I love you and HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!
When she was born, she was so tiny and fragile that it seems she would fall apart like a smoke through his hands. Her weak and vulnerable body bent dangerously, ready to snap under the pressure of his kissing lips or disperse like a dandelion seeds in a wind, when he put his nose next to her neck to inhale her sleepy smell.
His adoration of her was his Easter Sunday mass on any average weekday.
He announced her importance with stubborn clicks of his camera, recording reflections of light in her eyes, capturing the glistening of reddish highlights in her limp hair. The stacks of photos were his painter's swatches, a composite portrait of grimaces, moods, expressions, mimics and reactions.
He believed that she was given to him as a guiding ray of light for his own dismantled life. She had the power to put him back together, glue back all the broken pieces of his mangled spirit, shattered by poverty and aimless existence.
With her birth on a cold November day, like a lifelong cripple who finally touched the tip of the holly statue, he miraculously stood up on his own two feet, able to climb unforeseen monstrous peaks of the highest kind in order to fulfill his obligation of a saved sinner. She was his second chance at life, like an unexpected release from a prison after life-long sentence for a heinous crime .
He was her bodyguard.
He would fight for her to his last shallow breath, sheltering her glowing face from the blue shade of sad trees.
He would defend the greenery of her eyes from mean dusty wind.
He would silence obnoxious crows and canaries alike from muffling her shimmering laughter.
He was her devoted slave and an obedient servant, refusing to run away, if his freedom was granted and begging to stay, if it wasn't.
He was the connoisseur of her likes and things that made her cringe, yet it has never prevented him from introducing new flavors, ideas and experiences to enrich her world.
He was her tour guide who encouraged his patron to leave no stone overturned with curious fingers and never-ending questions. He welcomed her challenging statements and forceful arguments, as if he was a blacksmith with a raw iron in his hands, forging it into a lethal weapon to conquer the beautiful world.
When she created, he knew that he was a part of it.
When she painted, he was the gesso soaked into the canvas, the camel hair of the brush stuck in between the layers of glaze, or maybe the turpentine mixed with thick oils. He glistened like a top coat varnish reflecting bright light of a sunny room and was present in the trembling fingers managing skinny brush marks into a small signature and date.
When she took photographs, he was in a multiple shutter click of her camera, in a zoom of the shot and in a black frame of artful composition.
When she wrote a story, he was in spaces between the letters and in the grammatical errors of her sentences. Her paragraphs were held together by the buttresses of his encouragement, as the paintings were supported by an easel and a camera stood on a tripod.
Acting as a dedicated doctor, who hovers over his weak recovering patient, he administered his medicine carefully. He refrained from poisonous criticism and injected into her life stream a miraculous dose of fortitude on a daily basis. Her optimism and confidence grew viciously. Her strength was like an onion when peeled. A layer upon layer is discovered, each one more powerful than the last one.
When she flew away, he wept loudly like Kochanowski after his beloved Ursula, without anyone hearing his voice. Her absence removed his vocal cords and made him a mute. He had nothing to say anymore and the steaming temperature of his heated conversations became freezing cold. She was his prism through which he was able to see the world as a beautiful and a just place but he became blind the instance she disappeared from his life.
The memory of his little girl was the only sustaining element of his life and the beat up old boxes full of photographs were the only food keeping his soul alive..."
MY DAD, MY HERO!