This image is of my daughter taking a bow after dancing to the song “I Will Follow Him” in a talent show at our church in October of 1995. I pulled this from one frame of a shaky and out of focus video of the performance, shot by a very poor videographer (me), using a video camera that was old and tired even then. The video’s quality has not been helped by its later conversion from VHS to DVD and then (recently) to MP4.
Despite the faded and poor quality imagery, my memory of her performance that day is sharp and clear, and always will be. She was only six years old at the time. She selected the song by herself and used what she’d learned in her Ballet lessons to choreograph the dance on her own. And, she selected her outfit for the performance – a red “twirly hoop dress” – all by herself, too.
She did a fabulous job, and kept her composure even when an excited toddler ran on to the stage during the dance. The congregation let her know their appreciation with a rousing ovation and cheers. She did great. I was a very, very proud father that day.
But, it is also a memory tinged with sadness. A few years later, our relationship was destroyed in the death of my first marriage: I was shut out of her life without any choice or voice in the matter, and know almost nothing of her life since. I doubt that this rupture will ever be healed.