I have never been father of the bride. I've seen the movie, more times than I'd like to admit, and I have two daughters who haven't yet found the man they want to spend their lives with (thankfully, in one case, as my younger daughter is only 14!!), but it hasn't been my turn yet. 

That maybe has something to do with why one of my absolute favorite parts of a wedding is the father-daughter dance. So on this Father's Day, while I luxuriate at home with fresh breakfast and the peace and quiet of a Sunday, I wanted to celebrate the very special role that fathers play on your wedding day. 

Perhaps my all-time favorite father was a couple of years ago, when a hairpiece for the bride fell out of my wife's pocket into the backyard pool. I asked Olga to go get dad, and he came out, dove into the pool, and retrieved it so that it wouldn't get scratched up if we had fished it out with a net. Our bride was none the wiser at the time, and Dad had to take another shower and then get himself ready to go. But there have been many others. The father who gave a half-hour toast that celebrated the sacrifices families make to build a better life. The many fathers who can't contain the joy of seeing their daughters in their dresses for the first time. And I won't forget the fathers who have passed on but whose spirit is ever-present at their daughter's wedding, through an empty chair in the front row or a photograph on a locket or the smell of gasoline and grass on his tractor in the yard where his daughter is getting married. And the fathers who laugh and dance and revel in the love in the room until the last song plays. 

On this father's day, I'm reminded of the responsibility and impact we have on our daughters' lives, and am thankful for the amazing gifts my own father has given me. Happy Father's Day!

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