My daughter Catherine was born today, 20 years ago. I cannot begin to describe, as I am sure no parent truly can, how much I love my children, but especially Catherine. Catherine was my first. She has taught me as much about myself as I have attempted to teach her about life. It has not always been easy. At first, I did not understand that, but now I do. Difficult can be good.
Today, I can say that I love my daughter more today than the day she was born. That is bitter sweet. In so many ways I look back with regret on what I didn't do - performances I didn't see, the graduation picture I don't have, the fuss I made over which college she chose. Now, I simply miss her. What I wouldn't give to get some of the moments, some of those opportunities back. But I can't. I can only be the dad I need to be for her future, which I might ad, is rosy.
I am very, very proud of Catherine. She has done well in college and is managing her life well. I don't know how much of that is my influence, but it really doesn't matter. I am still proud of her. She will always have my love as her dad. Indeed, when my time is over in this life, all that will be left to remember about Jay Smith, will be Catherine and Hannah.
Catherine, I love you, I am proud of you and I am grateful to be your father.
Happy 20th Birthday!