A father’s toast to his daughter on her wedding day
When John’s daughter was born, it was he and his wife’s first child. He was overcome by the beauty of this bundle of joy. So precious, so perfect, so happy, so care free. It was truly one of nature’s wonders, a blessing from God.
So now on his daughter’s wedding day, John was asked to give a toast, what words would fit the moment?
John went back into all the memories of her. It began with the late night feedings during her first months on earth. Those moments where the silence of the night was broken only by her sounds: a cry of hunger, a burb, a sigh of satisfaction and relief. In that moment all seemed right in the world. What a simple pleasure.
John then remembered falling asleep one night with his newly fed daughter asleep in his arms. After a long day of work he fell into a deep sleep, only to be woken by a piercing scream from his young daughter. A quick glance found she was gone from his arms, having fallen several inches to the carpeted floor. Hundreds of thoughts raced through his head: had she hit her head, was her skull broken, what if lifelong damage had been done due to his negligence? What had he done to this precious bundle?
He performed a thorough check of her with no signs of his worst fears and began rocking her gently as he placed her pacifier back in her mouth. She quickly calmed, and opened her eyes to stare at him with one last glance as if to say “all is okay, thanks for being there for me” as she fell off to sleep.
As his daughter grew, she developed a personality filled with a love for life and others. She was courageous, always pushing herself to try new sports, meet new friends, and learn new knowledge in school. From a small town with a graduating class of 25, she chose to attend a college of 25,000 students. She chose a career in the medical field where she could help others recover from injuries and ailments. Her focus was always to help others.
John decided on a toast relevant to the area of the U.P. where she grew up. He relived the years as he spoke a few words of advice:
“You have been a precious gift to your mother and I which we have been blessed with. I share some words of wisdom I wish I had learned earlier in life. Nordic ski jumpers have a saying Don’t get too far over your skis. When you spend too much time looking past the jump you lose balance and crash upon landing. In life, make sure you have balance between career, family, and life. Don’t spend too much time looking to the future, but take time to enjoy each moment, for they are precious and fleeting. This is where joy in life lives. And always remember, though you are far away, your mother and I will always be here…all is okay, we will always be here for you.”
Dr. Steve Patchin is Superintendent of Hancock Public Schools. Programs he has contributed to creating include Mind Trekkers and CareerFEST, helping students explore their talents and associated careers in STEM. His research has focused on increasing development of self-efficacy in individual students.