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Young Woman Still Needs Her Father’s Love

In an article on Kyria, Sarah Scherf writes:

I spent last week at the beach in Florida, relaxing with my family. The week was for eating fresh seafood, sitting by the beach with my nieces and sister, throwing the Frisbee on occasion, and for catching up with my dad and his new wife.

My parents are divorced, and the process of their dissolution took about nine years. I had erratic and often intensely negative feelings for and about my dad throughout my high school and college years; those feelings have mellowed out, and as adults we get along okay. We live 1,200 miles apart and don't see each other often, but I'm always glad to visit my dad when I can. This beach trip was his and his wife's initiative, and they provided a big place for their family and me and my siblings to meet up and spend some time together.

But at the week's end my dad said something to me that left my mind quiet and full of one thought. At the end of a perfect day of hunting for shells with the little girls, making a sleeping dragon sand sculpture, and laughing hard with my sister and dad, we had to pack up the car and pass around goodbye hugs. My dad hugged and kissed me. His arms are still so strong and tight; no one's hugs feel like his. He told me again how thankful he was that we could be there, and he told me he was so proud of me.

I have to admit, after hearing those words from my dad, my 29-year-old self was filled. I think I can guess that my dad's been proud of me; I'm at least sure he's not disappointed in who I am or what I've done with my life. But hearing him say it to me—despite all our past and its residue, despite my independence from him, despite the deeply affirming relationship I have with my husband—it was like I've needed nothing else.

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