A father dies before his time. Before he got to see his daughter grow up. He misses the opportunity to walk her down the isle. He misses grandchildren he will never get to hold. So what goes through the mind of the daughter he leaves behind? She thinks of better times.

I was asked to paint this painting of a girl and her father. I was told it was one of her favorite pictures. I did not know either of them but I felt I knew them by the time I finished.

The girl looks to be young. I say that because of how her right foot is slighly twisted inward. A pose I myself used when someone was giving me a compliment I did not know how to respond too. I am guessing he is giving her a few pointers but I am also thinking he is giving her words of encouragement. When we are young we need to know someone believes in you.

I think he is telling her he loves her. He is proud of her and that he doesn’t want her to quit. I will never know what he said, but for that young girl it became a memory she wants to hold onto now that he is gone.

As parents our words matter. Our children look to us for guidance, love and security. It’s the biggest most important job we will ever do. We don’t do it perfectly. Any parent who hasn’t made mistakes is lying to themselves. Our kids will forgive us for a lot, but they won’t forgive cruelty or tearing them down so they are without hope.

If you are blessed to have a strong man in your life who you call dad you are fortunate. To all the dads who are guiding their children to become strong adults I thank you.

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