February 14, 2009

Today is a Hallmark day, but nonetheless, a day we should reflect on LOVE!

Here is a bit from our friend Tom Brennan. His reflections of love and parenthood ~ Dads and daughters * Moms and sons * Couples ----- Awwww, ENJOY!

My little girl – Stenson memory # 33
by Thomas Brennan

I’ve brought my trusty old Minolta to several of the “Christmas in July” gatherings at the old farm. Four or five years ago, the weather was absolutely perfect, and I captured some “fading afternoon sunlight” pictures that I liked a lot.
My favorite picture from that year, though, is the one I took of Pat Stenson’s daughter Sam, who was five or six years old at the time. I strapped on my wide angle lens, crouched down low, and took a heads-on-view picture of a little girl with big, brown eyes and a nice smile. I could still find that picture somewhere, but I’d have to dig through boxes and boxes of stuff way down in the basement. However, I DO know that Pat carried that picture around with him for quite a while. For all that I know, he still may be doing that today.
When we lived in Wisconsin, my son Brian and I joined the Indian Guides program. For a couple of years, we met at somebody’s house once or twice a month for some “creative activities”, and a couple of times a year, we would travel to Phantom Lake, the home of the oldest YMCA camp in the country. We spent our time playing games, singing around the campfire, having good old pork and beans, and watching old movies on Saturday night. Early on, I got elected the federation chief, and adopted the name “Horse Feathers”.

In our third year of participation, Kelly got to be old enough so that she could join the Indian Princess program, and she and some other little girls came camping with us in the fall of 1985.
As we sat around the campfire one night, my little girl got up, walked up to her dad, gave him a big hug, and said, “daddy, I love you”.
I’ve been in Toastmasters a lot of years, but I’m here to tell you that it’s REAL hard to talk if you have a lump in your throat!
A few years ago, I read that Gwyneth Paltrow’s father took her to Paris (just the two of them) when she was a young woman. His theory was that he wanted her to see Paris for the first time with a man who loved her.
When I read that, I got ANOTHER lump in my throat.
In September of 2005, I put down on paper 25 goals that I’d like to achieve before I retire.  A few of the goals I’ve already accomplished (completing a 160 mile round trip to Milwaukee on my bicycle in one day is one of them), but number 4 on the list is to stand on the observation deck of the Eiffel Tower with my daughter. Neither one of us speaks any French, but we both speak another language that we both understand very well, and that language is love.
She may eventually grow to be old and gray and wrinkled, but as long as I’m still breathing, she will always be my little girl.
written 3/7/2007

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Thanks Tom, HAPPY VALENTINES DAY TO ONE AND ALL (and to Anok who taught me how to make hearts ♥ ) !!!!!!!!!!


Dave Carlson said...

My older daughter had me all to herself for the first six years. I have memories of loving experiences. Our backyards in the Azores especially. My younger daughter and I had the college tour alone together, when she decided on Columbia College of Chicago.

Houseonahill said...


so poignant! and ironic...I too am a Columbia College Alum