old, a doctor, married to a doctor, mother to 2 daughters, and sister to 3 brothers. She is bright and caring. She could have chosen the gratuitous self-satisfactions of self-reliance. Instead, she chose to make other lives breathe easier with her immense talents. Her talents were evident as a child. She gave up her medical practice to raise her 2 daughters; then got a Master’s Degree to help Autistic children.)
My friend wanted me to mention those things because he is very proud of his daughter. The “Love Letter” dealt with a childhood incident that was a life-changing moment for her. It expanded her awareness of and increased her potential to help others. The following letter speaks for itself:
I loved going to the Simon House on “Report Card” day. Many of my friends dreaded report card day. But not me. I was excited to get my reward for getting all “A’s” on my report card. It was a wonderful day to get all dressed up, and go to the Simon House, and eat their incredible, delectable famous Prime Rib dinner – a feast that no other 3rd grader could imagine.
However, because I made my “e’ with a fancy, embellished curve, instead of the boring, conventional line, I received an NS (Not Satisfactory) for Penmanship on my report card. I was devastated. I immediately went to my room after school, where a flood of tears flowed down my cheeks.
I was still sobbing when you came home from work. I shamefully shared with you the details of my “Failure”. I braced for guidance about how I would do better next time, or worse, chastisement for not following my teacher’s instructions to the “letter” (pun intended).
I was confused when you said, “Well, we can’t go to the Simon House while you are crying. Why don’t you hurry up to wash your face and to change your clothes, so we can get going, before they run out of Prime Rib. I must have looked befuddled, because you said, “You did a lot of hard work, and earned “A’s” in all your other subjects. Never forsake the “Good” in search of the “Perfect”. There’s a lot to celebrate.”
What an important lesson to learn early in life: “Celebrate the Good. Ignore the exceptions. Tolerance replaces dejection. In relationships, tolerance replaces bitterness by accepting the Joy of the moment “As Is”. That lesson helped me be a better daughter, sister, wife, mother, doctor, neighbor, and friend. I couldn’t be tolerant of others, IF, I weren’t tolerant of myself. Thanks dad.”
Now it was my friend that had tears in his eyes. His daughter was the person he had hoped she’d become. Cleary, she fulfilled Emerson’s verse about “Success”: “Making lives breathe easier because she lived.” She fulfilled Christ’s command, “To love one another as I (Christ) have loved you”. She did all those things because she cherished the “Good”. She was never bitter by the absence of the “Perfect”.
Sadly, many live lives of quiet desperation, unaware of and unsatisfied by all the “Good” around them. They only focus on their unfilled, perfect expectations. Perhaps, the letter about a 3rd grade girl’s experience of the value of “Good” could be life-changing.
It’s never too late.