Sloan Walking my princess down the aisle
About 3:55 pm on Saturday afternoon, I’ll get a tap on the shoulder. This old Marine will do an about face and his eyes will spring a leak. The vision in front of me will by my beautiful daughter dressed in her wedding gown.
Hot dang! My Amanda the Panda is getting hitched!
In those few briefs moments as I look into her eyes, my mind will no doubt be flooded with an ocean of memories:
My first glimpse of her as she entered this world at 11:14 p.m. on Monday, May 16, 1994. My very first thought was, “She looks like a little Casper the Friendly Ghost!”
Holding her for the first time. At 4 pounds, 11 ounces, she weighed less than a bag of sugar. That’s what I called her, “My Little Bag of Sugar.”
Her big sissy cradling her in her arms and singing “You Are My Sunshine” to her brand new little sister. I remember big sis saying, “She smells so good!”
The image of a snaggle-toothed pixie buried up to her neck in sand. It’s one of the photos on my desk at work. Summer vacations at Carolina Beach with my girls were the best.
Catching her sitting buck naked in the bathroom sink. She said she was taking a bath.
The times I did all the single dad things – playing with dolls, letting her paint my fingernails, put my hair up in curlers, or, gulp, letting her put make-up on my face.
The crazy flour fight we had in the kitchen. We had as much fun cleaning it up as we did making it.
That Halloween she dressed up as Animal from Sesame Street. I made her a collar out of cardboard and aluminum foil that she wore around her neck. It left marks that looked like bruises.
Making sure she got the roller skates she wanted for Christmas and the look on her face when she unwrapped them.
Picking her up in the afternoon at Tanglewood Elementary School. The doors would bust open and she would come running into my arms like I was the only person alive. It was the absolute best feeling ever.
Our trip to New York City when she was in the eighth grade. We took in all the sights, but all she wanted to talk about when she got home was the sad sight of all the homeless people.
The black spot in my hair on the back of my head. She insists it’s from the time she and her friend talked me into coloring my hair. My hair was black as midnight and I had to wear a cap for days.
Watching her walk across the stage at Hartsville High School. I was one proud papa.
Crying on the way home after dropping her off at Presbyterian College.
All the daddy-daughter date nights.
My gray hair? She did her part in putting it there for sure. That said, I am immensely grateful for every single lock and would not trade any of them for anything in the world. She is my princess and will forever be the greatest blessing I have ever received.
Once the flood of memories recedes and I wipe the tears away, I will look her in the yes and tell her she’s gorgeous and the most beautiful bride in the world. She’ll say “I love you diddy,” and hug my neck. We’ll both take a deep breath. She will then wrap her arm around mine and I will proceed to do what every dad both dreams of and dreads – walking his little girl down the aisle.
Chris, my son-in-law-to-be, I am very thankful she has chosen you to share her life with. It’s easy for me to see how much you love her. Welcome to the family … and take good care of my best girl.
Contact Editor Bob Sloan at editor@florence>