It was the tiny mole below her lip that made him smile today.
Little girl elegant.
Little girl fragile.
Her beauty spot... placed there by a miracle of genetics and grace before she was born on a deep day, a long-ago day, that suddenly blew into his heart
and took his feelings with it.
She was beautiful beyond his imaginings,
as soft and perfect as that day
when in a cold, sharp space, a nurse had handed him his dreams in a blanket.
The love that went into making his beautiful daughter could not be measured then
made it too hard to speak coherently today,
despite all the words,
and and nerves,
She was perfect.
Then and now.
Made infinitely more his by his letting her go on this day.
His Daddy's girl.
A beautiful woman.
It wasn't the memories of the midnight cries that called him out of sleep,
or the smashed peas in the carpeting,
or the dripping bathing suits that were never hung up to dry,
or the lip gloss that she wasn't old enough for,
or the phone she demanded he didn't think she needed,
or the boys that made her laugh harder than he did,
or the words she said to him that he wished she never had
that lived with him today.
It wasn't the pigtails,
or the way she bit the inside of her lip when she concentrated.
It wasn't the color of her eyes,
the way she looked at him, smiled, and then looked away at another question beckoning...
it was the beauty of a mole on her flawless skin that he alone saw,
it came from him.
How can you know a mole so well that it splits you open with a joy you never felt before? And makes it possible to be her father on this day? When she puts her faith and her life into the hands of another man?
That's what beauty and love is, isn't it? ... inexpressible.
So he took his seat, a concentrated smile of fatherhood on his face.
as the words of union were performed,
and the tears flowed,
and the prayers said,
the perfection of that day was real for him after all.
Because she would always bear in beauty, a speck of him.