I remember the moment you were born. The doctor leaned over and asked me “What do you think it is?” I said it looks like a bull dog because your face was dark purple and wrinkled terribly. He said, “No, it’s a girl.” We did several ultrasound pictures before you were born just to make sure everything was going well, but we asked the ultrasound tech not to tell us what you were because we wanted to be surprised. Your mother was told by all the women that you would be a boy, but I knew from day one that you would be a girl. I named you Holly Suzanne Bricker way before you were ever born. I made a sign and put it over your baby room. I painted the walls with happy a clown floating through brilliant blue skies hanging from multiple colored bunches of balloons. I designed and made your crib by hand. I still have the drawing of it in my closet.
There was some difficultly with your delivery and the doctor had to do some work on your mother. She was hurt for a while and could not hold you like she wanted too. I had to do all the holding and even when your mother breast fed you, I held you. I got up at night to quite you when you cried and feed you when you cried and changed you when you cried and just when I wanted to look at you sleep.
You were the most beautiful and precious thing in our lives. I was in school and working. Your mother wanted to stay home and take care of you, but had to work to help make ends meet. The first day we took you to a private day care made us both cry. It was so hard leaving you to be held and taken care of by a stranger. But, I think it was a good thing in the long run for you because it helped you to not be afraid of anyone or anything. Maybe that’s why you can get on stage and not be afraid.
I remember studying for physics classes with you hanging on my shoulders wanting to play. You were like a little monkey. You always had the most beautiful smile even though your teeth had not been fixed yet.
People always said, “She’s got you wrapped around her little finger, doesn’t she?” I always answered, yes she does. Your mother always dressed you so pretty even though we did not have any money. We lived on eight hundred dollars a month, but we never wanted for anything because all we ever wanted was to give it to you.
I can sit here and see you in every play you were ever in. Everyone was always so impressed with your ability to remember everyone else’s lines. I sometimes think we did the wrong thing in pushing you to major in architecture instead of theater. You are so wonderful at it and I know it is your hearts desire, but we know how difficult the stage life is and how so few people actually make it and remain happy. I encourage you to seek out opportunities while you are at college to participate in an occasional play. When you finish your degree, you can do anything you want. We just want you to have something you can rely on so you won’t have to depend on anyone else for support. I think this degree will open many doors for you and even doors into the theatrical world.
I have really missed you since you started college, but I am very proud of the woman you’ve become. I pray for you many times a day and night. My prayer goes something like this.
“Father please surround Holly with angels at all times, day and night. Guide her mind and heart in everything she does. Bless her with every good gift from heaven. Bless her physically, mentally, spiritually, financially and any other ly you can. Let her find favor in all those she meets and studies under. Convict her heart of sin and wrong doing and always guide her back to where she needs to be with You. Keep her safe.”
I have spent my life protecting and providing for you because I love you so much and it is a father’s duty to take the best care of his child that he can. God gives us children to love, nurture and teach them about Him so when they leave the nest they will depend on God and know God. I hope I have done a good job. I think I have.
I hear a lot of people talk about how worried they are about their children going to college and making mistakes or doing something wrong. I am proud of the fact that I am not worried about you doing such things. I believe I have taught you what God has charged me with to teach you. I do not fear those things. It is up to you now and if you make a mistake, you have to deal with God, not me. So, I feel a certain freedom knowing that you know these things and you know God.
I always felt very self sufficient and secure in the fact that I had everything under control until your liver got sick and we thought you might die. God used that to teach me that I had to depend on him for the very breath we all have; that I am in control of nothing and He is control of everything. It almost killed your mother when she thought you might die. I had moments of hurt, but I don’t think I was ever afraid. I gave it all to God right from the beginning. I learned a lot about real prayer during that time. I am glad for the experience. I think it made you stronger and enhanced your faith also. God never does or allows anything to happen to us without a purpose. That purpose is to always show us Him; to teach us more about Him. I think the most important thing I can pass along to you as a father is this: It is all about Him. We can do nothing, not even breath without Him. There is nothing in the universe that would exist without Him. Always know this and put Him first in your life; yes even first above all else, husband, friends, family, work, church and yourself. This is the KEY to happiness and fulfillment. He is the Key. What we do for ourselves means nothing. What we do for Him means everything.
You are so smart, talented and beautiful. There is nothing you can’s achieve or do. There is nowhere you can’t go. There is no one you can’t help.
I did not cry when you graduated from high school. I felt a sense of accomplishment and pride. I knew that soon you would be leaving but I know this is right. This is the natural order of things. I did not cry when we moved you into your dorm room for the same reasons. You have been there three weeks now and I look at your empty bed every night and pretend you are there and say goodnight punkin.
I cry now, only because I miss you and am so proud of you. I am always here for you and will be there in a moment when you need me. I hope I live to see you become the wonderful person I know God has designed you for. I hope I get to enjoy my grandchildren that you may give me one day, but that can wait a long while.