TITLE: Daddy's girl
By Elizabeth White
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“But Daddy, I’m scared,” the small girl stood shivering by the edge of the pool, struggling to hold back the tears that stung in her eyes.
“Don’t be afraid sweetie, I’m here, I’ll catch you.”
The small girl, taking a deep breath, jumped into the water for the first time, caught in her father’s arms.
That was almost 16 years ago now, the first day she had learnt to swim. How much joy she had felt from the water, Anna thought, look at how far she had come, although, it hadn’t been easy.
“Come on Anna, just a little further, you can do it.”
“I can’t, I just can’t, I can’t go any further.”
“It’s ok sweetie, I’m here, I’ll always be here for you, I’ll never leave you.”
She was crying now, remembering another time...
“I can’t, I just can’t do it anymore, how can I live without him?”
The tears threatened, once more, just as they had that day when she had first jumped into her fathers arms, yet this time, she had found nothing, no comforting smile of assurance that everything would be ok, and for the first time in her life she wasn’t quite sure that it would be.
How much she had grown, from that girl, the little one of only 16 years. How much she had learnt in those 5 long years, trust, hope, strength, but it hadn’t been easy, no, she thought, it would have been impossible had it not been for her daddy’s arms surrounding her.
It was the day of the funeral, she felt so lost, so alone. She stood up to speak. There were so many people there, many had come to say goodbye to her father, pastor of the local church. Now the tears freely flowed as she tried to compose herself to speak.
“My daddy meant alot to me, he showed me so much, he believed in me and I love him with all my heart, but there is something else that he left with me. He showed me something so precious and I wanted to share that with you all today.” Slowly Anna began to unfold the paper she had held so tightly in her hand.
“My dear Anna,
I love you and I am always here for you. Always remember that there is someone else who is there for you. He will never leave you or forsake you. It might not always be easy, but remember to trust in him always and don’t be afraid. You can do anything in your Daddy’s arms.”
She had come so far and learnt so much and no it hadn’t been easy. Just like that little girl of 5 years, she had to learn to fall completely into her father’s arms, to trust in him. It wasn’t easy. There had been times where she felt she could go no further, but he was always there, an assuring smile of love, a helping hand, faithful. She could always run into her daddy’s arms.
Staring at the water, 16 year old Anna wondered how she could ever swim again. She felt so alone. Fighting back the tears she jumped into the water imagining once more her father’s reassuring smile, arms wide open, encouraging her.
“Keep on going Anna, you can do it.”
Standing once more at the edge of the pool, Anna was crying openly. How far she had come. Her daddy would be proud of her.
“This one’s for you daddy.”
The gun sounded and the race began. One lap, two laps, three...
“Women’s junior freestyle divison olympic gold medalist, Anna Shilton, anything you would like to share with the audience?”
Tears running down her face, Anna approached the microphone.
“I would like to dedicate this race to my Daddy, for I have learnt that I can do anything in my Daddy’s arms.”
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