On My Papa's Birthday – 01<SUP>st</SUP> June,2005 When you were young, pony-tailed, face full of playful freckles, were you your papa's girl? I was. I still am. Did you look to him for your security, for love and attention, for the understanding, and the patience you lacked as a child? My Papa was the center of my small world, the focus of my affections, the star that lit my life, shining bright. Shining still in my heart. The years have led me here, weathered with maturity and responsibilities, and I see more clearly now. The hardships, burdens of love, and all the small sacrifices he makes for me, for our family. He has created stability, a place to call home. All the photographs I browse through of a child long forgotten, scarcely remembered smiling, so happy and so loved. The mere thought of becoming that role model is enough to send me cowering, afraid... looking for guidance. Turning to my papa for support, advice, wise counsel, and for approval. Grown up, I see differently now... A new perspective of a man I have always known. My heart is full, my emotions overpowering just in the certainty of that bond. He has been there for me through all the conflicts helping me over the rough, ragged stones of growing up. My respect for my papa is unending, faith is unbound, and love is unquestioning. Even in the midst of all my imperfections, he is lenient, ignoring the pitfalls, the downfalls, the shortcomings, he always accepted me as I was, as I am. The sheer purity of it leaves me awe-struck and it lifts me up, it holds my head a little higher, it keeps me in balance, harmonizing with the world around me beautifully, like an inspired masterpiece from the soul of an honest man. I am honoured to know my papa, to love him, to be of him. He's my hero, and I am his daughter, his first daughter like a Son.