Play My Favorite Song
by Jeff Osborne
Why do I call her my princess. Well, it is probably not difficult to figure out. Every since the day she was born she owned a huge chunk of my heart. The part of my heart that is reserved for daddy's little girl. The part that aches when she aches, cries when she cries and laughs when she laughs. The part of my heart that is highly vulnerable and virtually unprotected. It is vulnerable and unprotected because it is given over so completely to my precious little girl. No matter what terrible things happen in this world she always has a safe place in this section of my heart.
As Hailey continued to grow, more and more she began to look very much like daddy. After all, the other two children look like mom so it is only fair one of my children have my gene pool! As I would stare at her I would tell her, "Hailey I love your beautiful eyes." And she would smile and reply, "Daddy, you know they are YOUR eyes!" I must admit when I look at her I do see a lot of my own reflection in her little face. Even more than physical appearance, we have many connections that draw us to a common place. She loves to laugh and joke, make silly faces and do impersonations. She loves music just like her daddy. She likes to fall to sleep listening to her favorite CD. Hailey has always loved to sing and has promised me one day we will sing together on stage in front of a crowd of people. Hailey loves to draw pictures and exercise her artistic abilities. She rarely creates a drawing or picture without including a love note of some kind, letting me know it is more than just a picture. She loves our dates where I show her how she is to be treated if and when she is ever out on a date-assuming I ever approve such a thing!
Since Hailey was four we have never missed going to the Daddy-Daughter Dance together. We have our favorite, and very secret, dance moves that are extraordinarily bad and will never be ready for prime time viewing. But they are ours and ours alone. She wears a specially purchased new dress just for the occasion. I awkwardly attempt to put on her corsage until I am finally rescued by her mother after we have all had a few good laughs. When it is time for the last dance I hold her tight and ask God to never let these precious moments come to an end. I open her car door as we begin reminiscing about the night - our favorite songs and funniest dance moves. As I walk from the passenger side to the drivers side of the car I look up to the dark star-lit sky and thank God for a priceless night with my princess. I wonder if she will remember when she grows up what this night meant to me and how proud I was to be her daddy!
She is often my audience of one as I play songs on my guitar. I love to change the words of the songs to make them HER songs. In the past year she decided to adopt the James Taylor classic, "You've Got a Friend" as her special song. Every time I would bring out my guitar and ask what song she would like to hear, she would say, "Play my special song daddy." Although I always enjoyed this song, something was different when I played it for her while she laid on the hospital bed. It was almost as if the words to the song were straight from my soul to hers. "...all you have to do is call, and I'll be there, yes I will, you've got a friend." It was my commitment as a daddy to walk with her through the storm. Staying by her side until the howling winds have died down, the rain clouds have passed and the sun is shining once again.
If only I could take away the pain. Remove her from the turmoil. Give her certainty and guarantees. These things I cannot do. What I can do is walk by her side, holding her hand each step of the way. I can stand in the gap on her behalf as I pray for my Heavenly Father to heal her and completely restore her. I will continue to be the daddy God called me to be. I will be her father and she will always be my princess.
"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."